Some disasters will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. Evacuating workers, customers, and visitors effectively can save lives.
- If feasible, develop a system for knowing who is in your building, including customers and visitors.
- Decide in advance who has the authority to order an evacuation. If City officials tell you to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Identify who will shut down critical operations and lock the doors, if possible. Create a chain of command so that others are authorized to act in case your designated person is not available.
- Locate and make copies of building and site maps with critical utility and emergency routes clearly marked. Identify and label entry-exit points both on the maps and throughout the building. Post maps for quick reference by employees. Plan two ways out of the building from different locations throughout your facility.
- Establish a warning system including plans to communicate with people who are hearing impaired or have other disabilities and those who do not speak English.
- Designate an assembly site. Pick one location near your facility and another in the general area in case you have to move farther away. Try to account for all workers, visitors, and customers as people arrive at the assembly site.
- Determine who is responsible for providing an all-clear or return-to-work notification. Plan to cooperate with local authorities responding in an emergency.
- If your business operates out of more than one location or has more than one place where people work, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building. If your company is in a high-rise building or an industrial park it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.