Tips for Communicating with Employees During an Emergency
Communications are essential to any business
operation. A communications failure can be a disaster in itself, cutting off
vital business activities. Communications are needed to report emergencies, to
warn personnel of the danger and to keep families and off-duty employees
informed about what’s happening at the facility.
Consider the functions your facility might need to
perform in an emergency and the communications systems needed to support them.
Methods of communication include:
Local area networks
In an emergency, personnel will need to know
whether their families are okay. Taking care of loved ones is always a first
priority. Make plans for communicating with employees’ families in an emergency.
Also, encourage employees to:
Consider how they would communicate with their families in
case they are separated from one another or injured in an emergency
Arrange for an out-of-town contact for all family members
to call in an emergency
Designate a place to meet family members in case they
cannot get home in an emergency
Establish procedures for employees to report an
emergency. Inform employees of procedures. Train personnel assigned to specific
notification tasks. Post emergency telephone numbers near each telephone, on
employee bulletin boards and in other prominent locations. Maintain an updated
list of addresses and telephone numbers of key emergency response personnel
(from within and outside the facility).
Listen for severe weather warnings issued by the
National Weather Service. Prepare announcements that could be made over public
Establish a system for warning personnel of an
emergency. The system should:
Be audible or within view by all people in the facility
Have an auxiliary power supply
Have a distinct and recognizable signal
Make plans for warning persons with disabilities.
For instance, a flashing strobe light can be used to warn hearing-impaired
people. Familiarize personnel with procedures for responding when the warning
system is activated. Establish procedures for warning customers, contractors,
visitors and others who may not be familiar with the facility’s warning system.
Test your facility’s warning system at least monthly.
For more information visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency.