BOMA Preparedness Top Ten List for National Preparedness Month
September 2009 - Emergency Preparedness
With hurricane season in full swing and experts predicting an increase in cases of the H1N1 virus this fall, now is the time to revisit preparedness plans, according to the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International.
September is National Preparedness Month and BOMA has released a list of ten best practices property professionals can adopt to ensure their tenants, staff and buildings are safe in an emergency or natural disaster.
An effective preparedness plan includes an emergency response plan, a communications strategy and a blueprint for business continuity.
Here is a list of tips to help property professionals start planning now:
1. Review your plan. Regularly go over your building’s emergency preparedness plan with your team to ensure everyone is familiar with all aspects of emergency protocol.
2. Practice makes perfect. Have your preparedness team take part in tabletop exercises, in which team members walk through various emergency scenarios and propose responses to “what if” questions.
3. Involve your tenants. Make certain all of your tenants are aware of the building evacuation procedures and encourage them to participate in evacuation drills.
4. Communicate. Develop a multi-layered crisis communication plan that is fast and effective in reaching tenants, local authorities and agencies, and the media.
5. Stay alert. Sign up for daily alerts to monitor weather conditions and cases of pandemic influenza in your area.
6. Work with authorities. Review local evacuation procedures and identify the agency that will issue evacuation orders.
7. Cross-train staff. Identify and provide cross-training essential personnel to provide critical services.
8. Revisit HR policies. Determine how your company’s leave and salary policies will apply in emergency situations, such as a pandemic flu outbreak, when a significant portion of your workforce may be unable to come to work.
9. Operate remotely. Consider identifying off-site work facilities or telecommuting capabilities to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster.
10. Find the latest resources, such as informational websites.