For most businesses, emergency planning does not rank among the most important items on the company’s strategic planning list. In fact, in many cases, it might not even make it on the list. Lets’ be honest, there’s not much satisfaction in devoting the company’s precious time, resources, and money for something that may never happen, or at least, you hope will never happen. The reality is, while most businesses in the sports, leisure, and entertainment industry do have emergency response plans, many do not practice them or even bother to update them.
So why should you devote time, money, and resources to emergency planning? According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the reality is that 40% of businesses never reopen after a disaster and another 25% that do reopen, fail within a year. The reason? Those businesses were not sufficiently prepared. You may ask, won’t my insurance policy protect me if an emergency occurs? While the purpose of insurance it is to make you financially whole following a loss from an event like a fire or break-in, that may damage your facility, it does not necessarily protect these three things:
1. Your most important and valuable asset…your employees
2. The people who pay the bills…your customers, or guests
3. The thing that took the longest to build…your reputation
When you consider what’s at stake, putting off emergency planning is not a gamble worth taking. When it comes down to it, it is not possible to keep your employees and guests safe and protect your organization’s reputation without an effective plan.
Since emergencies hopefully never happen, how do you know if your plan is effective? Ask yourself these simple questions:
- Is it current?
- Is it easily accessible?
- Is it easy to follow?
- Is it a standard plan or customized to our specific risks?
- Does it outline specific duties and responsibilities for employees?
- Has it been tested and refined?
If your emergency plan is not as strong as you would like it to be, use this resource guide to help you through the six-step process of building an emergency response plan.
Risk Management Guide for Emergency Response Planning (link)
Additionally, American Specialty has developed an Emergency Response Plan Checklist and an Emergency Response Plan Template Manual to assist facilities in their efforts to build effective emergency response plans.
Emergency Response Plan Checklist (link)
Emergency Response Plan Template Manual (link)