An evacuation plan is just as important for a business as it is for a home. Anywhere there are people, there must be an emergency evacuation plan. If you do not have one in place, you need to get one immediately. This will save lives. Never underestimate the importance of an evacuation plan. Here you will learn all about why an emergency evacuation plan is so important and tips for creating one.

As far as businesses go, the law requires you to have a clear emergency evacuation plan for your business. OSHA states that businesses that have more than 11 employees need to have an EAP (Emergency Action Plan) and a Fire Prevention Plan to be compliant with emergency preparedness regulations. You are expected to comply with these regulations no matter what industry you are in. This needs to be clearly written out and explained to your employees, with notices posted throughout your business to remind them should the need arise. In addition to needing an emergency evacuation plan to stay in compliance with regulations, this also protects you from lawsuits should something bad happen as a result of you not having a plan.

There are other benefits to having an emergency evacuation plan in place at your business. For one thing, you can help to minimize your losses if something happens. By teaching your employees how to properly use a fire extinguisher, a fire can be put out before it can burn down an entire part of your building (or the entire building). It can also create a clear plan for the chain of command. This is important because people will know exactly what their roles are in case of an emergency, otherwise, there will be chaos that can make an emergency situation even worse. You need to assign different tasks to the best-qualified people. The Point of Contact is the person who is responsible for contacting emergency services and decides on when to evacuate. The Coordinator completes the safety task to-do list, securing the space as best they can. There needs to be at least 1 head counter, or one for each department, to make sure everyone is accounted for. Lastly, you should be sure that people know basic first aid skills in case it’s necessary.

You should also have an emergency plan in place at your home as well. Discuss the plan with your family, making sure that everyone knows what they need to do to stay safe in case of an emergency. Pick a point outside to meet up and explain what exits they should use to leave. This plan can save the lives of your family. You should give every family member a specific task during an emergency.

Having an emergency plan in place will keep everyone calm in an emergency situation. You should do what you can to regularly practice the plan so that if something does happen everyone will be well practiced in what you need to do. The emergency evacuation plan is so important for both businesses and residential locations.