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  • Writer's pictureAshley Gerthoffer

Emergency Preparation Plan

With Hurricane Florence among us Emergency Evacuation plans and preparation are necessary. While threats can be unpredictable, there are measures you can and should take to help plan for and prevent damages from various threats from hurricanes. So what it is going to take to make buildings and their occupants safer during such emergencies? You can avoid injury, confusion, and property damage by implementing an organized and effective emergency evacuation plan. If you don't have a plan in place yet check out the steps below to help you create one. We have also included a list of common emergency questions as well. If you have additional concerns or questions feel free to give us a call.

Things to consider when preparing for an Emergency?

An effective emergency plan will facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies. Well-developed plans and proper training will result in fewer and less severe injuries and less structural damage to the facility.

  • Have a Emergency Evacuation Plan; See steps below to help you create one

  • Get connected with local media outlets on immediate updates such a social media and news channels

  • If you are a business owner have a mass notification source to communicate with employees and customers

  • If your business must be opened during the hurricane like ours, staffing must be pre-planned to ensure staff can make it in to work safely and if needed, have supplies ready for extended stays; ie, provisions of bedding, food, showers, water, etc…

  • Know what you can do locally with your Sonitrol system if the communication path is interrupted to the Central Station; See Q&A below

3 Steps to Create an Emergency Evacuation Plan

Your facility’s geographical location will mean different natural disasters and threats are more likely to happen. To best prepare, learn about the types of disasters and other threats that are more common in your community. Such as we, in California, must plan for fire, earthquakes, and other disasters. Earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, and burglaries can all pose threats to your business and employees. Here’s how you can start on creating an effective plan to mitigate threats and be prepared for emergencies.

1. Determine evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments

Floor map diagrams should be prominently posted throughout the building and be specific to each floor/area of the facility. Locations of exits, assembly points, and equipment like fire extinguishers and first aid kits should be clearly marked. Exit routes should always be well lit, wide enough to accommodate emergency exits, clear of debris, and should keep personnel safe from additional hazards. OSHA is a great resource for ensuring your emergency exits are up to standard.

2. Implement a clear chain of command and designation of the person authorized to order an evacuation

When an evacuation is necessary, you will need responsible, trained individuals who can supervise and coordinate activities to ensure a safe and successful evacuation. It is critical for employees to know who the coordinator is and understand that they have the authority to make decisions in emergencies. The coordinator should be responsible for assessing the situation and determining what actions should be taken. They will activate and oversee the emergency procedures, and notify and coordinate with outside emergency services.

3. Create procedures to account for all employees after an emergency evacuation

Designate assembly places inside and outside of the facility where employees should gather after evacuating. They should have enough space to comfortably and safely accommodate all employees. Once evacuated, someone needs to be in charge of taking a head count. If there are people missing, take note of names and last known location and pass the information to officials.

Once the evacuation plan is finalized, you will need to thoroughly train all employees and building occupants on the plan. This plan should be reviewed annually and presented to new employees as soon as possible. Keep the evacuation plan up-to-date and communicate the plan to employees so they can be educated and prepared in the event of an emergency. An evacuation plan will ensure the safety of all occupants in a facility.

Common Disaster Questions Answered by our Central Station Team

How will my access control system perform if there if power is down for an extended period of time?

Know that these doors and locks require power. Access systems do have a temporary battery back-up for short term power outages. In the event of an extended outage customers will need to have a back-up plan to secure their doors. If you lose power consider these doors as a manual lock and key door. Make sure that your staff knows your back up plan before disasters occur to help eliminate confusion.

How long will my security system continue to function if power is down for an extended period of time?

Security systems do have a temporary battery back-up for short term power outages. This time period depends on the age of the battery and the amount of equipment that is being powered. In the event of an extended power outage customers will need to have a back-up plan for security

Videofied alarm systems

Runs on battery and won’t be effected by power loss

Check Video alarm systems

These systems do not have a battery back-up and will go down when the power goes down (unless they have a UPS installed). Customers will need a back-up plan for security during power loss

All other cameras systems

Most cameras systems have a battery back-up but this is limited to short term power loss only. Customers will need a back-up plan if cameras are required during extended outages

**** Please keep in mind that your alarm system depends on power and communication (internet, phone line, cellular) if any of these components are interrupted because of long term power loss, internet, cell tower, or IP failure, you will need to have a back –up plan for your security. Our central station is well equipped and staffed to continue operation no matter the situation, please feel free to contact us if you have further questions.

Contact us to learn more about our verified security solutions.

815 Wood Ridge Center Drive

Charlotte, NC 28217


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