Crisis Response Modules

Earlier, we alluded to the idea of modules. Many events require similar responses. When possible, you should identify these modular responses and create a workflow for each.

Let’s look at an example: A hazardous chemical spill just happened at your facility. A response scenario, complete with the interchangeable response modules (Hold and Evacuate in this case), may look like this.

CRISIS: Hazardous Spill Onsite

  1. Isolate the spill area and remove everyone from the site to a position of safety.
  2. Do not pull the fire alarm unless an evacuation can be conducted without entering the spill area.
  3. Shut down the ventilation system to affected areas.
  4. Administer immediate first aid, if required.
  5. Decontaminate personnel, if required. Prevent contact with other staff.
  6. Call 911.
  7. Notify your supervisor and the Crisis Communications Center (CCC) Manager.
  8. Let the facility manager or CCC Manager brief the Fire Department when it arrives.
  9. The CCC Manager may activate the Crisis Communications Center if:
      • Operations have been disrupted.
      • There are injuries or fatalities.
      • The leak affects the surrounding community.
      • There is an imminent danger to neighboring homes or businesses.
      • In cooperation with the Fire Department, the CCC will determine if a Hold or Evacuation is required (you can use this response module in a number of crises).

If a HOLD is required:

      • Keep all staff in their present locations.
      • Continue activities as usual.
      • Take attendance to ensure everyone is accounted for.
      • Follow directions provided by the CCC and/or the Fire Department.
      • Release no one.
      • Ignore/extend closing times.
      • Seal off and secure facility as much as possible.
      • Limit media access to a remote location.

If an EVACUATION is required:

      • Work with emergency responders to establish an evacuation plan that is safe and efficient.
      • Announce the need to evacuate over the PA system, asking personnel to utilize the evacuation maps in their work area.
      • Ask that employees take any personal belongings within their immediate reach with them (purses, coats, mobile phones, for example).
      • The last person out checks to see that everyone has been evacuated, turns out the lights and closes the door.
      • Employees report to their designated central meeting area.
      • The immediate supervisor takes attendance and reports any absences to their manager or the CCC Manager who reports any missing personnel to emergency responders with their name and last known location.
      • All staff shall remain in their emergency meeting area until advised otherwise. No one is to leave.
      • Traffic is to be redirected as necessary. If alternative transportation is needed, work with the CCC Manager to secure it.
      • When allowed, employees may check with their supervisor and either return to work or leave the facility for home.
  1. Following the end of the crisis, complete all reports and claims.
      • Submit to the facility manager and/or CCC Manager as soon as possible.

As you can see, the Hold or Evacuation process is the same, whether it is for a hazardous materials spill, a natural disaster or any other threat that may put employees in danger or jeopardy. You can create a module out of it that can be used elsewhere or may even become a sign in your lunchroom or warehouse.