Preparedness Info & Resources
for Businesses & Organizations
Just as people who have prepared for emergencies before they occur are much more likely to escape injury, death, or property loss, so too will a prepared business survive an emergency with as little loss or damage as possible. Whether the emergency is man-made or natural, it is imperative that owners prepare for the continuation of their business both during and after whatever the emergency is. Short-term economic losses include a loss of business for the store owner, but the long-term impacts could include the complete loss of the business and the attendant loss of jobs and economic stability within the community.
In a major emergency, it might be several days before vital services are restored—your employees may be stranded at the workplace, or at home. Either way your business is at risk. Emergencies like a pandemic can have on-going long-term effects that will cause great damage to the continuity of your business unless contingency plans are in place.
The links we've put together will take you to other sites (some are LEPCs in other states who have done a tremendous job with their materials, others are organizations like the Red Cross, or government sites) or will be downloadable PDF or MS®Word documents.
A few topics that might be considered for inclusion in your plan are:
- CPR/First Aid classes
- Telecommuting, as feasible
- Emergency workplace kits for employees
- Emergency back-up communications/power/heat
- Data backup/off-site storage
On October 16th, 1986, the Superfund Amendment Reauthorization Act (SARA) was signed into law. Title III of this law is known as Community Right-to-Know—it gives emergency responders and community members the ability to find out what hazards are in their area. Prior knowledge of what chemicals are present and what effects they may have allow community leaders and emergency responders to plan effectively for any needed response action. Emergency planning can cut the time needed to respond to and clean up a chemical emergency, as well as reduce environmental damage, and the cost associated with a chemical incident.
If your business/farm uses hazardous substances, be sure to visit the Haz-Mat page for other information.
Emergency Plans are needed by all businesses, health organizations, public welfare groups, retail establishments—any place where people congregate , employees or customers. In an emergency, what will you do to sustain and protect employees and customers who may trapped in your facilities for hours or days. Food, water, warmth, First Aid, communications, evacuation—all need consideration.
If your population includes non-English speaking persons on a regular basis, or seniors, or those with disabilities—what resources will you have on-hand to care for them until help arrives? In addition to the links on this page, the resources page has numerous links to other useful PDFs or websites, many additional resources can be found under the Individual/Family heading as well as under Business/Organizations.
What is an EAP?
An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is a written document required by particular OSHA standards [29 CFR 1910.38(a)]. The purpose of an EAP is to facilitate and organize actions during workplace emergencies. Most organizations find it beneficial to include a diverse group of representatives (management and employees) in this planning process and to meet frequently to review progress and allocate development tasks. The commitment and support of all employees is critical to the plan's success in the event of an emergency; ask for their help in establishing and implementing your emergency action plan. For smaller organizations, the plan does not need to be written and may be communicated orally if there are 10 or fewer employees [29 CFR 1910.38(b)].
At a minimum, the plan must include but is not limited to the following elements [29 CFR 1910.38(c)]:
• Means of reporting fires and other emergencies
• Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments
• Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate
• Procedures to account for all employees after an emergency evacuation has been completed
• Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them
• Names or job titles of persons who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan
WHAT TO DO?
Make A Plan
Make A Kit
Off-site web pages open in new windows.
• CDC/NIOSH: Business Emergency Planning (Web)
• Community Right To Know (PDF)
• Vermont Emergency Mgmt (Web)
• Guide to VT Town Clerks (PDF)
• Pandemic Flu (Web)
• Vt. Dept. of Health
Public Health Preparedness (Web)
• “Extremely Hazardous Substances” (EHS) list (PDF)
• EPA: Chemicals in the Community (Web)