It’s almost impossible to predict an emergency until it happens. It’s always hard to imagine yourself in an emergency, whether at work or home.
However, that does not mean that you’ll never come across one, and the best thing you can do is try to deal with it.
While there are commendable emergency plans and services present to deal with dire situations, there might come a time when the first responder is you. It rests upon you to effectively deal with a dangerous situation.
To ensure that you know what immediate actions are required in case of emergencies, we’ve gathered some important tips that can avert any major disaster waiting to happen.
1. Checklist for preparedness:
The number one thing anyone can do during emergencies is to be prepared. You can’t wait for a disaster to happen for you to know what you could have done.
It’s better to prepare yourself beforehand to be calm and composed enough to take appropriate action.
Therefore, the best way to go about it is to follow an emergency checklist. Following are a few points that your preparedness checklist should consist of:
- Check for the cause of emergency if it does not put you in danger.
- How many people have been affected, and the level of their injuries
- Is there any way to make the situation safer for you and other people?
- Can you contact emergency services or someone else for help nearby?
- What emergency survival or first aid kits are available for offering assistance?
- Is there anyone qualified enough among you? It’s best if it’s someone with a disaster management degree or equal qualification in emergency services for better dealing with direr situations.
- Is there any emergency protocol in place at your workplace specifically that you can follow?
2. Utilize on-site emergency response:
In case of emergencies, the best thing to do after you’ve regained some control of the situation is to call for first responders immediately.
If you have enough time to assess, you should try to call relevant emergency services. For instance, you can call 911 from any phone without any cost and have emergency services like ambulance, fire brigade, and the police come to you.
When you call emergency services, you should be able to answer all their questions so that they can dispatch responders accordingly.
You must listen to their instructions carefully and shouldn’t disconnect until the operator tells you to. To best utilize on-site emergency services, you should ensure that your emergency communication channels are easily accessible.
3. Follow the general do’s and don’ts list:
Whether you are facing an emergency at home or at your workplace, there’s a set of essential do’s and don’ts lists that you should never forget.
This set of rules helps you develop an emergency preparedness plan to ensure your safety and survival. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts in case of office emergencies:
- Do know the company’s emergency plan and evacuation route
- Do listen to instructions and messages from the Public Address Systems
- Do use stairwells instead of elevators in case of an evacuation
- Do report fires and other emergencies immediately to the authorities
- Don’t ignore the fire alarms
- Don’t go off alone with a proper evacuation plan
- Don’t return to the building without the “All Clear” signal
- Don’t cause panic in the crowd
4. Create an evacuation and household emergency plan:
It is relatively safer to follow an emergency plan in your workplace that’s been specifically created to deal with emergencies.
However, that’s not always the case when you face emergencies at home, and you are mostly on the blindside of things.
It is better to develop a household emergency and evacuation plan. It will help the entire household be better prepared in emergencies instead of relying entirely on other people.
You start by giving every family member a couple of emergency numbers they can immediately contact in case of danger.
The entire family should construct a household emergency plan for it to be as effective as possible.
5. Keep emergency items or grab bags:
One of the best ways to be prepared for emergencies at work and home is to keep an emergency grab bag. In case of an evacuation, you aren’t sure when you can return to your workplace or home.
It should contain spare baby essentials, an extra phone charger, money, a torch, a water bottle, copies of important documents, medicine, spare glasses, contacts, addresses, etc.
It would also help if every family member kept their separate grab bag stuffed with the things they find most important. Other family members can keep warm clothes, pet supplies, food and water, a first aid kit, a radio, etc.
6. Always stay informed:
Being under-informed will not help your case at all, especially in emergencies. One of the most important things that will help you prepare for an emergency is to stay up-to-date and informed about your surroundings.
In an emergency due to natural disasters, you should constantly check the news, listen to the radio, or call emergency numbers to keep on top of the current plans.
Similarly, you should always keep an eye for updates and instructions regarding the company’s emergency plans, especially for evacuation.
Many websites offer information on supplies, such as storage protocols and shelf life of foods.
You can also obtain information about supplies related to different incidents, such as the supplies for a storm, a flu pandemic, a blizzard, etc.
Emergencies are unpredictable and sudden. There isn’t always time to prepare yourself and others for the outcome. However, you can significantly increase your chance of survival and safety if you prepare yourself beforehand.
While it’s not always possible to be ready for emergencies, there are certain general tips that you can work by for almost all general emergencies at the workplace and home.
The most important thing is to stay calm and follow your emergency preparedness program to ensure the safety of everyone around you. If you are at work, ensure to follow company protocol or do as the responder instruct.