Tips for Businesses

What to do
  • Business owners, building owners and tenants should frequently review, revise and exercise their emergency plans and their evacuation procedures.
  • Maintain an Emergency Supply Kit containing survival items, such as water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, and special medications, and items that will provide comfort in the case of evacuation, including comfortable shoes and a first-aid kit.
  • Regardless of the type of emergency, it is most critical to keep a battery-powered radio or television. Instructions and information will be provided by local, state or federal authorities most often through the media.
  • Accessing basic information is crucial in an emergency but is often difficult to locate. Emergency services contact information should be readily available at every telephone. Wallet cards providing this information are also very useful. Individual department plans should be collected and reviewed to ensure that everyone is following the same procedures.
  • A clean-desk policy should be implemented with all valuable papers locked in fireproof filing cabinets. Irreplaceable documents such as deeds, negotiable securities (stocks and bonds) and blueprints and surveys should be stored off-site, but readily accessible if necessary.
Evacuation vs. Shelter-in-Place
  • It is important to remember that evacuation may not always be necessary during a major emergency or attack because leaving the building may be a greater risk. In these situations, shelter-in-place may be advised.
  • Shelter-in-place means to stay indoors, whether in a home, business, school, or public building. It may also include additional precautions such as turning off fans, air conditioning and forced air heating systems.
  • Shelter-in-place may be used when there is little time to react to an incident, and it would be more dangerous to be outside attempting evacuation than it would be to stay inside. This method may also be recommended in the event of a chemical or biological attack.
  • In most cases, sheltering-in-place will not continue for more than a few hours. Most chemical or biological agents, if released into the air, will dissipate in a short period of time.