September 25, 2007

Preparing an Emergency Book

By Paul Bieber

One of the most important tools for any company, in any industry, is to have an emergency procedures book. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a simple binder will do. But, it will be the most important book you have when an emergency comes up.

Yes, it will happen to you. No one is immune. Whether a lightening strike, or a vehicle accident, it will happen.

The book should list:

•Owner’s home phone, cell phone; owner’s spouse cell phone; and the phone numbers of owner’s family

•Key employee’s home and cell numbers

•Phone numbers for police, fire and ambulance (if not 911) and the non-emergency number for each group

•Closest hospitals main numbers, emergency room numbers

•Phone numbers for electric, gas, water, and oil heat companies for emergency shut-off; also the numbers for emergency service and information on service interruption

•Your local sewer authority for back-ups in the system; or the cesspool servicing firm

•An environmental spill containment firm; a pre-set company on this issue will save you a bundle

•Your insurance agent, who you should call after the emergency is under control; your worker’s comp insurance carrier if this is an injury to an employee

•Your lawyer; if the emergency involves injury to a non-employee, your lawyer and your insurance agent have to get into this quickly

•If you a union company, the phone numbers for the business agent and leadership of the local you deal with

•A garbage clean-up and hauling company for when you drop a load of glass on the side of a road.

•Phone numbers, office, cell, and home for: electrician, plumber, heat and air-conditioning

•Your phone carrier and your local service company that handles your phone sets and wiring

•The computer company that set up your office network

•A restoration company that can come in to mitigate smoke and water damage

•Here is an odd one–if you need to keep something cold, such as PVB, vinyl, for making laminated glass, a dry ice delivery company

•A crane repair company

•A tow truck for your fleet; and a mobile tire fixer that can go to a location where your truck is down

•The body shop you want a down vehicle to go to

•A repair company for your fork-lift

•The central station number and the installer’s number for your burglar and fire alarm system

•Your locksmith to help you seal your building, or to gain access where needed

•The number for a public relations or advertising agency that you have worked with; in a serious accident you need a predetermined list of who can talk to media and what their limitations are

•The dispatcher’s of your main vendors, if you have to delay or reroute shipments that are on the way to you

•Your bank, if you have to stop checks that may be stolen or lost credit cards, or who you can turn to for an emergency loan

•Your landlord, if you rent

•If you own and have tenants in part of the space, their key people phone numbers

This will take a winter weekend to put together. If you have multiple locations, create a list for each location. Update the book once or maybe twice a year. Keep a copy by your work desk, at your home, and tucked into the trunk of your car. If you travel, stick the phone lists in your suitcase. Emergencies only happen when you are in far-away places.