One week ago, I was robbed at gunpoint. Luckily for my employees, and myself, the robber just wanted the money in my store. He did not want to hurt anyone. That did not take away from the scariness of the situation or my thankfulness of safety when it was over. In the aftermath, I was thankful I made time the past two years instructing my employees on tips and protocol when dealing with a bad situation.
We must make time to inform our employees what to do in the case of emergencies. If the moment ever comes, we want them to think clearly and focus on what they know. The few minutes you set aside to discuss these things with them twice a year is time well spent if a crisis reveals itself. Here are tips to help you help your team:
- Designate shelters-in-place – These are rooms that are secure from the outside, usually with little or no visibility, where your employees can go to hide from an active shooter or protect themselves in case of a natural disaster. The room should be free of objects that could fall on top of them. The room should be structurally sound (bathrooms often are very sound). The room should have little to no visibility from the outside and be able to be locked.
- Have an area to meet up outside of the workplace – If employees evacuate the building (from fire for example), you will want to get a head count to ensure that all are accounted for.
- Post maps that clearly identifies exit paths and doors – These maps will help them think clearly in case of an emergency.
- Discuss What-If scenarios with your team – What if someone is robbing the workplace? How will you respond? What if there is a tornado? How will you respond? The types of situations can go on and on. I would recommend natural disaster scenarios, fire scenarios, and scenarios that involve potential assailants or robbers.
- Have these meetings bi-annually – You may have new employees, and it’s always good to have reminders of the proper protocol in case of an emergency.
Do you have scenarios that you prepare your team for? Do you feel like you and your team are prepared? I would like to know your thoughts. Please join the discussion and post a comment!