Emergency Preparedness

By Kevin Emert, MEd, CAPP

After Hurricane Michael, most of the southeastern U.S. is thinking about emergency preparedness. How prepared are you? Do you have a plan if something were to happen where you live or where you work? Does your workplace have a known plan in place in case of a tornado, fire, or, even worse, an active shooter?

We think about these things often, but we don’t always sit down and develop a tentative plan. Most police departments will help you develop plans for each of these scenarios and IPMI offers a free guide for parking and mobility professionals. However, even if we have a plan, many of us don’t practice it to ensure it will work. Having a plan to get your family out of a house fire can be critical; on the same note, so is the plan at a university or workplace to get all students/staff out in case of fire or active shooter or other disaster.

Emptying a large academic building and a 1,500-car parking deck in a very quick manner can be quite challenging, right? For a plan to be effective, everyone must know what the plan is and the plan must be practiced and adjusted on an as-needed basis. Yes, it may sound silly to have family time spent practicing evacuating the house and we all hated fire drills in school, but it is much better than the alternative.

Kevin Emert, MEd, CAPP, is assistant director of the Georgia Building Authority.

 

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