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How to Prepare Your Nonprofit for an Emergency

How to Prepare Your Nonprofit for an Emergency - Auxilia (2)-1To make sure that your nonprofit organization and the people that work for it stay safe in an emergency, you are going to want to have some kind of emergency plan in place. This emergency plan should include prevention, preparation, and action steps taken in the event of an emergency.

This emergency plan should cover anything from an in-building fire, to national disasters, to anywhere in between. Let’s cover the steps for coming up with your emergency plan.

Risk Assessment

Conduct an assessment of risk to your specific building and location. Include anything and everything you can think of and give it a point rating as to the likelihood of its occurrence.

For instance, a meteor strike is possible... but highly unlikely. On the other hand, if you’re located on the San Andreas Fault, an earthquake would have a high rating and you would need to plan accordingly, with proper attention to give to this disaster.

Prevention

You can’t always avoid or plan for an emergency, but the more prevention-based systems you have in place, the greater potential that you can keep an emergency from occurring, or totally derailing you if it does. Make sure you perform routine check-ups and maintenance on things like fire alarms, sprinklers, and other safety/security systems.

Evacuation

Come up with an evacuation plan and educate your volunteers and employees on how to proceed in case of an emergency. Make sure they know their exit routes and the proper protocol for handling certain types of disasters.

Make sure that this plan stays updated and remind your workers often of the evacuation protocol so that it is always fresh in their minds. Check to see if your exits and escape routes are clearly marked so that people don’t struggle to find them in an emergency situation.

Protect Important Information

You do not want to lose important business records! One thing you can do is get a fire, water, and burglar resistant safety box.

However, even with a good safe, you may want to have copies of these records in a different location so that your information is not lost in the event of a destroyed safety box.

Insurance

Ensure that you have good insurance coverage and that you know exactly what your insurance plan entails. Know your deductibles and any exclusions. Remember to keep your insurance information safe (see above.)

Emergency Kit

Keep a building emergency kit in an accessible place and have designated people assigned to its management. Your emergency protocol should include who will get into the emergency kit and how it will be dispersed.

This kit should include ample first aid supplies, flashlights with extra batteries, water, unperishable food items with a can opener, a hand-powered radio, dust masks, cell phone chargers, tools, and an emergency contact list.

Emergencies do happen, and it’s important to be as prepared as possible in the event of one. Saving all lives involved and making sure your nonprofit can recover afterward is, of course, a top priority. So, make sure that you give your emergency plan the serious attention that it needs.

If you have any other questions about coming up with an emergency plan, contact Auxilia to see how we can help!

Photo Credit: Piotr Chrobot

Topics: Nonprofit, Emergency Plan, Volunteers