Tenant Emergency Plans
It is important that tenants develop their own internal plans in the event of an emergency. The Building Staff will provide assistance in the event of an evacuation or shelter-in-place, but each tenant is responsible for developing plans and training their employees for both of these possibilities. Below are some guidelines to use in developing your plans:
- Tenants should assign Floor Captains for each floor they occupy. If the tenant occupies the entire floor, it is recommended that two Floor Captains be assigned for that floor. The responsibilities for a Floor Captain are listed below.
- It is imperative that all employees know where the stairwells are located, where they exit from the building and learn the stairwell numbers. In the event of an evacuation, employees should go to the closest stairwell unless instructed otherwise.
- Tenants should create evacuation routes for their staff, so employees know where to go in the event of an evacuation. Floor plans with the evacuation routes should be posted throughout the tenant space, especially near exit doors and elevators.
- Tenant evacuation routes must be flexible enough to be changed quickly as the situation dictates.
- Alternative routes should be pre-determined and practiced.
- Personnel lists with vital information for each employee should be kept current and accurate to ensure all personnel are accounted for.
- A pre-determined assembly area should be identified and all employees should know the location of this area. After evacuating the building, employees should go to this assembly area.
- A back-up assembly area should be determined in the event the main assembly area is not accessible.
- Ensure the assembly areas are a safe distance from the building.
- Establish procedures for further evacuation in case the incident expands.
- A head count is then taken by the Floor Captain to assure a full evacuation has occurred. The Floor Captain has to ensure they take the personnel list with them as they evacuate.
- The names and last known locations of personnel not accounted for should be determined and given to the Fire Department or Building Staff.
- Each tenant should have a Floor Captain for each floor they occupy (if there are multiple businesses on a floor, there should be a Floor Captain from each business).
- It is equally important to have a back-up Floor Captain who will stand in if the main Floor Captain is not available.
- The Floor Captain will:
- Disseminate information and direct the employees on their floor.
- Communicate with the Building Staff during an emergency and provide progress reports on the evacuation.
- Direct orderly flow during drills and emergencies.
- Maintain an updated personnel roster with vital information for each employee.
- Maintain a list of occupants with disabilities and monitor for persons with disabilities during the emergency.
- Ensure all occupants have vacated the floor.
- Ensure doors are closed, lights are on and electrical equipment is off during evacuations.
- Go to the pre-determined assembly area to perform a head count using the personnel roster.
Individuals with Special Needs:
- Prepare and maintain a list of all employees and regular visitors who have special needs.
- Ask these people in advance what assistance they will require in the event of an evacuation. Determine how the individual will be evacuated and the assistance they will require.
- Assign a co-worker (and a back-up in the event that person is not available) for each person with special needs to provide the required assistance.
- Determine a way for individual and the co-worker to connect in the event of an emergency. Either through a cellular phone, a meeting place, or some other technique, it is important to pair up as quickly as possible.
- Individuals with special needs should prepare an emergency information list that they carry with them in the work place. In the event the individual is unable to communicate, the list should provide instructions for their care.
There is a great deal of preliminary planning that tenants must put into developing a shelter-in-place plan.
Some basic steps include:
- Select a shelter room or rooms. This room(s) should have the fewest number of windows, vents and doors and be large enough to provide 10 square feet per occupant.
- Prepare a shelter kit that contains essential supplies that will be needed during a shelter-in-place. Examples include: plastic sheeting, duct tape, first aid kits, a battery powered radio, flashlights, fresh batteries, and bottled drinking water
- It is recommended that the shelter room have a telephone that is not connected to the phone system of the tenant so it will remain operational in the event of a power failure.
- Assign an employee to check your shelter kit on a regular basis. Supplies can sometimes disappear when all employees know where the shelter kit is stored. Batteries for the radio and flashlight should be kept fresh.
- Assign employees to specific shelter rooms. Plan for extra space in each shelter room to fit visitors and employees who cannot make it to their assigned shelter room.
- Employees cannot be forced to shelter-in-place. Therefore, it is important to develop your plan to maximize the cooperation and determine if all employees will shelter or if some will leave the building.
- Develop an accountability system. You should know which employees and any visitor who are in your space if an emergency develops. Visitors should be informed if you company decides to shelter-in-place.
- Drills should be planned and executed on a regular basis. Afterwards, employees should critique the drill.