Earthquakes strike without warning. Caused by a shifting of rock underneath the earth's surface, earthquakes are prone to occur in many areas around the world. To ensure that your business can stand up to the effects of an earthquake, prepare for one before it occurs. Use the earthquake safety checklist from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore to help protect your business and your employees from harm.
Make an earthquake safety checklist
To ensure your company is completely prepared, create an extremely detailed checklist for reference. Your earthquake safety checklist should include the following information:
- What items you'll need in a preparedness kit
- Information on what your employees should do before an earthquake, including training materials
- Information on what your employees should do during an earthquake
- Information on what your employees should do after an earthquake, including where everyone should safely meet up
- Who is responsible for contacting important professionals, including property management, the business's insurance agent and restoration companies
Creating your disaster plan
Disaster plans should be created before an earthquake can threaten your building. That way, if your staff notices any signs of an earthquake, they will know exactly what to do to stay safe. Include your earthquake-specific disaster plan to your overall business continuity plan to ensure everyone is informed of best practices for a variety of disasters.
Your earthquake disaster plan should include the following information, at minimum:
- Contact information for all employees, including emergency contacts
- Safe spaces for employee evacuation, plus multiple routes they can take to get there
- Ways to protect the company's data, including backing up files to cloud-based platforms and reliable hard drives
- Where to store your office's emergency preparedness kit
Preparing employees for an earthquake
After you've created a business disaster plan, hand out copies to your employees and begin regular training exercises. That way, if any step within the plan needs to be improved upon, you can make changes before a real disaster strikes. Having regular training sessions also helps employees feel prepared and confident that they can handle the effects of an earthquake if one strikes while they're at work.
Use these tips to help your employees learn what to do after an earthquake occurs:
Drop, cover and hold on. As soon as your employees feel an earthquake, they need to seek shelter. Train them to drop to the floor, cover their heads and hold on tight. Move as little as possible until the shaking stops.
Consider evacuation. Immediately following an earthquake, a building's structural integrity may be compromised. If people are uninjured, they should get out of the building as quickly and safely as possible.
Make sure everyone is accounted for. After evacuating, meet in a designated space and make sure everyone is present. If not, make a list of people who may still be in the building. If people are injured, administer first aid and call emergency services.
Assess damage to the building. A building that is badly damaged, even if it’s just one area, is unsafe to enter. Have a professional inspect your building to ensure it's safe. If not, you may need to make plans for temporarily working out of a remote space.
Prepare for aftershocks. Gather emergency supplies like food, water and flashlights. You may need to wait a few hours or more until the aftershocks have stopped and officials say it's safe to leave your office.
Earthquakes can cause a lot of destruction in seconds. However, being prepared for the worst can help you mitigate a lot of the risks to your company's and your staff's safety. In the unfortunate event that an earthquake does strike, call on ServiceMaster Restore to help. Our commercial earthquake damage services are designed to move you from crisis to resolution fast, so you can get back to business. Available 24/7 every day of the year, you can count on ServiceMaster Restore to put the pieces back together after your world has been shaken.