What are the Most Common Disaster Procedures?

Tess C. Taylor

The most common disaster procedures are often referred to as disaster preparedness or an emergency plan because they are designed to prepare and protect individuals and organizations in the event of a natural disaster or catastrophic occurrence. Most businesses should already have a disaster procedure in place or be in the process of creating one to protect employees and assets. Some of the more commonly heard of disaster plans include hurricane plans, fire emergency plans and crisis management plans.

An emergency kit should contain non-perishable snacks, like chips.
An emergency kit should contain non-perishable snacks, like chips.

A disaster plan can be as simple as assigning a designated area outside of the main building or home where all members of that building can meet safely in case of a fire or other alarm. Many companies have overhead alert systems that can be used for disaster drills or to let employees know that it’s critically important to leave the premises when an incident occurs. In addition, anyone on site that notices a violent event or a safety hazard can be educated on the proper ways to alert someone in a position of authority when needed.

Many families develop disaster plans, especially in areas prone to hurricanes or other natural disasters.
Many families develop disaster plans, especially in areas prone to hurricanes or other natural disasters.

When an organization starts forming disaster procedures to protect employees and property, this process is accomplished in stages. Starting with a careful inventory of all tangible goods and ending with a plan to maintain business before, during and after an event is the general format of the disaster plan itself. This type of disaster plan is often referenced as a business continuity and disaster recovery policy, which is managed by a team of leaders within the organization.

People need to seek shelter during severe thunderstorms.
People need to seek shelter during severe thunderstorms.

Individuals may also choose to create emergency or disaster plans in order to protect family members or close neighbors. Disaster procedures can be kept simple and emergency drills can be carried out periodically to ensure all family members understand what to do when an emergency occurs. Individuals can also put together an emergency kit containing essentials for daily survival and health in the case of a disaster.

Clean drinking water is a common need in disaster areas.
Clean drinking water is a common need in disaster areas.

Disaster procedures can be created in a relatively short period of time depending on the type of plan needed. For example, a hurricane plan can be put together in a matter of hours for a residence or small business that has been alerted that a disaster is eminent. The disaster procedure can include removing all vital belongings and transporting them to a safer area.

Emergency kits often include water and food in case the two are not accessible after a disaster hits.
Emergency kits often include water and food in case the two are not accessible after a disaster hits.

In the case of an emergency, important information in digital or hard copy format can be backed up or duplicated and stored in a safer area. The ability to access information and quickly recover internal systems is something that far too many organizations consider when it is too late. Disasters can wipe out power and destroy companies that do not think ahead when formulating disaster procedures

Emergency kits should contain a flashlight.
Emergency kits should contain a flashlight.
Batteries may be useful in an emergency kit.
Batteries may be useful in an emergency kit.
Photocopies of personal documents, like social security cards and passports, should be kept in an emergency kit.
Photocopies of personal documents, like social security cards and passports, should be kept in an emergency kit.
A supply of prescription medicines should be on hand in the event of a disaster.
A supply of prescription medicines should be on hand in the event of a disaster.
Personal hygiene items, like soap, should be included in an emergency kit.
Personal hygiene items, like soap, should be included in an emergency kit.

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