In the midst of an active hurricane season and less than a year after the deadly tsunamis in Asia, a majority of EHS professionals feel that their facilities' emergency planning is not ready to handle a natural disaster, according to an online poll conducted by Enviro.BLR.com.
OLD SAYBROOK, Connecticut In the midst of an active hurricane season and less than a year after the deadly tsunamis in Asia, a majority of EHS professionals feel that their facilities' emergency planning is not ready to handle a natural disaster, according to an online poll conducted by Enviro.BLR.com.
Fifty-six percent of respondents said "no" when posed the question "Do you think your facility is prepared for a natural disaster?" The poll was conducted July 14 to July 20 and had 151 participants.
"It is somewhat alarming to learn that there are so many facilities that don't have viable emergency response plans," said Steve Quilliam, managing editor of Enviro.BLR.com, a website from Business & Legal Reports, Inc. (BLR). "Considering that such planning is required under multiple environmental and occupational safety and health regulations, and that there have been so news stories highlighting the need lately, these results are disappointing."
Enviro.BLR.com's team of environmental compliance editors recommends that, at a minimum, facilities take the following steps:
-- Identify vital records and create a backup for storage in a safe place.
-- Train employees on what to do in the event of a disaster.
-- Compile and make employees aware of a list of emergency telephone numbers.
-- Inventory and repair all disaster response equipment.
-- Identify emergency power requirements, and purchase a generator, if necessary.
-- Determine computer requirements for employees who must maintain operations during a disaster.
-- Verify that communications equipment is operational.
-- Collect, label, and store emergency supplies.
-- Ensure that your facility is in compliance with any legal or regulatory requirements (e.g., Resource Conservation and Recovery Act or OSHA regulations).
Copies of all EPA and OSHA emergency response regulation are available at Enviro.BLR.com. To help in the development of a disaster response plan, BLR is providing a free copy of its feature article "Emergencies: Readiness Makes a Difference" at the following link: http://www.blr.com/80502500/PRS37.
About BLR: Old Saybrook, Conn.-based BLR produces plain-English compliance and training resources for environmental, safety, HR, and compensation managers. For more information, visit www.BLR.com.
Source: Business Wire, BLR