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Fire Drill

Do you remember being a kid in elementary school and practicing the fire drill?

I remember vividly the unannounced (and sometimes planned) fire alarm going off. We would scamper to the coat rack, grab out coats (always happened in rain, cold, or both) and file outside in a single file. We would then wait freezing until we were cleared to go back inside. In all my time there, we never had an actual fire.

Today, I know schools still practice emergency preparedness drills and they are even more global – earthquake, bomb threats, etc. Kids are prepared for anything that can happen at school.

What about your business or the one you work for? How many “fire drills” do you have every year? In my experience, they seldom happen unless they are required by law. Here are a few questions you should ask. In the event of an emergency, can you:

  • Operate a fire extinguisher
  • Vacate your premises
  • Perform CPR or First Aid
  • Operate a defibrillator
  • Save someone who is choking (I’ve had to do this personally – very thankful for my years of training)

What if the event is overnight?

  • How do you contact your employees?
  • Where do they go to work?
  • How do you contact your supply chain?
  • How do you contact your insurance?
  • Will you have any phones?
  • Is your information backed up and are you able to get it easily?

Too many business owners and executives never practice for these situations. When I coached high school basketball, we always had to allocate time to what I called, “situations.” Those unique situations in games that might or might not pop up, but you had to be prepared for just in case. Just like a fire drill. Just like an earthquake drill.

How well prepared is your business?

P.S. While you’re at it, check out your home for the same issues. Don’t forget about protecting your house, too.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

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