Emergency preparedness tips in wake of Philadelphia building collapse
In response to the recent building collapse in Philadelphia, Med Sled® has issued a statement encouraging individuals and businesses to follow a set of several emergency preparedness guidelines. Safety expert, Clifford Adkins, CEO of Med Sled®, offers the following crisis management tips to ensure buildings across the country are better prepared for emergency events:
1. Plan for the worst-case scenario. Over the past few years, the U.S. has experienced a record number of destructive natural disasters and, sadly, an increase in manmade disasters such as bomb incidents, creating new worst-case scenarios that must be considered in evacuation planning. When developing evacuation plans and drills, emergency planning professionals should plan for the worst.
2. Don’t rely on the norms. When it comes to preparing for disasters, individuals and organizations cannot simply rely on what generally happens in their geographic location; they must be prepared for a variety of disasters, both natural and manmade. For example, almost one-fourth of all significant tornadoes occur in Tornado Alley, yet the vast majority of high fatality tornadoes in recent years have occurred in areas such as the southeastern United States where tornadoes are an especially rare occurrence. Stay informed of the types of emergencies likely to affect specific regions to ensure readiness for the unexpected.
3. Ensure facilities have the equipment to support crisis plans. In large-scale evacuation scenarios, having the right evacuation equipment is critical. Be sure to choose a manufacturer that will partner with an individual or organization to assess actual needs, provide accessible and intuitive equipment and properly prepare them for the worst-case scenario. Avoid carry and wheeled devices; these can be dangerous for individuals in case they have to evacuate through debris-filled hallways. The best evacuation equipment needs to be non-lift, slide devices that can handle both vertical and horizontal evacuation needs.
4. Be realistic in training and drills. Protocols and equipment are critical to emergency preparedness, but protocols are only as good as the training and drills that are conducted. When running a drill, do not assume assistance from first responders; create a chaotic environment – pipe in noise, turn off the lights, shut down the elevators – and include individuals with disabilities. Create the environment that will truly prepare an organization for a real world evacuation.
“Emergency evacuations are a part of society, and it is extremely important that safety officials and the greater community take the necessary precautions to help mitigate the risks of an event like the Philadelphia building collapse,” said Clifford Adkins, CEO of Med Sled®. “By making these tips available, we hope to better prepare communities for real world emergency situations.”
About ARC Products, LLC and Med Sled®
ARC Products, LLC, based in St. Louis, Missouri, is a leading manufacturer of cost-effective evacuation solutions, including the Med Sled®. Since 2004, ARC has been developing products to support disaster preparedness and emergency evacuation to ensure that non-ambulatory individuals are transported safely in emergency situations. There are more than 45,000 Med Sled® evacuation devices currently in use in more than 2,500 facilities nationwide, including hospitals, nursing homes, fire and EMS, schools and universities, government facilities and the US military. The Med Sled® holds a U.S. patent for its design and is approved by the GSA. For more information visit www.medsled.com