Emergency action plans can save lives


Several years back, I described the experience of my friend Willie who was tasked with clearing his floor in a building adjacent to the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.

His account is an excellent example of how creating and implementing a well-designed emergency action plan can be instrumental in saving lives.  Without a plan and proper training, it is likely that chaos will erupt as people tend to panic.

Below are some simple basic elements of a working emergency plan.


  1. A procedure should be in place for reporting a fire or other emergency.

  2. Procedures for emergency evacuation, including established exits routes.

Willie’s office had a stairwell at the corner of the building that led directly to the street.

  1. Procedures for key employees who remain to address unexpected complications and assure everyone’s safe exit from the location.

Willie systematically reviewed each office, bathroom, closet, and cubicle in order to assure everyone had exited and no one was left behind.

  1. Procedures to account for all employees.

All the employees were to meet across the street at a specific location. This way, the company was able confirm employees’ safety and not in need of further rescue services.

  1. Procedures for key employees who are to perform any rescue or medical duties.

In this case, Willie watched a coworker faint and carried her out the building to safety. No CPR was needed.

  1. The name of employees who can be contacted to answer any questions about the plan or the duties of a key employee.

In this case, Willie was fully trained by a safety supervisor. He knew his responsibilities.  Therefore, he was in a position to act and calmly lead everyone on his floor to safety.

No one ever expected the events of September 11th to happen. Being prepared allowed for a successful evacuation where my friend Willie worked. Does your company have thorough emergency action plan?  If not, why not give us a call? We can assist you in preparing one and can even assure it is in any language your employees speak. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 thought on “Emergency action plans can save lives”

  1. Pingback: Emergency action plans can save lives – A...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *