K12 Articles

By Rob Krolikiewicz "K12"
Workplace Preparedness

Due to the unpredictability of an emergency, the workplace is another area to consider for emergency preparedness. On September 11, 2001, thousands of people went to work expecting to have just another day at the office. Workplace emergencies do happen, and if an emergency situation arises during the hours that you are at the office, you must be equally prepared.

- K12

Ideally, you need to get home, however the opportunity might not allow that to happen and you may find yourself stuck at the office. Many companies have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP). Become familiar with the EAP and the location of any office survival and emergency medical equipment. Practice evacuating the building as described via the EAP, and any alternate routes incase the primary route is obstructed. Observe the grounds outside for any other water sources (ponds, creeks, reservoirs) incase there is a need to resupply your water. You will need a means to purify that water.

If your place of work does not currently have an Emergency Action Plan, then you need to create one as well as preparing your own workplace emergency kit. This kit can be kept in a small backpack or duffle bag and stored in your workspace. This kit will provide you with your survival essentials if you have to stay in place, and can be easily carried if you are required to evacuate.

At a minimum, your bag should contain the following essentials:

  • First Aid/sanitation kit (small), with hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes. This kit will provide you the minimal first aid essentials with the ability to sanitize your hands and small wounds. Add any prescription medications that you may need.
  • Shelter – Include an emergency blanket or emergency bivvy bag incase you are unable to leave your building. Also include an emergency poncho to wear if needed when evacuating.
  • Water- A 1 liter bottle of water and a means to purify water. Emergency water Purification tablets (iodine or chlorine dioxide), or a small purification filter. Application for the different types of purification tablets vary. Ensure you read the manufacturers directions to safely and effectively use the product. Emergency water packets are also small and light weight and will supplement your water supply.
  • Food – Protein bars, trail mix, energy drink powder and snacks to provide you the calories and energy you will need.
  • Fire – Lighter, storm matches, and ferrocerium spark rod. You should always have at least three methods of starting a fire in any kit that you build.
  • Signal – Whistle, mirror, glow stick. Always have a signal device for both audio and visual recognition.
  • Tools – Multi-tool, flashlight and spare batteries, 20 feet of 550 parachute cord, cell phone, cell phone charger / spare battery, comfortable shoes to change into. Cash in small bills. Expect electricity to be down and ATMs to be out of service.
  • Safety/Security -Air filter mask, rubber gloves, eye protection, pepper spray
  • Entertainment – Playing cards, a book, and pictures of your family will help pass the time and also give you the motivation to get home safely.
  • The climate and your environment will also influence the choice of items you include in your kit. Your kit needs to cover the survival priorities and include any items that fit your specific needs.