Unless you’re at the high or low end of the luck spectrum, you probably spend 40 hours a week at your job. If disaster strikes, there’s a good chance you’ll be at the office. It’s important to create plans and run drills at work so you’re prepared for an emergency no matter where you are.
If your company is large enough to have dedicated emergency staff, check with them to learn more about the types of drills that are already in place. If you’re not sure who is in charge of emergencies, it’s probably HR. Your HR rep can give you the company’s policies on emergencies and drills, and may even welcome your help if you have suggestions, would like to develop a more comprehensive plan, or would like to have more frequent drills.
If you can’t find anyone who claims to be in charge of emergencies, consider yourself in charge.
To run drills at work, you need to develop a plan. Set evacuation routes, discuss the details with your co-workers, and find out if you need permission from anyone (like your building’s super) to run drills. Get everyone on the same page and practice leaving the building in a calm, orderly manner. Like your drills at home,
If you’re not in charge of emergency preparedness at work, you should still have a personal emergency plan. At the very least, know where to find the emergency exits, fire extinguishers, fire axes, eyewash stations, or anything else your office has made available to use in an emergency. Always have a few evacuation routes in mind and maintain a list of emergency contacts. If you don’t want to be judged for running around the office practicing drills alone, practice them in your head. As long as you know what to do when an emergency strikes, hands-on practice or not, you’ll be in a much better position to survive.
Whenever you’re away from your home, keep your “get home plan” in mind. You probably think about that plan every day around 5:00 anyway, but spend some time thinking about it in an emergency context. Once a month, try a different route when you leave work, so you’ll know how to get home if roads are blocked during an emergency.