Published 10 Jul 2023
What is an Emergency Response Plan Template?
An Emergency Response Plan (ERP) template is a tool used by any organization to outline the steps of its ERP in the event of an emergency, such as a natural disaster or fire. It can help ensure that the organization is prepared for any unprecedented situation and reduce the risk of injury, illness, or loss of life.
In this article
- What is Included in an Emergency Response Plan Template?
- How to Create One
- FAQs About Emergency Response Plan Templates
- Effectively Respond to Emergency Situations with SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor)
- Featured ERP Templates
Organizations have a legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of their workers. One important aspect of an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) program is an emergency response plan. The set of measures stated therein aims to provide guidance during a crisis and outlines the roles and responsibilities of each individual in the organization and the resources available to them.
On the other hand, the process of creating the plan helps:
- identify workplace hazards and risks that may impact the severity of emergency situations;
- proactively address them to avoid grave damage to an organization’s assets and threats to worker safety; and
- ensure that the organization can recover quickly.
Since creating an ERP may be time-consuming, having an emergency response plan template in place provides a framework and guidance for how to create specific plans for responding to and handling an emergency. Also, a template helps reduce the amount of time it takes to think of and decide what to include in an ERP.
In terms of legalities, organizations that use ERP templates can ensure that they’re considering applicable laws and regulations and necessary safety protocols and procedures in their ERPs. This can help protect the organization from any potential legal issues that may arise.
Emergency response plan templates can vary depending on the type of emergency and the organization’s needs. This is because ERP templates must be tailored to the specific needs of the organization. Additionally, the template should be regularly updated to ensure that it’s up-to-date with the latest safety protocols and procedures.
For example, a corporate business may need an ERP template that outlines the steps to take in the event of a fire, while a school may need one that outlines guidelines on how to respond to a natural disaster. Other examples of an emergency response plan template are the following:
- Cyber Security
- Human-Caused Events (e.g., hazardous material spills, confined space entrapment)
What is Included in an Emergency Response Plan Template?
An emergency response plan template should include the following:
- A title page that includes the facility name and address, the name of who created the ERP, and the date of its creation
- List and location of emergency facilities and equipment (e.g., first aid kits, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and emergency supplies)
- Rescue and evacuation procedures
- List of the planning team
- Completion and sign-off page
How to Create One
Since every organization may need to respond to emergencies in various ways, it’s important to perform the following general steps and tips when creating an ERP template:
- Conduct hazard and risk assessments to identify potential emergencies. This will help you know the kind of danger your employees may face in the workplace and allow you to create a more targeted emergency response plan template.
- Align your template with the most necessary details to include in your ERP. This way, the individual or team responsible for creating the emergency response plan won’t miss any important detail during the process.
- Review your drafted template and remove any redundant information or questions.
- Have the template approved and signed off by your emergency response team, health and safety officers, and other relevant stakeholders before finalizing.
- Store your standardized ERP template in a secure location that you can easily access, edit, and deploy to concerned personnel.
- Set a recurring reminder to regularly update your emergency response plan template in accordance with any changes in your ERP and organizational safety measures.
FAQs About Emergency Response Plan Templates
An ERP refers to a set of measures in place set by facilities and organizations with first-responding capabilities. An Emergency Action Plan (EAP), on the other hand, can be used by facilities and organizations where only defensive measures are applicable. Such emergency actions include evacuation plans and communicating with responders from external emergency services providers. To help streamline the process of creating an effective EAP, using an emergency action plan template is also a must.
If certain workplace safety laws and regulations don’t state specific guidelines on creating ERPs, the general duty clause of respective legal requirements per state, country, or region must apply. This is where employers are obligated to take reasonable steps to uphold workplace safety at all times.
For quick reference, the following are the regulatory bodies and OHS agencies responsible for enforcing emergency planning and response laws in various states and countries:
Creating an emergency response plan template can be a daunting task, and there are certain risks associated with it. One of the biggest risks is that the template may not be comprehensive enough to cover all potential emergency scenarios. Additionally, if the plan isn’t regularly updated, it may not reflect or align with the latest safety regulations and best practices.
Another risk associated with an emergency response plan template is that it may not be tailored to the specific needs of the organization. If this is the case, it may not be effective in responding to an emergency. Finally, if best practices in creating and using emergency response plan templates aren’t properly communicated to all employees, this can put the organization’s ERP at risk of being ineffective.
Effectively Respond to Emergency Situations with SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor)
Why use SafetyCulture?
Using SafetyCulture, a workplace operations platform, organizations can optimize their process of creating ERPs that suit their needs well. With the platform’s powerful features and functionalities, emergency response teams, health and safety officers, and workers can do the following and more:
- Conduct risk assessments and hazard identification using forms, checklists, and templates.
- Use SafetyCulture’s Scheduling feature to set regular risk assessments and safety inspections to aid your efforts in keeping ERPs updated and compliant with laws and regulations.
- Identify safety issues that can impact the severity of potential emergency situations to proactively address them in a timely manner. Create and assign corrective actions for prompt resolution.
- Leverage safety and emergency response insights and data using the Analytics dashboard to see how your organization plans and responds to emergency situations over time. Use your findings to consider opportunities for continuous improvement.
- Generate safety and emergency response reports in various formats, including PDF, Excel, and Word, that you can securely store in the cloud.
- Create and deploy relevant training courses for your workers for emergency preparedness and other related topics using EdApp by SafetyCulture.
- Disseminate updates, best practices, and other workplace safety-related communications across the organization using Heads Up.
- Replenish emergency supplies such as first aid kits from the SafetyCulture Marketplace to ensure you don’t run out of them.
Featured ERP Templates
Download this template to ensure your organization’s ERPs are up-to-date and effective when responding to incidents or accidents. Account for roles, evacuation and post-evacuation procedures, fire equipment and training requirements, other emergency response plan issues, and current safety qualifications.
This free template can be used in evaluating a confined space’s risk level when workers are in it and verifying the ERP in place. Some of the aspects that this template aims to check include the nature of the space, inherent and potential atmospheric hazards (during normal operations), specific controls, and emergency response requirements.
By using this checklist, companies can ensure that all the identified hazards have been assessed for probability and severity and that all the identified hazards have been assessed with regard to prevention and emergency management. Additionally, this checklist provides control measures to prevent incidents or accidents from occurring.
Use this checklist to cover various aspects of evaluating an organization’s emergency response and evacuation plans. These include the level of command followed, the appropriateness of the emergency plan, employee orientation to the plan, employee feedback, the effectiveness of the alarm, and the promptness of the evacuation.