Prep for All Hazards

The basis for Emergency Planning is having an All-Hazards plan. Preparing for "all-hazards" requires knowing your risks and developing emergency plans to use during and after the situation. The plan will layout procedures for communication, preparedness, response and recovery. Your All-Hazards Emergency Plan can be as detailed or as simple as you choose to make it. The most important thing is that it is user friendly for your staff and volunteers.

Along with your All-Hazards Plan you will need to have Emergency Specific Preparedness Plans which are subsets of the larger plan and are used for occasions such as fires, hurricanes, medical emergencies or hostile events.

You will start developing your plan after performing a risk assessment of your facility and organization, giving you starting point as to what risks you are most vulnerable to. You do not want a plan that will be limited in scope as to what emergencies/disasters can affect you - in many instances, it is no longer a “what if it can happen scenario, but when it will happen.”

Natural hazards are naturally occurring physical phenomena caused either by rapid or slow onset events which can be geophysical, hydrological, climatological, meteorological, or biological.

Technological or man-made hazards are events that are caused by humans and occur in or close to human settlements. This can include environmental degradation, pollution and accidents.

There are a range of challenges, such as climate change, unplanned-urbanization, under-development/poverty as well as the threat of pandemics, that will shape humanitarian assistance in the future. These aggravating factors will result in increased frequency, complexity and severity of disasters.

TAKE ACTION: Download and/or print this PDF to help you build a planning and recovery team, before the next disaster.

Natural hazards are naturally occurring physical phenomena caused either by rapid or slow onset events which can be geophysical, hydrological, climatological, meteorological, or biological.

Technological or man-made hazards are events that are caused by humans and occur in or close to human settlements. This can include environmental degradation, pollution and accidents.

There are a range of challenges, such as climate change, unplanned-urbanization, under-development/poverty as well as the threat of pandemics, that will shape humanitarian assistance in the future. These aggravating factors will result in increased frequency, complexity and severity of disasters.

Your plan should address all types of Hazards here is a list of what could possibly effect your organization. Depending on where you are located geographically some of these might be more prevalent:

Fire - Wildfire - Hurricane - Tornado - Flash Floods - Flooding - Earthquake - Severe Weather - Active Shooter/Hostile Event - Bomb Threat - Chemical - Biological - Nuclear - Medical Illness or Injury - Epidemic - Utility Disruption - Transportation Accident

CERF+ offers comprehensive information about the many types of emergencies which can affect artists. Visit this link to learn more.

  • Polyethylene sheeting in rolls
  • Cutters, preferably "Zippy" brand, scissors
  • Mops and buckets or wet/dry vacuum, brooms, squeegees
  • Fans and waterproof, grounded extension cords
  • Water resistant boxes and trays (folding plastic interlocking are best)
  • Filament tape and cutters or dispensers for sealing boxes
  • Plain white or industrial brown paper towels or unprinted newsprint
  • Wax or freezer paper, preferably in precut sheets
  • Pads of ruled paper and pens
  • Waterproof markers for boxes
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Hand trucks and/or book trucks
  • Hygrothermograph and/or psychrometer
  • Rope or clothesline
  • Hard hats
  • Disposable gloves
  • Plastic bags
  • Portable generator
  • Emergency lights
  • At least six 50-gallon plastic garbage cans
  • First aid kit
  • Digital Camera
  • Moisture meter
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Disinfectant
  • Pallets and pallet mover(s)
  • Hand tools
  • Portable pump
  • Canvas "stretcher" for documents
  • 2-way radios
  • Transistor radio and batteries
  • Portable toilets
  • Rubber boots
  • Folding tables and chairs
  • Sturdy fishing line for hanging books up to dry
  • Water hoses for cleaning library

TAKE ACTION: Download and/or print this PDF, an interactive list of recommended emergency supplies.

A communications annex provides information on establishing, using, maintaining, augmenting, and providing backup for all of the types of communications devices needed during emergency response operations. These lines of communication will be used to keep staff, volunteers, patrons, and donors apprised of the situation after an emergency/disaster has occurred. A Communications plan should also designate who is the spokesperson for the organization across all lines of media.

This communication plan should also include the list of members of your Disaster Recovery Team, First Responders, Local and Regional Emergency Managers, and Recovery Vendors.

Internal and External means of communication:

  • Phones: Landline, Cell, Satellite, Text
  • Radios: Ham, CB, Two-way
  • Email, Internet, Social Networking
  • Broadband Technology
  • Television and Radio Broadcasts
  • Newspapers and Fliers
  • Runner Messenger Service

The type of building may be a factor in your decision. Most buildings are vulnerable to the effects of disasters such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, or explosions. The extent of the damage depends on the type of emergency and the building's construction. Modern factories and office buildings, for example, are framed in steel and are structurally more sound than older structures. In a disaster such as a major earthquake or explosion, however, nearly every type of structure will be affected. Some buildings will collapse and others will be left with weakened floors and walls.

Create maps from floor diagrams with arrows that designate the exit route assignments. These maps should include locations of exits, assembly points, and equipment (such as fire extinguishers, first aid kits, spill kits) that may be needed in an emergency. When preparing drawings that show evacuation routes and exits, post them prominently for all staff and patrons to see. Exit routes should be: Clearly marked and well lit. - Wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel. - Unobstructed and clear of debris at all times. - Unlikely to expose evacuating personnel to additional hazards.

To ensure the fastest, most accurate accountability of your employees, you may want to consider including these steps in your emergency action plan:

  • Designate assembly areas, where staff and patrons should gather after evacuating. Assembly locations within the building are often referred to as "areas of refuge."
  • Make sure your assembly area has sufficient space to accommodate a large number of staff and patrons. Exterior assembly areas, used when the building must be partially or completely evacuated, are typically located in parking lots or other open areas away from busy streets.
  • Try and designate assembly areas so that you will be up-wind of your building from the most common or prevailing wind direction.
  • Take a head count after the evacuation. Identify the names and last known locations of anyone not accounted for and pass them to the official in charge. Accounting for all employees following an evacuation is critical. Confusion in the assembly areas can lead to delays in rescuing anyone trapped in the building, or unnecessary and dangerous search-and-rescue operations.
  • When designating an assembly area, consider (and try to minimize) the possibility of employees interfering with rescue operations.
  • Establish a method for accounting for patrons.

When including a shelter-in-place option in your emergency plan, be sure to keep the following in mind:

  • Implement a means of alerting staff and patrons to shelter-in-place that is easily distinguishable from that used to signal an evacuation.
  • Train employees in the shelter in place procedures and their roles in implementing them.

Specific procedures for shelter-in-place at a worksite may include the following:

  • If there are patrons and visitors in the building, provide for their safety by asking them to stay - not leave. When authorities provide directions to shelter-in-place, they want everyone to take those steps immediately. Do not drive or walk outdoors.
  • Quickly lock exterior doors and close windows, air vents, and fireplace dampers.
  • Have employees familiar with your building's mechanical systems turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems. Some systems automatically provide for exchange of inside air with outside air. These systems, in particular, need to be turned off, sealed, or disabled. Close or tape-off all vents in the room used for shelter-in-place.
  • Gather essential disaster supplies, such as nonperishable food, bottled water, battery-powered radios, first-aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, duct tape, plastic sheeting, and plastic garbage bags.
  • Select interior room(s) above the ground floor, with the fewest windows or vents. The room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to be able to sit. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms if necessary. Large storage closets, utility rooms, pantries, copy and conference rooms without exterior windows will work well. Avoid selecting a room with mechanical equipment like ventilation blowers or pipes, because this equipment may not be able to be sealed from the outdoors.

It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room(s) you select. Call emergency contacts and have the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening condition. Cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency.

Write down the names of everyone in the room, and call your business' designated emergency contact to report who is in the room with you, and their affiliation with your business (employee, visitor, client, customer).

Listen to the radio, watch television, or use the Internet for further instructions until you are told all is safe or to evacuate. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.