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The only good Earthquake is the brownie kind served at Dairy Queen. The only preparation it takes to handle one of those is a spoon and an appetite. Real earthquakes, however, like the 5.8 magnitude one that shook Virginia on Tuesday, require advance planning.

Every property owner and manager should identify potential hazards ahead of time and ensure that there’s an emergency preparedness plan in place. In accordance with Local Law 26, building teams are required to prepare Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) detailing procedures for staff and tenants in various emergency situations.

Before you get rattled, you need to know your building’s potential points of risk, what to provide emergency responders in advance, and how to communicate with tenants. Here is a checklist of general items to include in your emergency pre-plan:

  • Does the plan consider all natural or man-made disasters that could disrupt your workplace? Does it consider internal sources?
  •  Does the plan consider the impact of these external and internal emergencies on the workplace’s operations and is the response tailored to the workplace?
  •  Does the plan contain a list of key personnel, as well as contact information for local emergency responders, agencies, and contractors?
  •  Does the plan contain a list of names, titles, departments, and telephone numbers for individuals to contact or an explanation of duties and responsibilities under the plan?
  •  Does the plan address how rescue operations will be performed?
  •  Does the plan address how medical assistance will be provided?
  •  Does the plan identify how and where personal information on employees can be obtained in an emergency?

For better or worse, you cannot control the seismic activity of earth’s crust. But you can control how prepared your team is to deal with it and the level of its impact on your operations. In any emergency, preparation and communication are key. During Tuesday’s earthquake, Building Engines clients were using our system to file incident reports, sort through COIs, and notify tenants through BEI.

View this one-minute video on how Building Engines customers rely on Building Engines to manage tenant communications while on the go.

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