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What are the top five ways to train personnel in disaster response?

What are the five best ways to ensure personnel are trained in disaster response and ready to respond to a disaster event?

Training personnel on how to respond following a disaster event is a critical part of disaster recovery planning. It is essential that emergency response teams know their roles inside and out. Other employees can benefit from DR training as well. Below are the top ways to ensure that personnel are adequately trained for disaster preparedness and disaster response.

  1. Develop and schedule training activities for emergency response team members.
  2. Schedule and conduct periodic exercises to ensure that team members know their roles and responsibilities.
  3. Schedule and conduct evacuation drills for all employees.
  4. Invite representatives from first responder organizations to review and critique exercises as well as critique team members following an exercise.
  5. Work with human resources to have emergency response team activities built into team members' annual employee performance plans (e.g., attending training sessions and participating in exercises).

The more training and exercising your emergency teams receive, the more likely they will perform their duties precisely as they were trained. Less training and fewer briefings on duties in an emergency mean that you are placing the safety and security of your employees and the company in the hands of people who may mean well but are unprepared.

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Practice, practice, practice, practice, and practice.


Also, remember to keep the information updated. Are there new technologies that can make disaster recovery better? Are the emergency names and phone numbers still current? It also can't hurt to read up on case studies of what other companies have done well -- or done badly. Do you want your backup generator in the basement, where it could flood? Or do you want it on the top floor -- meaning you have to get diesel up there somehow?