Creating an Emergency Action Plan

Shaun Kelly, Tolman & Wiker

Contributions by Cassie Mosman, Jessica Wilkison and Xochitl Tejeda de Rodarte

You never really know if you are ever going to use an Emergency Action Plan.  With the recent Thomas fire, we had to put our plan into action! We woke up to find our office in downtown Ventura engulfed by the smoke.  Luckily, it was only smoke. We immediately had to communicate to over 100 employees that the office would be closed, due to health concerns. We also had to keep our communication lines open for  clients who may have had their homes and businesses affected by the fire. We had no idea how many of our employees and clients were personally affected by the fire at that time. We were very fortunate to have our other offices (Bakersfield, Santa Maria and West Lake Village), open and available to take  calls and provide the needed support to our clients .

Since the Ventura office is now back open  and we have had time to reflect on the events that took place as a result of the fire, I want  to share our Emergency Action Plan with you. What really came to light was establishing the ability to communicate with all of our employees (Team members) at the same time and sending the same clear and concise message to all, which was extremely important. This allowed us to provide our team a status of the office conditions, inform them that the clients were being taken care of by our other offices and enabled our team members to update us on their own personal status.

Some of you may already have a plan like this in place. If not, this may help you get started. The plan may also be a good discussion item with your clients. I hope this is helpful.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Emergency Action Plan