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Modern Workspace

Equipment & Facilties

Conduct a Walk Through

The force of some disasters can damage or destroy important equipment. Conduct a room-by-room walk-through to determine what needs to be secured.

  • Attach equipment and cabinets to walls or other stable equipment.

  • Place heavy or breakable objects on low shelves.

  • Move workstations away from large windows, if possible.

  • Elevate equipment off the floor to avoid electrical hazards in the event of flooding.

  • Know your Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system well. Develop and practice shut-down procedures for the HVAC system.

  • Secure outdoor air intakes. HVAC systems can be an entry point and means of distributing biological, chemical and radiological threats. Be sure any security measures do not adversely impact air quality or fire safety.

Businesses depend on electricity, gas, telecommunications, sewer and, other utilities. Plan ahead for extended service disruptions during and after a disaster:

  • Carefully examine which utilities are vital to your business's day-to-day operation. Speak with service providers about potential alternatives and identify back-up options.

  • Learn how and when to turn off utilities. If you turn the gas off, a professional must turn it back on. Do not attempt to turn the gas back on yourself.

  • Consider purchasing portable generators to power the vital aspects of your business in an emergency. Never use a generator inside as it may produce deadly carbon monoxide gas.

  • Use cell phones, walkie-talkies, or other devices that do not rely on electricity as a back-up to your telecommunications system.

  • Plan a secondary means of accessing the Internet if it is vital to your company's day-to-day operations.

  • If food storage or refrigeration is an issue for your business, identify a vendor that sells ice and dry ice in case you can't use refrigeration equipment.

Preparing for Utility Disruption
  • Create building and site maps with clearly marked critical utility and emergency routes. Keep copies of these documents with your emergency plan and other important documents in your kit.

  • Plan for mail safety with a United States Postal Service guide to teach employees to be able to quickly identify suspect packages and letters.

  • Install fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in appropriate places.

  • Consider if you could benefit from automatic fire sprinklers, alarm systems, closed circuit TV, access control, security guards or other security systems.

  • Post emergency numbers for easy reference.

  • Consider all the ways in which people, products, supplies and other things get into and leave your building or facility.

  • Plan how to replace or repair vital equipment if it is damaged or destroyed.

  • Develop relationships with other companies to use their facilities if a disaster makes your location unusable.

Office Building
Planning with Your Facilities in Mind 
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