“In a disaster, planning for people’s safety is first,” says Steve Cain, homeland security project director for the Purdue Extension Disaster Education Network. “Unless you have planned for disaster, you may take steps during one that actually put people at risk.”

Disaster planning: Safeguard people firstCain recommends having two strategies: a plan for how to safeguard lives and equipment from a disaster and another for how best to respond to one. Some components of a good disaster plan and response strategy include:

• Designate a leader.
• Make sure employees know their roles during an emergency.
• Update employee contact information.
• Have an exit strategy and account for everyone when evacuating a site.