The first priority of any emergency plan for a workplace is saving lives: getting people to safety as quickly as possible. Fire drills have taught us that when the fire alarm sounds, everyone should quickly walk to the nearest exit to evacuate the building.

Evacuation, however, is not the only protective action for which you need to plan. What would you do if there were an approaching tornado or a chemical plume drifting toward your building? Or civil unrest in the streets? “Shelter-in-place” plans also should be an important part of your emergency procedures.

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