Emergency Preparedness in a Warehouse    

Every warehouse should have a workplace emergency action plan in place. Even if your warehouse is not located in a part of the country where extreme weather is an ongoing risk, you need an emergency preparedness plan because not all disasters are caused by weather.

In this guide, learn why it’s important to have an emergency preparedness plan in your warehouse, and discover how to create one to ensure you and your employees know exactly what to do if and when disaster strikes.

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Importance of an Emergency Preparedness Plan in a Warehouse

Every warehouse needs a workplace emergency action plan because it provides guidance during an emergency. But what many people don’t realize is that creating a plan can benefit your business in several other ways. For instance, developing a plan may help you discover unrecognized hazardous conditions that increase the risk of an emergency situation. You could also discover your organization suffers from a lack of resources, such as equipment, trained personnel or supplies. An emergency plan also encourages safety awareness and demonstrates concern for employee safety and wellness.

Without an emergency plan, you increase the risk of suffering severe losses, such as multiple casualties and possible financial collapse. Why risk devastating results when an action plan can help avoid them?

What Does a Workplace Emergency Action Plan Look Like?

There are different types of action plans for different types of emergencies. The most common category, of course, is natural disasters, which includes weather-related events, such as hurricanes, tornados, landslides, tsunamis, floods, wildfires, winter storms and more. Other types of disasters include building fires, mass power outages, vehicular accidents, terrorist attacks, chemical spills, explosions, civil disturbances, workplace violence and more.

Depending on the type of emergency, your action plan should include:

  • Evacuation procedure
  • Detailed list of employee responsibilities
  • List of key personnel to be contacted during off-hour emergencies
  • Different alarms for different emergencies
  • On- or off-site shelter locations
  • Preferred method to report emergencies

Tips to Develop a Workplace Emergency Preparedness Plan

When developing a workplace emergency preparedness plan, address these five areas:


Prevention: Create a worst-case scenario, and determine what it would take to prevent, avoid or stop an imminent, threatened or actual act.

Protection: Determine what you need to do to protect employees, citizens, residents, visitors and assets against threats and hazards.

Mitigation: Take the necessary actions to reduce risks, threats and impacts in regard to lives, property and the environment.

Response: Create a plan that increases emergency response rates to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs after an incident occurs.

Recovery: Have a system in place that will help you achieve a timely restoration of sustainable operations and aid in the restoration of your local community after being affected by a catastrophic incident.


When creating a plan, start by doing an internal risk assessment. Training employees and practicing drills are also vital components of any plan because if people don’t know what to do, the plan won’t be nearly as valuable.

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