I'd suggest that voluntary participation is not sufficient. The response is limited not only by those who have legitimate deficits in financing or expertise, but also by those who believe it's too much effort since "something like that has never happened here before". Argh! Somewhere along the way I picked up a saying that people don’t want the burden of rules and regulations until something bad happens. Only then do they raise their fists and ask ‘Why wasn’t there something in place to protect me from this!’
We do have extensive and thorough company policies for emergency action and business continuity planning. And, though our planning and preparation is good, it’s limitation is that the involvement can be limited to the administrative or executive functions of completing the policy / paperwork without engaging the employees (beyond making the info available to staff), other tenants in the same building, or city emergency management officials.
However, one of our office locations is mandated (above and beyond our company policies) by city ordinance to have an employee identified as a marshal to apply high-rise office emergency protocols. This individual is directly responsible for identifying potential risk, developing a response plan, and coordinating with the city fire marshal for quarterly drills.
The only reason our other locations do not have such a well developed and practiced policy is because it is not required by the city. I would suggest for there to be more mandatory involvement for any company with 100+ employees to participate in emergency planning coordination with their local emergency management offices.
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