Emergency preparedness is important for any large building. But what you shouldn't overlook is the critical role your security personnel can play in a disaster or emergency. Whether you're making an emergency plan for a hospital, a set of offices, or even an organization spanning multiple buildings, security guards can be invaluable when it comes to creating an effective plan.

Make Sure It's Obvious Who Is In Charge

When you're putting together emergency plans, it's important that everyone is on the same page. That means that someone has to be in charge of, for example, evacuating people. Otherwise, even with a good plan, it's easy for people to forget what needs to be done in the heat of the moment. Security guards, who are uniformed and easily identifiable, are perfect for this role.

In addition to being a very visible sign that someone is in charge during an emergency, security staff likely already have methods of coordinating communication as well as training in maintaining control, including psychologically, in difficult situations.

Run Emergency Drills

Running drills means more than just getting everyone familiar with what to do in the case of an emergency. Since your security guards will most likely be guiding and protecting people in the event of an emergency, it's important that they seem familiar. This reduces the chances of people panicking and helps keep an emergency plan moving smoothly and quickly. Drills also give people a chance to associate security staff with professionalism and high competence, which also helps calm people in an actual emergency.

When it comes to running drills, remember that people can become tired of them easily. If they seem intrusive, people will be annoyed and much less likely to pay attention – and more likely to view security guards as a part of their annoyance. For this reason, you should try to limit your emergency drills by putting them in broader categories, such as "evacuation" or "lockdown," instead of running separate drills for every type of emergency.

Consider Additional Training and Certification

Depending on the type of site you are creating a plan for, it could be a good idea to look into extra training for your security staff. Training in dealing with specific hazards may be helpful for sites such as hospitals, research labs, or sites that deal with hazardous chemicals or waste. And any site can benefit from security guards having First Aid training and being certified to perform CPR. In case of an emergency, these medical skills could be invaluable.

Contact a local security firm, like S&S Security Services, with further questions.