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When dealing with an emergency in the work place, you’ll need to quickly assess the situation and take swift action.

Whether dealing with a natural disaster, a potential shooter, hazardous materials or a medical condition, time is of the essence and reactions will need to be fast and accurate. Here are six steps to make sure emergencies are handled properly (see the OSHA's safety tips for more detailed descriptions).

Plan ahead. Because you won’t have much time to react, have a plan in place ahead of time that everyone in the work place knows. This will allow faster reactions to keep everyone safe, and bring a swifter resolution to the problem.

Chain of command. In the potential chaos of the emergency, knowing who is responsible for which areas and who to report to is vital for maximum safety.

Checklists. Having to think fast can often lead to forgetting a vital procedure. Making checklists available to those with responsibilities ensures that every important item is covered.

Response teams. If you have a large work place, assign teams to respond to specific situations or specific areas when an emergency arises.

Training. The proper training from certified instructors and occasional drills will help everyone be prepared when an actual emergency occurs.

Communication. Having a line of communication to everyone is vital to avoid panic, to account for all personnel and to give notice to when the situation is resolved. PostCalls’ automated phone messaging system is a great way to establish those communication lines. Record one message and quickly and efficiently send it to the entire group. It saves time when time is most critical. For more information, visit PostCalls.