I suggest you team up with Safety and Security to insure you have a strong network of wardens and searchers. These people are critical to the safety of your employees and the overall evacuation process. Also, network with the fire department to insure you have everything covered.

Here a few tips that may help:

Tip – Assign searchers to quadrants of your office to insure the entire office will be searched.

Tip – Assign backups to the primary wardens and searchers.

Tip – Assign female and male searchers for the bathrooms.

Tip – Provide two-way communication radios (walkie-talkies). I suggest you also consider supplementing the  walkie-talkies with push to talk (PTT) apps which I discuss in another post on Ultimate Business Continuity.

Tip – Test the ability to communicate on all devices on a regular basis. It is critical.

Tip – Provide all equipment including but not limited to vests, whistles and chalk so rooms that were searched can be marked with a big X.

Tip – Replace searchers as necessary!

Tip – Practice, practice and practice some more!

A friend told me the story of a searcher her organization appointed years ago, who immediately ran out of the building when the kitchen popcorn-maker over-heated. One whiff of burnt popcorn and he could have easily won the Olympic 100-meter dash – he covered the distance from the lunchroom to his car 100 meters away in 9.29 seconds – a new world record! Thankfully, he was replaced the same day.

Unfortunately, it sometimes takes an incident to determine the best people for the job. What people say and what they actually do under pressure can be two very different things.