Leadership Solutions


Remembering the 3 Cs Can Ensure a Successful Evacuation Plan

Created by John McCarthy, JD, Security Executive Council Emeritus Faculty

Emergency situations tend to confuse and panic employees, but a carefully crafted evacuation plan can provide a degree of order and discipline to an otherwise chaotic situation. The three Cs — concentration, communication and cooperation — are the keys to constructing a successful evacuation plan.

  • Concentrate on developing escape routes from the building, providing for the disabled, developing accounting procedures for keeping track of employees, contractors and visitors before and after the evacuation, and identifying “safe havens.” Medical care, food and nutrition must also be available to the evacuees.
  • Communicate the facts of the emergency to the responsible managers and employees, and supply communication devices to key decision makers so they can keep abreast of salient crisis developments.
  • Cooperate with other business unit managers who have a stake in the security and safety of corporate personnel and assets. They should have significant input into crafting the plan, as should the various public agencies that have an interest in protecting the lives and property of citizens.

No plan is successful without regular practice. Whether the exercise is a tabletop with decision makers or a real-time evacuation with the participation of all employees, regular practice is essential to achieve adequate performance at the time of emergency.

Using the three Cs to craft an evacuation plan provides the security professional the discipline to incorporate the necessary elements for an effective, realistic evacuation strategy.

For more information on this topic see Program Best Practices: Resilience

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Copyright Security Executive Council. Last Updated: June 28, 2018

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