EPP’s Unger Tells How to Avert Disaster

Pennsauken, NJ – How do you keep an emergency from becoming a disaster?

“Exercise,” explained Eileen Unger of Emergency Planning Partnerships (EPP) last night, as the featured speaker of the Keystone Coffee Association’s monthly meeting at the Lacas Coffee facility.

“Exercise is how we tune up for real life. We exercise our bodies to stay healthy, so we can do what we need to do in our daily lives without getting sick or fatigued. The same thing goes for businesses and organizations and their emergency plans,” explained Unger.

“An emergency plan that isn’t exercised once in awhile gets old and flabby. It isn’t agile enough to respond to changes in the organization or in the outside world, Unger said. “Exercise helps diagnose weaknesses, providing a kind of ‘biofeedback’ that can help bring an emergency plan up to date and real.”

A professional engineer who has written, administered and evaluated emergency plans and drills for major corporations, Unger says that without exercise, emergency plans tend to become “out of sight and out of mind.” People throughout an organization need to be reminded of their roles and responsibilities, and they need to practice them.

Unger’s professional advice for organizations of all sizes? “If you don’t already have an emergency plan, assign the task to one of your most important people. Make planning and exercising the plan an annual goal as important as any other to your organization’s success. That way, the next emergency won’t be a disaster that threatens your organization’s existence.”

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