Preparedness at ePACT Step 1 – Identify

Our guest blogger, Shelby Edwards, recently wrote a series to help your business prepare for any emergency. Too many businesses are unable to re-open once they have been impacted by a large scale disaster or emergency, stressing the importance of the preparedness process.

To show you just how simple continuity planning can be, the ePACT team is putting Shelby’s plan in to action:

Step 1: Identify

  • photo-1Identify a point person: Jeff Bergcoutts, our Product Manager, is always the calm in the storm and can surely be counted on in stressful situations. Because of this, Jeff is our point person for emergency planning.
  • What is around you: After moving in to our new office suite in North Vancouver, one of the first things the ePACT team did was a quick analysis of our office suite and the surrounding area. Here are a few hazards we found (the solutions we used to solve the problem will follow in Monday’s blog):
    • The ePACT office is located on the second floor of the building, with one door to enter or exit the suite. If there was ever a fire or obstacle preventing us from leaving through that door, we would be stuck in the office.
    • For earthquakes, some are predicting ‘The Big One’ will hit Vancouver in the coming decades. Because of this, it is important for each ePACT employee to know the ‘safe areas’ in the office if an earthquake ever does occur.
    • photoThe ePACT office is equipped with a well-stocked kitchen, meaning there is always the potential for a kitchen fire.
    • Our office is surrounded by large trees which could pose a hazard in a natural disaster. For example, in a large scale earthquake they could fall towards the building to block exit points or cause debris to fall on the team as we are trying to evacuate the building.
    • Find your community partners: Armed with Google, the ePACT team took just a few minutes to identify local community partners. In particular, we searched for the Red Cross and identified the B.C. Lower Mainland branch as the local office. We also familiarized ourselves with the services offered by the local emergency management program, the North Shore Emergency Management Office (link: As for any medical needs, the Lower Lonsdale Medical Centre is a clinic located just a block away from our office for minor injuries or conditions.

That’s it – with a few steps that took under an hour to do, we were able to identify hazards in our area and resources that will offer valuable support in an emergency. We urge you to do the same, and send us a tweet at @epactnetwork if you have any preparedness questions!

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