Are You Prepared for an Emergency? Tips for Creating an Action Plan

July 8, 2015

By Rachel Mygatt, Administrative Coordinator, Maryland Nonprofits

Does your nonprofit have a plan in place in case of a natural disaster? In the event of a fire or threat, would your staff and volunteers know what to do? Most often the Executive Director of your organization would be in charge of leading and directing staff in an emergency, but what if they are not there? Who would be “second-in-command”?

Potential, and often times unforeseeable, emergencies impacting all businesses, such as fire, weather, and health-related emergencies, among many others, require immediate action to safeguard lives.

Every nonprofit should have a distributed Emergency Action Plan. Our staff Administration Committee created a thorough Emergency Action Plan. Here are just a few tips we learned in the process that you can use at your organization when creating your Emergency Action Plan.  

Members of Maryland Nonprofits can login to access the Standards for Excellence Administrative Policies Ed Packet, containing crisis and disaster planning, management, communication, and more. Not yet a member? Join us and have access to our document and resource library! 

  • While the needs of every organization are different, all plans should include evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures.
  • Staff, volunteers, interns, etc., should be become knowledgeable about CPR and First Aid procedures.

    We recently made CPR & First Aid training available to all MDNP staff members. To date, three quarters of our staff are now trained in CPR and basic first aid. Training of this type can be expensive, but American Safety & Health Institute is one of several organizations with certified trainers who can provide training at reasonable prices. 

  • Business continuity should be included in any office Emergency Action Plan.

    We are in the process of working with our IT provider to move our network server entirely into the cloud, which will ensure the safety and security of our documents and provide staff remote access to their documents, even if the building is damaged or closed.

Check out a few no-cost templates to help your organization get started making an Emergency Action Plan:


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