Own or Manage Property? Here’s an Emergency Response Plan Checklist

By Spencer Macalaster, Executive Vice President and Real Estate Practice Leader

Own or Manage Property? Here’s an Emergency Response Plan Checklist

Whether managing commercial or residential space, property owners face a myriad of potential insurance claims every day. There are common weather complications such as ice dams, leaks and mold. There are vicious natural disasters like wildfires, hurricanes and earthquakes. And, of course, there is human error including but not at all limited to slips and falls, fire and general property damages.

Whatever the unique risks may be, emergency response planning is critical. The real estate team here at Risk Strategies spends ample time counseling clients on how to best respond to unfortunate situations in ways that mitigate further risk and keep everybody safe and informed.

For instance, if the computers go down, how will communications and property be managed? Are employees and residents, if applicable, trained to respond efficiently and effectively? Let’s run down a few things that should be front and center in an emergency response plan.

  • Who is on the response team? 

This should include a designated responsible official, emergency coordinator, floor warden and an assistant for the physically challenged.

  • Who is on the medical response team?

This should include emergency resources with names, phone numbers, email addresses and their levels of certifications and training.

  • What is the evacuation plan?

This should explain to employees and/or residents how they will be warned to evacuate; the number and location of emergency exits and assembly points.

  • Where is the emergency equipment?

This should be a detailed list or map of where things like the first aid kid, defibrillators, emergency flashlights can be found.

  • What needs to be shut off?

This should be a comprehensive list of utilities that do not need to be kept running such as natural gas, electricity, sprinkler systems, domestic water, etc.

These considerations will get you started, but there’s much more to be ready for – and every property is different. If it feels like time to revisit and revise risk management and insurance policies up to snuff, email the real estate team at