Prodigy

Set up a new Plan

Phase 1: Assessment of emergency preparedness status of the company

Introduction to Phase 1

Description of Phase 1

The primary objective of Phase 1 is to evaluate your company’s potential by characterising its current emergency preparedness status. Once completed, you will have a comprehensive assessment and analysis of the potential of your company’s current status in terms of emergency preparedness and disability inclusion, along with a SWOT analysis. This information will serve as a foundation for the subsequent phases.

Who to involve in this phase

This phase recommends the involvement of all levels and different members of the company both for its characterization and for the use, analysis and integration of the documents and material provided.

Regarding the collection of information, it is recommended to involve executives or managers from the first stage (examples: senior management team, human resources department, etc.). However, it is also necessary to involve all relevant departments of the company to collect the information needed to create or update the strategy in the subsequent stages.

 

Steps in Phase 1

Step 1: Preliminary characterization of the level of understanding and awareness related to emergency preparedness

  • Objectives: The objective of this step is to conduct a preliminary analysis of your company’s staff to understand the current status in terms of emergency preparedness and disability inclusion understanding and awareness. To this end, the primary goal is to gather information about emergency response and awareness within the company. A digital tool designed to gather all related information is provided for that purpose. This information will provide a comprehensive overview of the current status of the company’s staff members and establish a baseline for subsequent steps in developing or updating the Emergency Preparedness Plan.
  • Actions: Encourage each company staff member to complete the quiz in order to get information related to the current status in terms of emergency preparedness understanding and awareness. Collect the results.
  • Material available:
  • Assess your Knowledge Tool (Self-Assessment Tool) (Link to Prodigy Website)

Step 2: Assessment of the company’s inclusion level for people with disabilities in emergency preparedness

  • Objectives: The second step will evaluate and analyse the potential of your company for establishing a new or updating your emergency preparedness strategy in terms of disability inclusion. The primary objective of this step is to assess your company’s potential by characterizing its current state of emergency preparedness. This analysis is carried out in relation to several criteria. The use of the Assess your Company Tool is suggested, in order to assess the status of your company in emergency preparedness and disability inclusion. The assessment results will provide a comprehensive understanding and identification of the areas where improvements can be made – insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the current preparedness measures. This information will guide the development of strategies and actions in subsequent steps to enhance the company’s emergency preparedness capabilities.
  • Actions: Complete the quiz to assess the status of your company in emergency preparedness and identify the areas where improvements can be made.
  • Material available: Assess your company tool (Self-Assessment Tool) to assess the workplace emergency preparedness status and disability inclusion. (Link to Prodigy Website)

Step 3: SWOT analysis

  • Objectives: SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to assess those four aspects of the company. This is how a company can capture its current performance and build a strategy to achieve its future goals. It involves identifying the internal and external factors that can impact the success of the business. The strengths and weaknesses refer to internal factors, such as the organization’s resources, capabilities, and limitations. The opportunities and threats refer to external factors, such as market trends, competition, and regulatory changes. By analysing these factors, the organization can develop strategies to capitalize on its strengths, address its weaknesses, seize opportunities, and mitigate threats. This provides a wide picture of how a company can carve a route to reach its objectives.
  • Action: Consult the template below and complete the SWOT table provided.
  • Material: Template document for a SWOT analysis of the company

SWOT ANALYSIS example

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES OPPORTUNITIES THREATS
The workplace has well-designed evacuation routes that are accessible for individuals with disabilities, with appropriate signage and accommodations.

Employees and emergency response team members have received training on how to assist individuals with disabilities during emergency situations.

Some employees may have limited awareness and understanding of the specific needs of coworkers with disabilities during emergency situations.

Communication channels may not fully accommodate individuals with hearing or speech impairments, potentially creating challenges during emergency alerts and instructions.

Certain areas of the workplace may still have physical barriers that limit accessibility for individuals with mobility impairments, which could impact their ability to evacuate safely.

There is an opportunity to provide additional training sessions or resources focused specifically on supporting individuals with disabilities during emergency situations. Failure to comply with disability-related laws and regulations regarding emergency preparedness can lead to legal consequences and reputational damage.

Failure to address the specific needs of employees with disabilities during emergencies can lead to delays or ineffective response, putting their safety at risk.

 

Considerations towards implementation of Phase 1

This section sets out some considerations on the implementation of this first phase, which is the assessment of the company’s emergency preparedness status. It would be useful throughout the implementation of the first phase to have clear and well-defined objectives and roles that you want to implement. The next step is to determine the resources required, and all potential stakeholders who should fully understand the purpose and expected outcomes. Also, set clear timelines and deadlines within which you want to have the emergency preparedness assessment completed, and finally use the most appropriate methods for collecting data during the assessment.

 

Phase 2: Design of an Emergency Preparedness Strategy Plan

Introduction to Phase 2

Description of Phase 2
Phase 2 of the methodology to set up a new emergency preparedness strategy plan involves designing the strategy based on the results of the assessment carried out in phase 1. An emergency preparedness strategic plan is a plan for defining actions to effectively respond to and mitigate potential emergencies or disasters, ensuring the safety of all people involved in your organization, including people with disabilities, and minimizing the impact on business operations. A well-defined and comprehensive emergency preparedness plan can help your business proactively manage risks and ensure a rapid and coordinated response during crisis situations.

Who to involve in this phase?
To ensure the success of your emergency preparedness goals and initiatives, it is crucial to involve the right people and establish a dedicated working group responsible for the development and execution of your emergency preparedness strategy. This team (Emergency Preparedness Management Team) should comprise individuals from various departments and functions within your company, as well as external stakeholders who can provide valuable expertise and support. The following steps outline the composition of the working group, its main objectives, specific actions to be taken, task assignments, and recommended resources.

 

Steps in Phase 2

Step 1: Define the development working group

Objectives:
The first step of this phase is to define the development working group, which is responsible for setting up and reviewing the plan. Establish the working group, fostering cross-functional cooperation and incorporating diverse perspectives for an integrated strategy. Define clear roles, responsibilities, and accountability within the working group. Last, also clarify objectives and scope, identifying key areas of focus and prioritization within the Emergency Preparedness Strategy initiatives.

Actions:

Task Responsible Possible methods
Establish the working group/Identify possible individuals from relevant departments who possess the necessary expertise and have a vested interest in emergency preparedness. Executive Leadership Team/Emergency Preparedness Decision makers/Safety Officer/HR Consider including representatives from the executive leadership team, safety department, operations, human resources, IT/technology, communications/marketing, legal, and facilities management. To identify the appropriate stakeholders, you can also use or make, if there isn’t any, an organization chart as a reference. After setting the organizational chart, you can easily define the Roles and Responsibilities of your company. Project Management and Stakeholder Analysis templates are also provided.
Define clear roles, responsibilities, and accountability within the working group. Executive Leadership Team/Emergency Preparedness Decision makers Consider using Roles and Responsibilities template. With this, you can easily define the Roles and Responsibilities for this task. You can also utilize the roles given (if relevant) or create new ones that correspond to the needs of your company.
Clarify objectives and scope / Clearly define the purpose and goals of the working group. Executive Leadership Team/Emergency Preparedness Decision makers Communicate with working group the company’s culture regarding the vision, the value and the mission of the project.

Determine the strategic Goals /

Objectives of the emergency preparedness strategy, including indicative areas of focus such as:

  1. Crisis response protocols or regulatory & legal framework,
  2. Communication channels,
  3. Evacuation procedures,
  4. Resource allocation.

Complete Registry with Company’s Policies and Procedures template

Make a PESTLE analysis, an internationally recognised method used for strategy formation. Executive Leadership Team/Emergency Preparedness Decision makers/Safety Officer Use the PESTLE Analysis Tool to identify relevant external factors and ascertaining the impact these could have on your company achieving its goals.
Material available

  • Organizational Chart
  • Project Management
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Company’s culture
  • Setting Strategic Goals/Objectives
  • Registry with Company’s Policies and Procedures
  • PESTLE Analysis

Step 2: Determine the priority areas and their corresponding main goals

Objectives:
A critical first step in the adoption of an emergency preparedness strategy plan is the definition of priority areas and their corresponding key objectives. This can be achieved by conducting a comprehensive risk assessment. This objective involves a systematic assessment of the potential risks and threats facing your organization. The risk assessment can identify natural disasters, potential technological accidents, health emergencies and man-made incidents that could affect the entire workplace and in particular challenges that may threaten people with disabilities. Finally, it includes the collection of data on the likelihood and possible consequences of each identified risk. By analysing the risks associated with different scenarios, the working group gains knowledge about the most pressing threats and prioritizes preparedness efforts accordingly. The results of the risk assessment inform the development of targeted response strategies, ensuring that the plan is both risk-informed and resilient.

Based on the risk assessment, a subsequent objective involves analysing historical data of past emergencies, if any. By studying incidents that have occurred in the organization or in similar environments, the team can identify areas of higher risk and recurring vulnerabilities. Understanding patterns and trends from historical data provides valuable information about the types of emergencies that are most likely to occur and their potential impact. Analysis of historical data helps the team responsible for emergency preparedness to identify potential gaps or weaknesses in past response strategies. By learning from past incidents, the team can formulate a specific strategy, ensuring that it is flexible and effective for dealing with real-life challenges. Historical data also provides a basis for developing targeted training and exercises, allowing emergency responders to practice in scenarios that align with the real-world risks your company/organization faces.

A third objective, as an extension of the previous one, is to gather information on perceived vulnerabilities. In particular, an inclusive approach, and in particular an inclusive approach to disability, is essential to the planning process, and this objective focuses on engaging key stakeholders for their valuable input. By consulting with local authorities, emergency services, as well as disabled workers, the team can gain first-hand insights into the perceived vulnerabilities and challenges of disabled people. Local authorities and emergency services provide expert knowledge about the unique characteristics of your area and potential coping constraints.  Working with stakeholders fosters collaboration and ensures that the plan developed is contextually relevant, reflecting your needs and priorities.

Actions:

Task Responsible Possible methods
Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to identify potential hazards and threats. Emergency Preparedness Management Team Risk assessment tools and methodologies, such as Risk Management template and guidelines & SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).
Analyse historical data of past emergencies to identify areas with higher risks. Emergency Preparedness Management Team or/ with Risk Assessment Specialist (if an y) Search for historical data of past emergencies. After it, conduct Data analysis.
Consult with local authorities (Fire Department, Police Department, Public Health Department, Emergency Medical Services, etc.), and community members as well disable workers (if any) to gather insights on perceived vulnerabilities. Emergency Preparedness Management Team or Community Engagement Coordinator or HR Department Surveys, interviews, and focus group discussions for community engagement.
Regulatory & Legal framework analysis. The regulatory and legal framework of a business ensures legality, protection, and adaptability to changing circumstances within your organisation. Emergency Preparedness Management Team or Community Engagement Coordinator or HR Department The provided Regulatory & Legal framework analysis table is designed to assist your company in illustrating and monitoring all pertinent laws and regulations. The company should document the Laws/Regulations applicable and elucidate the connection between each Law/Regulation and the company.
Material available:

  • Risk Management template and guidelines
  • Regulatory & Legal framework analysis
Recommended resources:

 

Step 3: Identify available enabling mechanisms and resources for establishing an emergency preparedness strategy

Objectives:
In Step 3, the primary objectives are to identify and utilize the mechanisms and resources necessary to create a robust and inclusive emergency preparedness strategy tailored to the needs of people with disabilities in the workplace. By undertaking a comprehensive assessment of existing policies, guidelines and resources, the development working group aims to identify potential gaps in addressing disability-related requirements during emergencies. This process will facilitate the formulation of targeted strategies and interventions to ensure the safety, well-being and equal participation of employees with disabilities in emergency preparedness and response efforts.

Identifying available resources, including staff expertise, assistive technologies, accessible facilities and collaboration with external stakeholders, is integral to designing a strategic plan that takes into account the diverse range of disabilities present in the workforce. Involving disability experts and relevant organisations, the development working group seeks to draw on specialist knowledge and best practice to feed into the plan framework. In addition, establishing partnerships with local emergency responders and disability organizations promotes a coordinated approach, aligning efforts to enhance emergency preparedness for all employees.

Through the collaborative efforts in Step 3, the company can bridge potential gaps, leverage existing strengths, and leverage available resources to create a comprehensive and equitable emergency preparedness strategy. By addressing the specific challenges faced by people with disabilities, this phase aims to establish a work culture that prioritizes inclusiveness, responsiveness and proactive measures to ensure the well-being of every employee during emergencies. Ultimately, successful completion of Step 3 sets the stage for the subsequent development of a workable emergency preparedness strategy that incorporates the company’s commitment to the well-being and safety of all its employees, including people with disabilities.

Actions:

Task Responsible Possible methods
Conduct a thorough review of existing emergency preparedness policies and guidelines to identify potential gaps in addressing the needs of people with disabilities. Emergency Preparedness Management including representatives from Human Resources, Facilities Management, Health and Safety, and Disability Resource Office (if applicable). Analysing company documents, conducting interviews with key personnel, and seeking feedback from employees with disabilities through surveys or focus groups.
Engage external disability experts and organizations with expertise in emergency preparedness and response to gain insights and best practices. Emergency Preparedness Management Team/Development working group, with support from the Human Resources team. Inviting experts to workshops or webinars, participating in conferences, and accessing reputable disability-focused resources and reports.
Develop a comprehensive inventory of accessible emergency equipment and facilities within the company premises. Emergency Preparedness Management Team/Facilities Management team, with support from the Health and Safety team. Conducting physical assessments of the workplace, consulting with experts on accessibility requirements, and involving employees with disabilities in the evaluation process.
Establish partnerships with local emergency response agencies and disability organizations to enhance coordination and support during emergencies. Emergency Preparedness Management Team with support from upper management. Holding meetings with relevant stakeholders, signing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), and participating in joint emergency preparedness drills.
Recommended resources:

 

Step 4: Draft the strategy document

Objectives:
In Step 4, the primary objectives are to craft a comprehensive emergency preparedness strategy that integrates the identified enabling mechanisms and resources, with a strong focus on inclusivity for people with disabilities. The strategy document aims to provide a clear and actionable roadmap for the entire organization, aligning emergency preparedness efforts with the company’s overarching mission and values.

Through a well-crafted executive summary, the strategy seeks to emphasize the significance of an inclusive emergency preparedness plan in safeguarding the well-being of all employees, particularly those with disabilities, during crises. The strategy outlines specific and measurable emergency preparedness goals, with a strong emphasis on addressing the unique needs and vulnerabilities of employees with disabilities. By setting clear objectives and assigning responsibility, the plan ensures accountability and empowers designated personnel to provide necessary support and assistance during emergencies.

With a focus on accessibility, the strategy aims to design communication channels that effectively relay emergency information to all employees, utilizing various modes such as visual, auditory, and written means. By incorporating assistive technologies and conducting usability testing, the plan seeks to maximize the reach and impact of emergency communications, ensuring that vital information is accessible to everyone.

Through the implementation of the outlined actions, the strategy fosters a culture of preparedness, inclusivity, and collaboration within the organization. By continuously evaluating and refining the plan based on feedback and emerging best practices, the strategy remains adaptable and responsive to changing circumstances and needs.

Actions:

Task Responsible Possible methods
Develop an executive summary outlining the importance of an inclusive emergency preparedness plan and its potential impact on the safety and well-being of all employees. Emergency Preparedness Management Team in collaboration with communication and public relations specialists. Collecting data and statistics on the prevalence of disabilities, highlighting the business case for inclusion. This section will be written at the end of the process and will provide a brief overview of the basic decisions taken. However, in the final emergency preparedness strategy document it has to appear first and in the form of a diagram. It is intended to be very short and accessible. If a narrative is added, it should not exceed half a page and should not contain jargon and excessive acronyms (Care, 2011).
Formulate clear and achievable emergency preparedness goals, with specific focus on addressing the vulnerabilities and needs of employees with disabilities. Emergency Preparedness Management Team led by representatives from a Disability Resource Office or Health and Safety team. Conducting workshops, utilizing insights from disability experts, and ensuring broad input from all relevant stakeholders. Make use of the learning resources provided
Define roles and responsibilities for implementing the emergency preparedness plan, including designated personnel responsible for assisting individuals with disabilities during emergencies. Emergency Preparedness Management Team in collaboration with Human Resources and Health and Safety departments. Creating a detailed organizational structure with actors and roles, providing training to designated personnel, and establishing communication channels for employees with disabilities to request assistance. Make use of the learning resources provided.
Design accessible communication strategies and channels to disseminate emergency information to all employees, including those with disabilities. Emergency Preparedness Management Team, supported by the Communication and IT departments. Incorporating multiple communication modes (visual, auditory, written) in emergency alerts, testing the effectiveness of communication channels, and considering the use of assistive technologies.
Material available:

  • Organizational Chart
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Setting Strategic Goals/Objectives (SMART)
  • Company’s culture
Recommended resources:

Considerations towards implementation of Phase 2

During the implementation of Phase 2, it is essential to maintain a person-centered approach that acknowledges the diversity of disabilities and the unique needs of each individual. Regular consultations with employees with disabilities should be carried out to ensure their voices are heard and their perspectives are considered in the development of the emergency preparedness plan. Additionally, conducting accessibility audits and usability testing of emergency facilities and equipment can help identify potential barriers and ensure the plan is genuinely inclusive. Open and transparent communication throughout this phase is crucial to foster a culture of trust and inclusivity, allowing employees to actively engage in the process and contribute to the success of the emergency preparedness plan. Lastly, continuous evaluation and refinement of the plan based on feedback, best practices, and changes in regulations will ensure its effectiveness in protecting the safety and well-being of all employees, especially those with disabilities.

 

Phase 3: Development of the Implementation Strategy Plan

Introduction to Phase 3

Description of Phase 3
After assessing the organisation’s emergency preparedness status (Phase 1) and designing a strategy (Phase 2), the plan should be implemented at the operational level. The design of an emergency preparedness strategy plan is more strategic and general and requires greater stakeholder engagement and coordination, while the development of the implementation plan requires greater accountability and evaluation and involves more action and monitoring.

First, the implementation plan should consider the real possibilities of implementing individual actions designed for the plan (analyse of the possibilities of carrying out individual tasks or actions by people with disabilities). They should also appropriately allocate resources, including human, financial and material, depending on the organisation’s specific activity profile or other conditions inside and outside the organization.

When organizing the emergency preparedness planning of the company with special focus on the people with disabilities, their impairments should be taken into account, obliging the person conducting the response strategy or evacuation to accept it individual approach, taking into account the main problems experienced by representatives of particular groups of people with disabilities that directly hinder and/or slow down the response process of a disabled person.

Who to involve in this phase?
In this phase, it is necessary to involve various actors that can contribute to the implementation of the emergency preparedness plan. The main actors should be the Emergency Preparedness Management Team, a risk management and risk assessment expert. They will coordinate the assessment of potential risks, vulnerabilities and impacts, as well as the identification of mitigation strategies and resources. In addition, it is recommended that managers from different parts of the company are consulted, in particular those responsible for the priority areas mapped in the previous phase. They can provide valuable information on the specific needs and challenges of their departments. Finally, some key departments that should be involved are the marketing department, the finance department, and the general management or finance department. They will help with communication, budgeting and approval of the emergency preparedness plan.

 

Steps in Phase 3

Step 1: Derive specific goals within priority areas, specific actions and responsible for implementation

Objectives:
Objective 1: Phase three should start with checking if there are any changes in priority areas during the implementation (based on Phase 2, Step 2). The main objective of this step should be hierarchy of the most dangerous priority areas (include at least two criteria: life-threatening and most common risk factors).

Objective 2: After hierarchization priority areas, specific goals should be developed to prevent threats from occurring or reduce the impact of their effects. This process should emphasize attainable goals. Goals should be: simple, specific, understandable, easy to implement. Verify whether the developed goals are consistent with the strategic goals of the organization.

Objective 3: Based on the goals, it is necessary to develop activities and assign people who will be responsible for their implementation.

Objective 4: Develop activities/actions with resources and assign people who will be responsible for achieved specific goals. Based on the activities, develop procedures. Make sure they are understandable and feasible for employees with disabilities. Remember to establish clear roles and responsibilities for each member of the team. It is also important to assign tasks and responsibilities to employees who know specificity of area/department they work in the organization. They should know which activities/processes overlap between areas of the organization.

After the initial cost calculation, human resources should be assigned along with the scope of duties and responsibilities to the previously developed activities. Remember to train members of the teams systematically in crisis management procedures.

If the above suggestions are not met, it may turn out that in the event of a specific event that covers more than one area of the organization (e.g. a fire involving the production and customer service departments), the procedures will not be implemented correctly. An example is not counting all people leaving the building because such a task was designed only in one area of the organization’s operation.

Actions:

Task Responsible Possible methods
Check whether priority areas (defined in Phase 2, Step 2 and goals have changed during implementation Emergency Preparedness Management Team

Risk Assessment Specialist

Comparative analysis based on risk assessment tools and methodologies
Hierarchy of the most dangerous priority areas (include at least two criteria: life-threatening and most common risk factors). Emergency Preparedness Management Team/Risk Management Team Selection of tools depending on the specific business profile of the company and the operational capabilities of the risk management team. Proposed tools: black point method, rating, ranking based on established criteria or others
Develop specific goals for priority areas Emergency Preparedness Management Team/Risk Assessment Specialist

It is good to involve the managers from parts of the company in what the priority areas where mapped (he knows the specific of the department)

Most popular methods: SMART
Develop activities and assign responsibilities to competent people Development working group, including representatives from Human Resources, Facilities Management, Health and Safety, and Disability Resource Office (if applicabile). Brain storms, experts panels, mind mapping
Material available:

  • Setting Strategic Goals/Objectives (SMART)
Recommended resources:

 

Step 2: Assign specific financial mechanisms and resources to the defined specific actions

Objectives:
It is beneficial for employers to allocate appropriate finances and resources. By allocating sufficient resources and financial support, the plan aims to establish a workplace that is accessible and inclusive, providing ample support to disabled individuals during emergency situations. This funding facilitates the creation of customized evacuation plans, accessible facilities, training, and accommodations, thereby fostering a more inclusive and better prepared environment for all. Moreover, it is important to acknowledge that many European countries offer financial support schemes for companies that hire disabled individuals.

Actions:
For those seeking to secure funding for an emergency preparedness plan that accommodates individuals with disabilities, there are a variety of potential sources available. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Government Grants and Subsidies: Many governments and local authorities offer grants, subsidies, or financial support programs specifically aimed at promoting inclusivity and accessibility in the workplace. These programs may provide funding for training, infrastructure improvements, and equipment necessary for emergency preparedness.
  2. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiatives: Some companies allocate a portion of their budget to CSR initiatives, including projects that focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Such initiatives may align with the company’s values and mission, making it more likely to allocate funds for inclusive emergency preparedness.
  3. Nonprofit Organizations and Foundations: There are nonprofit organizations and foundations that support disability inclusion and emergency preparedness efforts. These entities may offer grants or sponsor projects that align with their mission and objectives.
  4. Partnerships and Sponsorships: Collaboration with other companies, disability organizations, or local community groups can lead to shared funding opportunities. Partnerships can help leverage resources and funding from multiple sources.
  5. Tax Incentives and Benefits: In some regions, there might be tax incentives or benefits for companies that invest in disability inclusion and accessibility projects. These incentives can help offset the costs associated with implementing an emergency preparedness plan.
  6. Employee Giving Programs: Such programs are a way for companies to encourage their employees to donate to various charitable causes. These programs often include initiatives that focus on disability inclusion. Some companies even offer matching programs, which means that they will match the donations made by their employees. This can greatly increase the impact of employee donations and help to support important causes.
  7. Budget Reallocation: Companies can consider reallocating a portion of their existing budget to prioritize disability inclusion and emergency preparedness. By recognizing the importance of this aspect, funds can be redirected to support the initiative.

When seeking financing for the project, it’s essential to clearly outline the project’s goals, expected outcomes, and the positive impact it will have on both the company and the community. Demonstrating the project’s alignment with the organization’s values and long-term benefits can be influential in securing funding from various sources.

The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) serve as the primary financial tools in the EU’s efforts to enhance economic and social cohesion. They aid in promoting social inclusion for the most disadvantaged individuals, including those with disabilities. (https://commission.europa.eu/funding-tenders/find-funding/funding-management-mode/2014-2020-european-structural-and-investment-funds_en ). In 2014-2020, the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) unleashed a total investment of €731 billion, of which €535 billion was funded by the EU. More than 4 million small and medium businesses (SMEs) were supported. ESI Funds were also at the frontline of the support to Member States and Regions to face the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact. (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_23_389 ) To learn more on how to apply for such funding, visit https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/funding/accessing-funds_en.

The availability of specific financing programs may vary depending on the region, country, and local policies. Therefore, it is advisable for employers to conduct thorough research and engage with financial institutions, industry associations, and government agencies to identify the most suitable options for their specific strategy.

Actions:

Task Responsible Possible methods
Contact local disability organizations HR department or any person designated to assist disabled coworkers Run a detailed Internet Research for your region or use the provided list of national associations
Inform yourself, which governmental organizations are responsible for people with disabilities in your region CEO or HR department or any person designated to assist disabled coworkers Internet Research
Check your Corporate Social Responsibility Statement HR department or any person designated to assist disabled coworkers Is there an allocated budget for inclusive initiatives?
Start a campaign to acquire Partnerships and Sponsorships Marketing Department Strategy, Plan, Execute, Evaluate
Contact your accountant or tax consultant Financial Department Ask for Tax Incentives and Benefits related to disability inclusion
Start an Employee Giving Programs Marketing or HR Department Strategy, Plan, Execute, Evaluate
Evaluate a possible Budget Reallocation Financial Department Management Decision making
Evaluate the possibility of EU funding General Management or Financial Department Apply by following the instructions for applications
Material available:

List of national associations for people with disabilities (ΑΝΝΕΧ Ι)

Recommended resources:

Step 3: Develop the final strategy and implementation plan

Objectives:
To develop the final strategy and implementation plan aims at creation of effective framework that enables an organization to prepare for, respond to, and quickly recover from emergency situations. This plan should serve as a roadmap for the company and its of all its employees, regardless of their health status or abilities and how to pass emergency situations with minimum needed negative impacts to the people and companies property.

In this phase, all the prepared materials should be collected, examined and chosen in order to support the final version of emergency implementation plan. This plan should be reviewed, finalised and shared within the company environment.

Actions:

Task Responsible Possible methods
Review and Consolidate Sub-Materials Emergency Preparedness Management Team; company management Go back to the sub-materials you have collected, including the risk assessment, involvement of employees with disabilities, and steps to develop the emergency plan.
Identify Key Objectives Emergency Preparedness Management Team; company management Based on the reviewed sub-materials, identify the key objectives of the emergency preparation strategy (safeguarding employee, protecting assets, ensuring business continuity, and promoting inclusivity).
Define Roles and Responsibilities Emergency Preparedness Management Team; company management Clearly define roles and responsibilities for each department and individual involved in emergency preparation. Assign specific tasks and duties to ensure a coordinated response during emergencies.
Address Disability Inclusion Emergency Preparedness Management Team; company management Develop strategies to address disability inclusion in the emergency preparation strategy. Ensure that the needs of employees with disabilities are considered.
Develop final communication channels for emergency situations Emergency Preparedness Management Team; company management Specify how information will be shared both internally and externally, and ensure that communication channels are accessible to all employees, including those with disabilities.
Share the plan with employees and collect the feedback. Emergency Preparedness Management Team; company management
Finalise the plan and prepare for training.

 

Emergency Preparedness Management Team; company management
Revise the plan according to the results of training. Emergency Preparedness Management Team; company management
Material available:

  • Organizational Chart
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Setting Strategic Goals/Objectives (SMART)
Recommended resources:

 

Step 4: Define how to execute and monitor the implementation plan

Objectives:
The first and the most important objective is to ensure that the organization is adequately prepared to respond to various types of emergencies. By executing the plan and regularly monitoring its implementation (by simulations or in real situations), the organization can identify and address any gaps or weaknesses in preparedness

Actions:

Task Responsible Possible methods
Settle key emergency preparedness Indicators. Emergency Preparedness Management Team; company management f.e response time, communication effectiveness, employee training completion rates, and any other relevant metrics.
Responsibilities Emergency Preparedness Management Team; company management Settle individuals or a team responsible for monitoring the implementation of the plan. Clearly outline their roles and responsibilities in regularly assessing and evaluating the plan’s progress.

 

Regular trainings and Exercises: Settle regular emergency trainings and exercises to test the plan’s implementation. Emergency Preparedness Management Team; company management It is possible to identify strengths and weaknesses in the response through the simulation of various emergency situations which can be used to improve the plan.
Feedback from training Emergency Preparedness Management Team; company management Collect feedback from employees, stakeholders, and participants involved in trainings and exercises. Gather insights into the effectiveness of the plan, challenges faced, and suggestions for improvement
Feedback from existing emergency situations Emergency Preparedness Management Team; company management Analyse feedback from any real emergency situations that occurred. Examine how the plan was executed, identify any gaps or issues, and use these insights to improve the plan
Keep the emergency plan up to date Emergency Preparedness Management Team; company management
Material available:

  • Organizational Chart
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Setting Strategic Goals/Objectives
  • 3.7 Interactive AR/VR Pilot Exercises
Recommended resources:

Considerations towards implementation of Phase 3

Carefully considering all the steps of preparation and monitoring of organization emergency plan can ensure that organization’s emergency plan is well-implemented, meets the specific needs of the organization and its employees, particularly those with disabilities, and supports the organization’s ability to respond effectively during emergency situations.

 

 

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