Emergency Action Plans: Why Coaches Should Know and Post Them
As we’ve seen in sport too much recently, emergencies can be scary and unpredictable, which is why every coach should know the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) of their facility. Knowing is not enough – when an emergency arises, athletes will look to a person of authority (the coach) for direction and the coach must be able to stay calm, stay organized, and clearly communicate the plan to all involved.
Usually, the plan information is passed around to all athletic department staff, but it’s helpful – and life-saving – for coaches to become intimately familiar with it. One way to do that is by creating an infographic summarizing the EAP that can be posted throughout the facility.
Emergency Action Plans are Crucial
Strength and conditioning personnel are not solely responsible for athlete safety, but they have a responsibility to know what an EAP entails in order to provide support in case of emergency. It’s important for all coaches at any level—from high school through professional sports—to review their facility’s EAP regularly so everyone is on the same page in case of emergency. The EAP should include plans for natural disasters, medical emergencies, weather issues, fires or explosions, bomb threats, suspicious packages or persons onsite, power outages and other unexpected events.
Creating an Infographic Summarizing Your Facility’s EAP
It’s helpful to distill this information into one simple infographic that can be posted throughout your facility as a reference tool. Making sure everyone knows exactly where they need to go in an emergency situation will help ensure a fast response time while still keeping everyone safe. This infographic should include all necessary contact information such as local 911 numbers or campus security contacts as well as details about exits and evacuation routes you would take in case of specific emergencies like fire or severe weather events. It should also list who is responsible for taking certain actions such as calling 911 or turning off utilities if applicable.
Having an emergency action plan in place for any facility is important because it helps prepare athletes and staff members ahead of time so they know what to do if something goes wrong during practice or competition. While strength and conditioning personnel aren’t solely responsible for athlete safety, it’s critical that each staff member knows and can explain the plan in case of emergency. By distilling the information from your facility’s EAP into one simple infographic that can easily be posted throughout your facility, you can make sure everyone remains informed about the procedures needed in times of stress or danger. Doing this will help ensure that you stay organized in times of crisis while still keeping everyone safe.