Emergency Preparedness: Is Your Building Staff Ready?

Posted on Wednesday July 12, 2017



In Philadelphia, building emergencies present themselves in various forms – from power outages and gas leaks, to floods and fires and even security risks. The one thing that links all these together? They happen when you least expect it. It is essential for your building’s management team to prepare for the unexpected through continuous education and training. Is your building staff ready?

The following article is reprinted, with permission, from the July 2017 issue of CityView Point, the newsletter of CityView and CityView II communities in Philadelphia.

Staff safety and security meetings pay off

by Tom Eveslage 

"Several weeks ago, while most residents were asleep, a water pipe burst in the bathroom of a South Tower resident. The management office was closed and most staff gone, but when a frantic call came to the concierge desk, the person on duty knew just what to do. The water to the building was immediately shut off, the source found and water turned off to the unit. There was minimal damage outside the unit.

Community Manager Chuck Homler credits the quick response in part to monthly training the staff gets to deal with such issues. Since December 2015, all employees have met the second Wednesday of each month for what Chuck calls an interactive exchange meant to keep everyone engaged.

Everyone has to know how to shut off the water, Chuck says, and programs are planned that will be both interesting and informative. There was a scavenger hunt one month where everyone had to search for and find ways to shut off the water. There was a speaker to discuss “social engineering” and help identify security concerns. And in May, during a training session on the use of fire, the staff engaged in light-hearted competition as they learned fire-fighting skills.

Each new employee is brought up to speed by Chief Building Engineer Fran Byrne during a tour of the CityView buildings. Because one never knows what hour of the day or night quick action will be needed."

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