One of the biggest risks about evacuating your office in the event of an emergency is getting people to actually evacuate safely. You can send all the emails you want about procedures but like the boy who cried were(wolf) sometimes we hear the warning alarms so frequently that when we really have to evacuate we don’t bother. As a result many BCM people struggle with how to get people to read and learn.
Then last summer I read a preparedness post by the Centre for Disease Control who spun the best practices for traditional disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes into the context of a zombie attack. They wrote: “You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.”
I thought it was brilliant because it got the message across in a funny way which almost guaranteed that the recipient would read (and finish) the post. Against that backdrop I re-wrote my internal evacuation memo in this zombie style borrowing shamelessly from the CDC (as well as Amanda Ripley and the Zimmerman/Sherman essay “To Leave an Area After Disaster”.)
Consider this a template for your evacuation memo. So read it, take it, borrow it, steal it and share it. Save lives.