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Prepare and Be Aware

Fire, natural disaster, or terrorist attacks can occur rapidly and without warning. In this time of heightened awareness and concern about safety, it is more important than ever for both employers and employees to plan ahead and know how to respond in the event of an emergency. Careful preparation can help reduce overall fear and anxiety and helps save lives.

As applied to the Legislative Branch by the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) requires that all employers MUST have an emergency action plan, and employees must be familiar with the plan (29 CFR 1910.38). The Office of Compliance can provide guidance and assistance in the preparation of emergency action plans, as well as a template to guide each office in the preparation of their plan.

Useful tips in emergencies:

  • Stay calm in an emergency, and follow the directions of emergency personnel
  • Be familiar with your evacuation route and the location of all available exits
  • Prepare for both evacuation or the need to "shelter-in-place"
  • Plan for any special medical or dietary needs you might have, and keep extra medications you need on hand
  • Talk to your family about how to respond to an emergency situation and how to communicate with each other if you become separated

The Office of Compliance and the United States Capitol Police are available to provide covered employers and employees with information and guidance on emergency planning. Contact the Office of Compliance or the Capitol Police if you need additional information.


Questions or comments regarding this service? Contact


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