Report an emergency.

Emergency Procedures – Disabilities

Your co-workers may need assistance evacuating in the event of an emergency. This could be the result of a permanent disability, such as arthritis or asthma, or a temporary disability, such as a broken leg or pregnancy.

If you have an impairment, arrange for volunteers (co-workers) to alert you and assist you in an emergency. That is, develop a “buddy plan.” Once accomplished, alert your building manager of your buddy plan.

Evacuation of Disabled Persons

  • Evacuate people with disabilities, if possible. 
  • Do not use elevators, unless authorized to do so by police or fire personnel. Elevators could fail during a fire or a major earthquake. Do not use elevators if there is a fire or the fire alarm is sounding. 
  • If the situation is life threatening, call 911 or 678.407.5333 from a campus phone or 678.407.5333 from a cellular phone. 
  • Attempt a rescue evacuation ONLY if you have had rescue training or the person is in immediate danger and cannot wait for professional assistance. 
  • Always ASK someone with a disability how you can help BEFORE attempting any rescue technique or giving assistance. Ask how he or she can best be assisted or moved, and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.

Responses to Emergency Situations

Visually Impaired

(Bomb Threat, Earthquake, Fire, Hazardous Materials Releases, and Power Outages) 

  • Give verbal instructions to advise about the safest route or direction using compass directions, estimated distances and directional terms.
  • DO NOT grasp a visually impaired person’s arm. Ask if he or she would like to hold onto your arm as you exit, especially if there is debris or a crowd. 
  • Give other verbal instructions or information (i.e., elevators cannot be used).

Hearing Impaired

(Bomb Threat, Earthquake, Fire, Hazardous Materials Releases, and Power Outages) 

  • Get the attention of a person with a hearing disability by touch and eye contact. Clearly state the problem. Gestures and pointing are helpful, but be prepared to write a brief statement if the person does not seem to understand. 
  • Offer visual instructions to provide advice for safest route or direction by pointing toward exits or evacuation maps.

Bomb Threat, Earthquake, Fire and Hazardous Materials Releases

  • It may be necessary to help clear the exit route of debris (if possible) so that the person with a disability can move to a safer area. 
  • If people with mobility impairments cannot exit, they should move to a safer area, e.g., most enclosed stairwells or an office with the door shut which is a good distance from the hazard (and away from falling debris in the case of earthquakes). 
  • Notify police or fire personnel immediately about any people remaining in the building and their locations. 
  • First responders will determine if people are safe where they are and will evacuate them as necessary. The Fire Department may determine that it is safe to override the guidance against using elevators. 
  • If people are in immediate danger and cannot be moved to a safer area to wait for assistance, it may be necessary to evacuate them using an evacuation chair or a carry technique.

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