An area evacuation is an organized withdrawal from a building or area to reach a safe haven. Upon notification to evacuate, quickly:
- Dress appropriately for the weather.
- Take essentials with you (e.g., eyeglasses, medications, identification, cash/checkbook/credit cards). Do not pack belongings.
- Turn off unnecessary equipment, computers, and appliances.
- Close the door as you exit your room or office.
- Follow the directions provided for safe routes of evacuation.
- Listen to the radio, if applicable, to monitor emergency status.
- Do not use your personal vehicle for evacuation unless specifically ordered to do so. If cars are used to evacuate, protect against hazardous materials by keeping windows closed and outside air conditioning systems turned off.
Persons with visual impairments
In the event of an emergency, tell the person the nature of the emergency and offer to guide him/her. As you walk, tell the person where you are and advise of any obstacles. Do not grasp a visually impaired person's arm. Offer your arm for guidance. Most buildings on campus are equipped with fire alarm horns/strobes that sound the alarm and flash strobe lights. The horn is for the sight impaired persons. Most people with a visual impairment will be familiar with their immediate surroundings and frequently traveled routes. Since the emergency evacuation route could be different from the commonly traveled route, persons who are visually impaired may need assistance in evacuating a building. A "buddy" should offer assistance to the individual with visual impairment and guide him/her through the evacuation route.
Persons with hearing impairments
Not all fire systems have a flashing light. Most are sound alarms. Therefore, persons with impaired hearing may not perceive emergency alarms, and an alternative warning technique would be required. Two methods of warning are:
- Writing a note telling what the emergency is and the nearest evacuation route/safe staging area.
- Tapping the person on the shoulder or turning the light switch on and off to gain attention, then indicating through gestures or in writing what is happening and what to do.
Persons using crutches, canes, or walkers
If the person is having difficulty exiting quickly, threat him/her as if injured for evacuation purposes. Carrying options include using a two-person, lock-arm position or having the person sit in a sturdy chair, preferably with arms. For level travel, an office chair with wheels could be utilized.
The needs and preferences of on-ambulatory persons will vary. Most non-ambulatory persons will be able to exit safely without assistance if on the ground floor. Some people have minimal ability to move, and lifting them may be painful and/or injurious. Frequently, non-ambulatory persons have respiratory complications. Remove them from smoke and fumes immediately.