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  • Emergency Procedures for the Disabled
  • Public Safety

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  • Emergency Procedures for the Disabled

    If you have a temporary or permanent disability that might prevent your prompt and safe relocation or evacuation from a building, you need to do some additional planning to ensure your safety. The planning steps identified below will: (1) ensure that you are familiar with accessible exit routes and other safety features of the building, (2) recruit the assistance of coworkers, colleagues or others to assist you during the evacuation/relocation, and (3) ensure that emergency response personnel know that you may need additional assistance to evacuate the building.

    Preparing for an Evacuation

    • Review your building’s Emergency Plans which are located in classrooms, labs, conference rooms, departmental main offices and residence halls. The plans are conspicuously located; show emergency exit routes, fire extinguishers, fire alarm pull stations, automated external defibrillators, assembly areas, and relocation safe areas; and are updated as necessary.
    • Determine in advance the nearest exit from your work location and the route you will follow to reach that exit in an emergency. Know the locations of alternate exits from your area.
    • If you work in an office, know exactly how many doors you will pass along your evacuation route before you reach the nearest exit door. In heavy smoke, exit signs may be invisible. Even in heavy smoke, you can count the number of doors you pass, so you will know when you reach the exit door.
    • Establish a “buddy system” with a coworker, classmate or other colleague who can assist you during a building evacuation/relocation.
    • Train your “buddy” on the best way they can assist you during an evacuation.
    • Contact Public Safety (218.477.2449) or Environmental Health & Safety (218.477.2998) for assistance in your planning efforts and notifying emergency responders of specific needs that you may have.

    Evacuation/Relocation Procedures

    • When the evacuation alarm sounds or relocation notification is given you should immediately prepare to evacuate from or relocate to a safe area within the building.
    • If time and conditions permit, secure your workplace and take with you important personal items such as keys, purse, medication, glasses, etc.
    • Follow instructions from emergency personnel.
    • If you are unable to exit the building seek refuge with your “buddy” in the building’s Area of Safe Rescue for the Disabled identified on the Emergency Plans. Remain at your Area of Safe Rescue until it is safe to evacuate or emergency personnel respond. Your safe area will offer a minimum of 30 minutes protection against the spread of fire and smoke.
    • Advise others who may be assisting you to continue evacuating once you have reached your safe area. They should immediately summon and advise emergency responders of your location.
    • The following emergency location safe areas are located on the building's Emergency Plans:
      • Area of Safe Rescue for the Disabled - These areas are constructed to provide a higher degree of protection during fires and are checked by the Fire Department upon arrival. Those with mobility impairments should be assisted to the nearest Area of Safe Rescue (usually a stairwell or room near an elevator) in the building. Doors should be closed and Fire Department notified immediately upon their arrival of disabled person(s) in the safe area.
      • Severe Weather Safe Area - Designated as safe areas during tornadoes and other severe weather, these locations include interior hallways and rooms away from windows. The large brick buildings on this University campus are of reinforced construction and should provide adequate shelter. Avoid upper level rooms, auditoriums and gymnasiums with large, poorly supported roofs.
      • Shelter-in-Place Area - These locations are safe areas when hazardous materials may have been released into the atmosphere. This would most likely occur during a train derailment or semi-truck accidentally releasing hazardous chemicals into the environment. Should this occur a "shelter-in-place" warning will be provided by an emergency notification system. These areas are interior rooms that are above ground level because some chemicals are heavier than air. Other precautionary measures needing to take place are doors and windows being shut and ventilation systems turned off.