Evacuation Procedures for Persons with Disabilities
Visual Impairments | Hearing Impairments
Persons using Crutches, Canes or Walkers
|Persons using Wheelchairs
The following guidelines should be considered when assisting persons with disabilities
in an evacuation. Emergency coordinators and volunteers should familiarize themselves with
Communicate the nature of the emergency to the person.
Ask the person how they would like to be assisted.
Evacuate mobility aids with the person if possible.
Keep the following information in mind when assisting persons with:
Tell the person the nature of the emergency and offer to guide him/her to the nearest emergency
exit. Have the person take your elbow and escort him/her advising of any obstacles, such
as stairs, narrow passageways or overhanging objects. When you have reached safety, orient
the person to where he/she is and ask if further assistance is needed.
Most buildings are not equipped with flashing light alarms and persons with impaired hearing
may not perceive that an emergency exists. Communicate with the person by writing a note
or through simple hand gestures.
Ask the person what method of assistance they prefer. Check for the availability of an
evacuation chair and always evacuate mobility aids with the person, if possible.
Ask the person the method of assistance they prefer. Some people have minimal ability to
move and lifting them may be dangerous to their well-being. Some persons using wheelchairs
have respiratory complications; remove them from smoke or fumes immediately. It the person
wants to be moved in their wheelchair, keep the following considerations in mind:
they should be moved
down stairs in a forward facing position
wheelchairs have many
moveable or weak parts
some people have no
upper trunk or neck strength
power wheelchairs have
heavy batteries; an evacuation chair may be needed and the wheelchair retrieved later
if a seat belt is available,
If the person prefers to be removed from the wheelchair for evacuation, ask for a preference
on the following:
ways of being removed
from the wheelchair
whether to move extremities
being moved forward
or backwards down stairs
whether a seat cushion
or pad should be brought
what is necessary for
Wheelchairs and mobility aids should be retrieved as soon as possible. The location of
the wheelchairs and mobility aids should be noted, so that they may be retrieved as soon
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