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Evacuation Procedures for Persons with Disabilities
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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 these procedures.


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:


bullet they should be moved down stairs in a forward facing position
bullet wheelchairs have many moveable or weak parts
bullet some people have no upper trunk or neck strength
bullet power wheelchairs have heavy batteries; an evacuation chair may be needed and the wheelchair retrieved later
bullet if a seat belt is available, use it

If the person prefers to be removed from the wheelchair for evacuation, ask for a preference on the following:


bullet ways of being removed from the wheelchair
bullet whether to move extremities or not
bullet being moved forward or backwards down stairs
bullet whether a seat cushion or pad should be brought
bullet what is necessary for aftercare


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 as possible.

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