Evacuation For Those Persons With Physical Disabilities

Individuals who use wheelchairs or are otherwise mobility impaired
  • If on the ground floor leave the building at the nearest safe exit
  • If on above or below ground floor - predetermine the safest plan of action considering your particular physical circumstances and the areas you will be in.
  • Seek advice from your physician, and concurrence or assistance from Director of Disability Services.
The following general procedures are suggested by fire department and emergency personnel.
  • In all areas you frequent, become familiar with location of at least two exits, alarm provisions, safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, basement storm shelter areas and evacuation staging areas such as building/dorm Information Desk.
  • Before an emergency, choose at least two peers or fellow employees who are willing and able to assist you, if assistance may be needed in carrying you with or without the wheelchair to safety. Contact faculty, supervisor or the Director of Disability Services if help is needed in getting volunteers.
  • Discuss with assistants and practice, if possible, the safest method for moving you up or down a stairway. If you have difficulty being understood, develop a card containing all appropriate instructions and carry it with you.
  • Carry a loud whistle or similar device you can operate, for use in the event you become trapped.
During an emergency
  • If not in immediate danger, wait till traffic has thinned, inform faculty, supervisor or peer volunteers where you will be, then go with assistants to a "designated rescue area," usually beside an exit stairway or a room near the exit stairway or a room near the exit stairway with a door that closes, a window and preferably a telephone. If near a telephone, dial 918.495.7750 or X7750 and inform the dispatcher where you are. Assistants should then exit to alert emergency responders. Wait for trained emergency responders to assist you from the building.
  • If in immediate danger, inform assistants of way to move you to up or down stairs.
Special Circumstances
  • Persons on respirators should be given priority assistance in emergencies involving smoke or fumes because their ability to breathe is seriously jeopardized.
  • There are many different types of wheelchairs which have many movable or weak parts which are not built to withstand the stress of lifting. Therefore, if possible remove batteries from an electric wheelchair before attempting to transport it.
Individuals with Vision Limitations or Hearing Impairment

Follow the process above in predetermining emergency evacuation routes and make sure a volunteer, who could be a faculty or staff member, is assigned to inform you of the danger and assist you, if needed, out the safest evacuation route. It may be advisable to wait till the traffic has thinned.

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