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To alert hearing impaired individuals:

  • Turn lights on and/or off to gain the individual's attention.
  • Indicate directions with gestures.
  • Write a note with evacuation directions.

To assist visually impaired individuals:

  • Announce the type of emergency.
  • Offer an arm for guidance.
  • Tell the individual where they are going and of any obstacles they may encounter.
  • When reaching safety, ask if further help is needed.

Emergency evacuation procedure

It is the responsibility of a person with a mobility impairment to plan ahead for emergency situations which could involve evacuations. In many emergency situations, lighting can become obscure or obsolete and elevators and telephones may not be operable.

Consider the following when planning for emergency evacuation:

  • Plan ahead. If elevators are not operating during an emergency, critical time can be saved by making evacuation arrangements with supervisors in the building in advance. Emergency personnel will need to know what measures or equipment are required for evacuation and advanced planning may expedite and secure a safe evacuation.
  • For many buildings a stairwell is a safe area in which to wait for emergency personnel if stairs or elevators cannot be accessed; however, in some buildings, the stairwell acts as a chimney, fostering smoke and flames. For specific information about areas of rescue, contact the building coordinator for the building you occupy.
  • If the building is evacuated in response to a fire or similar emergency, all personnel are to report to the predesignated assembly point. At the assembly point, supervisors account for personnel and report any that are unaccounted for to the Virginia Tech Police Deparment and/or the fire department.

To help evacuate individuals using assistive walking devices:

  • Evacuate these individuals as injured persons.
  • Assist and accompany to evacuation site if possible.
  • Use a sturdy chair (or one with wheels) to move the individual.
  • Help carry the individual to safety.

To evacuate individuals using wheelchairs:

  • Contact the appropriate rescue person by calling 911 or a trained emergency personnel.
  • Determine if other employees can move the individual safely.
  • Non-ambulatory individuals' needs and preferences vary. Individuals at ground floor locations may exit without help. Others may have minimal ability to move. Lifting these individuals may be dangerous to those lifting or those being lifted. Do not attempt to lift a non-ambulatory individual without specific training.
  • Some non-ambulatory individuals have respiratory complications. Remove them from smoke and vapors immediately. Wheelchair users with electrical respirators should get priority assistance

Medical emergency procedure

In case of a medical emergency, notify the Virginia Tech Police Department of the location, nature, and extent of the injury by calling 911 from a safe location.

  • Protect the victim from further injury by removing any persistent threat to the victim.
  • Do not move the victim unnecessarily.
  • If you have the appropriate training and it is safe to do so, provide first aid until help arrives.
  • If possible, send someone outside to escort emergency responders to the appropriate location.

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