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Emergency Planning

If you are a person with a mobility impairment due to disability, it is your responsibility 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. As such, consider the following when planning for emergency evacuation:

If elevators are not operating during an emergency, critical time can be saved if you have made evacuation arrangements with supervisors or faculty in the building you occupy. Because emergency personnel will need to know what measures or equipment you require for evacuation, 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. 

Emergency evacuation procedure

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 and/or the fire department.

Medical emergency procedure

In case of a medical emergency, notify Virginia Tech Police of the location, nature and extent of the injury by call 9-1-1 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.

Assisting visually impaired individuals

Announce the type of emergency.

Offer your arm for guidance.

Tell the person where you are going; of obstacles you encounter.

When you reach safety, ask if further help is needed.

Alerting hearing impaired individuals

Turn lights on and/or off to gain the individual's attention, or

Indicate directions with gestures, or

Write a note with evacuation directions.

Evacuating those using assistive walking devices

Evacuate these individuals as injured persons.

Assist and accompany to evacuation site if possible, or

Use a sturdy chair (or one with wheels) to move the individual, or

Help carry the individual to safety.

Evacuating those using wheelchairs

Contact the appropriate rescue person; call 9-1-1 or trained emergency personnel.

Determine if you 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 your or them. Do not attempt to lift a non-ambulatory individual unless you have received 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.

 

 

 

 

Contact Us

University ADA Services
North End Center, Suite 2300 (0318)
300 Turner St. NW
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: 540-231-9331
Fax: 540-231-3830
Email: hrservicecenter@vt.edu

Additional Resources

 

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