Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Evacuation in an Emergency

Emergency Evacuation

Stairways are always the first option when evacuating a building. Unless they are blocked by a fire, or damaged by the disaster (like in case of an earthquake) this is the way to get out of the building. Occupants who are able to get out on their own should enter the stairwell and leave the building as soon as they know there is a crisis.

Folks who are unable to leave under their own power should meet at a predestined point and wait for firefighters or other emergency personnel to help them get out of the building. It is important for those needing assistance to know exactly where the point of “pick up” will be in case of an emergency.

If you are in an office building, there should be an emergency team in charge of making sure all employees and guests know to evacuate the building. There should be steps in place to make sure all people are notified of a problem. If you have deaf employees, you should make sure that they are accounted for and being evacuated. One step to notify them of an issue is to flash the lights in the restroom in order to alert them to a drill or emergency.

No matter what – you must have a plan.

And you should practice this by having drills on a regular basis to make sure that everyone knows where to go so that you can do a head count and make sure everyone is accounted for.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Where is the safest place inside your home in case of a tornado? An earthquake? A Hurricane?

The truth is we all want to think that it just won't happen to us, so we move on with our heads in the sand, pretending that we are not at risk.

If you have not planned for a shelter, now is the time to consider building a storm shelter on your own property. Underground is the safest, but most of us don't have that option (except if we have a home with a basement). But if you have a sloped property - you can cut a storm shelter into the slope of the land. Not unlike the storm cellar in "The Wizard of Oz" - this is extremely safe during disastrous weather - though maybe not so much, in an earthquake.

You can build an above ground shelter with portable building plans you can buy. Of course, you will not want a movable building, you need something anchored to the earth. A solid foundation.

Most of the folks impacted by Hurricane Sandy or Katrina probably thought it would never happen to them either.

Be ready!

Are you ready?

We all want to think we are ready if we need to run. The fact is, we are less ready than we think.

What do you have ready to grab on your way out the door?

  • Medications
  • Jacket
  • Blanket
  • Water
  • Laptop
  • Purse
  • Wallet
  • Passport
  • Pictures

These are all things that we might wish we had grabbed while we are standing on the curb watching our house burn to the ground. It's not like we had a lot of time when the firefighter banged on the door and told us to get out.

But if we had planned before hand, we might have many of these items in our survival backpack that was within reach of the doorway. We can't keep everything in the backpack all the time, but we can plan to have those things within easy reach and do a better job than just grabbing our robe to throw over our pajamas.

Practice an evacuation drill. See how long it takes you to actually shove these things into the bag on your way out the door. You might be surprised at how well you can respond if you've run through the drill a few times.

Be prepared.

You can do it!


Get out of the building!

Get out now!

These are words that strike fear into the hearts of people all over the world. Because if you hear this, you know something terrible is going down.

Imagine how many times this was yelled during the 9-11 attacks in New York. Whether the person being warned heard the planes or not, the screaming to get out of the building certainly let them know that something horrible was happening.

You don't take your time to get out, it's a crisis - an emergency - a disaster.

The time to think about being prepared and having the right tools is over and the time to act is upon you.

What should you take with you?


Get out now!