Emergency evacuation plan is a written document which draws out the best, safest and fastest way of escape for persons in any premises in case of emergency. It covers both imminent or ongoing threat or hazard which could endanger lives of the occupants of the affected building.
Emergency evacuation plans are developed to ensure the safest and most efficient evacuation time of all expected residents of a structure as at the time of any emergency.
The emergency evacuation plan is a component of the emergency action plan. Note that, not all emergency may need evacuation; hence the evacuation plan is just developed in case need arises.
When Is Emergency Evacuation Necessary
A workplace evacuation may be necessary in response to a wide range of emergencies, both man-made and natural. Fires, explosions, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, releases of hazardous materials, biological and radioactive catastrophes, civil unrest, and workplace violence are a few examples of these situations.
Employers will prefer that their staff react to these various risks in diverse ways. In the event of a tornado or chemical spill on a nearby roadway, for instance, employers could want to have workers gather in one area of the building, but in the event of a fire, they might want to evacuate to an outside site. Your plan needs to specify how and when staff members are expected to handle various situations. Consider your worst-case scenarios and pose questions to yourself. What would happen if there was a chemical leak in the shop, the river flooded, or the warehouse caught fire?
Your choice could be influenced by the kind of building you work in. The consequences of natural calamities like tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, or explosions can affect the majority of buildings. The kind of incident and the design of the building determine how much damage has been done. For example, steel frames characterize modern industries and office buildings, which have a stronger structural foundation than nearby commercial spaces. However, almost all kinds of structures will be impacted in a big disaster like an earthquake or explosion. Certain buildings will crumble, while others will only have walls and floors that are compromised.
The emergency evacuation plan follows a trend of events, this takes us to the next heading.
Trend Of Events Of The Emergency Evacuation Plan:
- Emergency detection: Spotting the type of emergency.
- Decision of evacuation; this will be based on the magnitude of the emergency detected and this decision must be taken by a responsible person.
- Evacuation alarm: Sounding this alarm is what will put the emergency evacuation plan into force.
- Reaction: This involves the action parties implementing the evacuation plan
- Movement to an area of refuge or an assembly station
- Transportation where necessary
Any good evacuation plan must be well structured with important action plans, this is covered in the elements of a good evacuation plan.
7 Element Of A Good Emergency Evacuation Plan
- Must state the conditions for evacuation
- State a clear chain of command
- State clearly the specific evacuation procedure depending on the type of emergency and the type of premises involve.
- State the procedures for assisting visitors, physically challenged and other employees.
- Plan for specific emergency equipment need and who should issue them out. Equipment like safety glasses, goggles, face shields, chemical suits, etc.
- Plan and responsibility for roll call and head count.
- Plan for training for responsible persons and simulations.
- Plan for review: The emergency evacuation plan should be reviewed in case of lapses or as a result of legal requirement.
It is very important that the evacuation plan be practiced intermittently to keep all actions parties ready. The aim of this practice (Simulation) is to achieve the least possible evacuation time.
Arrange Your Evacuation Ahead of Time
You need to plan your evacuation early, here are the things you need to consider when planning your evacuation;
- Identify where you can go in the event of an evacuation, having more than one option preferably.
- Map out your primary routes and backup routes to your evacuation destinations in case roads are blocked or impassable.
- Pre-arrange a designated place to meet in case your family members are separated before or during the evacuation. Make the location specific.
- Put all evacuation plans in writing along with pertinent addresses and phone numbers and give them to each member of the family.
NOTE: The shorter the evacuation time, the better.
I believe this article has been beneficial to you, please share it on your social media platform for your friend and colleagues.
If you have any question based on the topic we have discussed or any other HSE related topic, feel free to ask via our contact page or the comment box.