Evacuation plans are necessary, proactive measures that all households need to have practiced and understood. A family that works as a team and is ready to face adverse situations will lead to a much smoother, safer, more effective and efficient process. Without practice, a plan is of little use. Evacuation plans are necessary for basic survival reasons. When a life is at stake, an evacuation plan should be part of your preparedness ideals as an individual or family.
History has shown us that taking quick, decisive orderly steps can save lives. Disasters may require that people are not only evacuated out of buildings or to a safe area, but they may need to evacuate entire communities from various geographical areas. Hurricane Katrina is an example of how disaster can cause ruin, death, and destruction.
A large range of emergency situations, both man-made and natural, can strike at any time. Workplace or home environments need to have a written and practiced plan. A varying range of emergency situations may occur. Recently, the severity of natural disasters include hurricane Katrina and most recently, Hurricane Dean. Other emergencies range from fires, explosions, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, and biological disasters.
In the workplace, employers are responsible for employee safety and well-being. Thus, it is the employer’s responsibility to develop a means of employees and the general public to respond in a variety of ways to particular threats. Employers, for instance, need to have a variety of evacuation tactics designed and ready for implementation. If, for example, a work site is threatened by floodwaters, there are specific steps to take in order to facilitate orderly evacuation procedures. A tornado, on the other hand, is equally as threatening, but staff will need to gather in a different safe, area than when face with a flood.
Plans need to explain how, when, where, and why a person is to perform a particular action. If the threat of chemical spills are at-issue, staff needs to be knowledgeable and prepared. Plans are needed in order to create a means for a leader or small group of leaders to help facilitate safety and calm in the evacuation process. Those preparing evacuation plans need to ask themselves questions. Think of it as a brainstorming session where you devise the worst-case scenarios and how to react. Role-play what would happen if a storefront caught fire or a river flooded the streets.
A plan of action must be practiced and ready to use at a moments notice. Most buildings, regardless of how well they are designed, are, in fact, vulnerable to the cataclysmic power of tornadoes, earthquakes, and explosions. Different building layouts and architectural designs require different steps to follow in the evacuation process. It is of critical importance that evacuation plans are designed for each specific building layout along with the best routes and road to travel on to help streamline the entire evacuation process.