Hot Tips (Emergency Evacuation)

Planning For Evacuation

Keeping all of our children safe is paramount. When it comes to evacuating schools in the event of an emergency we need to be prepared to get everyone out safely. That is why emergency evacuation plans are vital. Extra precautions and considerations need to be taken to accommodate the individual needs of students or personnel with physical or sensory disabilities, and those who may lack understanding of a situation or be able to act quickly. Identifying and preventing risk is a crucial part of emergency planning and should never allow leaving anyone behind. Pre-planning for an emergency in a school is imperative in today’s world. School systems must have the capacity to move all persons with disabilities to a safe location immediately in any emergency situation.

Points to consider when planning

  • Clearly visible evacuation procedures
  • Consider mobility impaired and persons with sight/hearing impairment
  • Staff training in use of assistive equipment and procedures
  • Regular reviews, especially if the building has in any way been modified
  • Visitors will often be totally unfamiliar with the layout of your premises
  • Visitors share their needs upon entry

Schools should develop a plan to necessitate provisions and share the information with all people concerned. The school system has a moral, ethical and legal responsibility to keep their whole community safe in the event of an emergency.

Evacuation equipment solutions

  • Evacuation chairs provide a universal evacuation solution for smooth stairway descent during an emergency.
  • Evacuation sleds are designed to help evacuate non-ambulant people or people who may not be able to walk down stairs in an emergency.

To download a checklist, go to

This article originally appeared in the School Planning & Management May 2018 issue of Spaces4Learning.

About the Author

Mark Roberts is vice president of Evac+Chair North America. He can be reached at [email protected].