Keep talking to a minimum and listen to announcements sounding over the fire/life safety system.
Enter the stairwell single file.
Stay to the wall side of stairwell while descending as firefighters/emergency personnel will typically come up the inside portion of the stairwell.
Move quickly but do not run and utilize handrails.
Remove high-heeled shoes to avoid tripping (carry them with you).
Be alert to other traffic entering/descending down the steps from other floors.
Use courtesy and allow others entering the stairwell from other floors to merge in with the flow but do not unnecessarily hold up traffic.
Do not carry open containers of liquids as a potential spill may cause a slip and fall.
Gain assistance for those who are slower moving or physically impaired.
Complete the evacuation and do not congregate in the stairwell. Once out immediately proceed to the assembly area.
Dispel any false information or rumors you might hear during the evacuation by other evacuees and follow the instructions sounding over the fire/life safety system or by emergency personnel.
Extreme Stairwell Situations and Movement
*In the event of complete power loss and/or loss of the ability to make announcements through the fire/life safety system do the following:
Utilize the same practices as outlined in Normal Stairwell Movement.
Emergency Floor Coordinators and Emergency Team Members should utilize their flashlights to help illuminate the stairs and provide additional guidance with stairwell movement.
Personnel evacuating can place an arm on the shoulder of the person in front of them to assist with movement in the event that the stairwell becomes dark or if a wall and/or hand railing are present, use it as a guide and follow it all the way down to the exit point.
If necessary, follow the instructions in the Extreme Emergency Measures section of this book.
People who are visually impaired need to be familiar with an evacuation route for use in emergency situations ahead of time. It is also good to learn at least one alternate route, just in case.
Use the buddy system. The buddy should be someone familiar with the person having the impairment, specifically knowing how to provide guiding assistance, and they should be familiar with the guide dog or other service animal. Additionally, back-up or alternate buddies should be recruited and trained.
Buddies should go to the person’s workstation or an agreed meeting place to look for the employee with a disability. If the employee is not found, the buddy should then immediately vacate the building.
During the semi-annual zone evacuations or when a full evacuation drill is conducted, it is good to participate, as this improves familiarity with the evacuation procedures and routes for the employee, their service animals, and the buddy(s).
A non-ambulatory individual can be described as someone who would need assistance in evacuating a floor or area. These can be individuals who use a wheelchair, crutches, cane, walker, or other device and would need assistance in evacuating. This can also include individuals who are in the later stages of pregnancy or have a severe physical ailment other than a mobility issue. These individuals should have a buddy assigned to them and should stay with them throughout the event. These individuals should proceed to the freight elevator landing, with their buddy to await evacuation.
An ambulatory individual can be described as someone who may have a minor respiratory ailment or other minor physical ailment that would not necessitate the need for a buddy; however, the individual would not be able to typically ascend stairs during an evacuation. These individuals should proceed to the freight elevator landing to await evacuation.
If necessary, assign a buddy to the individual and assist as needed.
Extreme Emergency Movement of Individuals with Disabilities
In the event of an extreme emergency, employees using wheelchairs, motorized scooters, crutches, etc., should consider alternative evacuation measures, including being picked-up and carried down the stairwell to a safer location and if necessary, out of the building.
When circumstances necessitate separating the user and the wheelchair, try to keep the period of separation to a minimum. Ensure sufficient help to carry both the user and the wheelchair/scooter is available to use this procedure.
When more than one flight of stairs is traversed, helpers may need to switch positions, since one person may be doing most of the lifting. Switch positions only on level landing areas. When the lifting is complete, follow the instructions of the wheelchair's user and restore the manual or motorized wheelchair to full operation; then assist the user to a safe area.
In the event that an individual(s) with disabilities are evacuated by other means such as freight or passenger elevator, they will most likely will not be evacuated or taken to the designated corporate assembly area but will be assembled at a closer location, away from the danger, such as one of the other buildings. The decision as to want evacuation means will be utilized and where these occupants will be assembled will be made by the authorities (PFD/PPD) at the time of the event as circumstances may determine the decision.
Emergency Evacuation Suggestions for Disorientated and Frightened Individuals
Occasionally, during an emergency situation, individuals may panic or develop severe anxiety over the event. This type of a reaction may even cause the person to freeze-up and lose all rational thought processes as to what they need to do. In the event that you encounter someone on your floor that becomes severely distressed attempt the following:
Talk to the individual and try to reason with them.
Logically explain to them the situation that is occurring and that they need to leave the area.
Be firm and reassuring.
If needed, assign a buddy to the person and ensure the buddy stays with them throughout the event.
If there is imminent danger and the person is irrational, apprehensive, and unwilling to leave the area, obtain assistance, as needed, and attempt to safely use reasonable force to assist the individual away from the danger.
If the situation deteriorates to the point that your or others' safety is in question, immediately evacuate the area and as soon as possible advise Security, building management, or emergency personnel what has occurred so that they can respond to the situation.
Stairwell Exit Points
(see Emergency Response Guide for photos of exit areas)
Exit Front Doors; Turn Left
Stairwell #9 - 1st floor near Ross; exit to 8th Street
Exit Back Door; Turn Right
Subway tunnel; turn right; stairs up; exit to 8th Street
1st Floor near Main Building Elevators; exit to 7th or 8th Streets