Emergency Evacuation Procedures
In the event of a fire or other major disaster, it is important to have well established evacuation procedures to ensure the safe evacuation of employees and customers. The Cal Poly Corporation Human Resources Office prepares and posts emergency evacuation routes for all Corporation departments. It is the responsibility of each Department Head to ensure that all employees (students included) are thoroughly familiar with the emergency evacuation route and designated gathering area for their specific department. Individuals should be assigned duties such as checking restrooms and escorting disabled individuals from the building in the event of an evacuation. (See Appendix J for tips on emergency evacuation).
Drills are conducted on at least an annual basis by the Human Resources Office. Members of the Health and Safety Committee observe the drills and provide feedback. Drills are coordinated with the Department Head and Public Safety to be least disruptive to business while ensuring the greatest number of participating employees.
General Emergency Evacuation Procedures
- Various buildings on the Cal Poly campus have different methods of alerting occupants of a necessary building evacuation. Knowing the type of alarm for the particular building is key for successful evacuation.
- Evacuation plans are posted in most work areas; the general philosophy is to exit the building in the quickest way possible. Assembly points for employees are generally in the vicinity of the buildings, at a safe distance to prevent further injury.
- Each department or work area should review special attention areas and plan accordingly; for example restrooms or walk-ins. An individual (and backup) should be designated to check these areas and offer any assistance as needed. In addition, special arrangements should be made regarding customers and the smooth evacuation from the facility. Encourage customers to also move away from the building and out of harm’s way.
- If time permits during an evacuation, all doors and windows should be shut. Closed doors and windows slow the spread of a fire. Also, if time permits, employees should bring personal belongings (e.g., purses) during an evacuation.
- If time permits, electrical appliances should also be turned off, including computers. If the power goes off and/or surges, it can cause damage to computers and other electrical appliances.
- Do not re-enter the building until told to do so by fire staff. The silencing of the alarm does not signal all clear.
There are some types of emergencies where building evacuation might not take place immediately, for example, earthquakes. The following steps are to be followed in the event of an earthquake:
During the Earthquake
- Duck, cover and hold. Get under solid cover (desk, doorways, chairs, tables) as fast as you can. Protect your head. If no cover is available, line up along windowless walls. If you are indoors, stay there!
- If you are outside, move to an open area away from power lines, power poles, trees, walls and chimneys.
- If you are on a sidewalk near buildings, duck into a doorway to protect yourself from falling debris.
- Watch for falling objects. Move away from windows, ceiling fixtures, glass, hot water, steam pipes or other special hazards.
- Wait for tremors to cease before leaving the building. Move to the designated gathering spot, if possible, for “head count”. Meeting areas should be in areas away from buildings.
- Expect aftershocks. Move carefully. Use extreme caution.
- Wear shoes for protection.
- Immediately check for injurieed, trapped persons. Do not attempt to move the seriously injured unless they are in immediate danger.
- Immediately check for fires. Extinguish them with a fire extinguisher, if possible. If unable, leave the area immediately.
- Keep calm – use common sense.
Before the Earthquake
- Secure objects that might fall during an earthquake, such as filing cabinets and bookshelves.
- Review plans with all staff.
- Check storage of all chemicals and hazardous materials. Chemical spilling can lead to significant hazards.
- Have on hand a flashlight, with extra batteries, a portable radio, supply of fresh drinking water and some non-perishable food, a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit.