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Assisting Disabled Ind During Emergency


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Assisting Disabled Ind During Emergency

  1. 1. IIPP Quarterly Training Assisting Disabled Individuals During Emergency EvacuationsIntended to provide Primary Care Employees with information that will help them toassist disabled individuals during emergency situations.Common Examples: Vision Impairment Individuals With Service Animals Hearing Impairment Cognitive & Psychiatric Disabilities Mobility Impairments Crutch & Cane Users Wheelchair UsersGeneral Considerations:Individuals with disabilities generally know the best way to be assisted. Asking themwhat they may need is the best place to start. Some require minimal assistance (e.g.blind or deaf generally can use the stairs to exit the facility if notified of the need toevacuate). If a disability is recognizable, approach the individual and ask if they needassistance. In all emergency situations, one has to make a judgment call. Your best allyduring any emergency is simple common sense.Assisting Vision Impaired IndividualsBlind or low vision Individuals may require assistance exiting the building and followingemergency evacuation routes. Individuals familiar with the building and orientation innormal conditions may lose sound clues they typically rely on if an alarm is sounding.Blind and low vision individuals may become disoriented if an alternative route isrequired.Basics When Assisting Individuals with Vision Impairments: Announce Your Presence Speak Directly And Clearly To Individual Offer Assistance Let Individual Explain What Help Is Needed Describe Actions & Procedures In Advance Use A Wide Beam Flashlight To Guide Individuals (If Available) After Exiting Building Lead Individuals With Impaired Vision To Designated Area of Refuge Remain With Individuals Until Emergency Is Over (If Possible)Created by holle_s Page 1 of 3 3/22/2012
  2. 2. IIPP Quarterly Training Assisting Disabled Individuals During Emergency EvacuationsSight Guided TechniqueTouch the individual’s elbow, forearm, or hand with the back of your hand. The individualwill grasp your arm above the elbow with their fingers on the inside of your arm nearyour body and their thumb on the outside. Be sure to mention stairs, doorways, narrowpassages, ramps, and any other obstructions.Assisting Individuals with Service AnimalsService Animals may become confused, panicked, frightened or disoriented duringemergencies. Service Animal guide owners may need to use alternative ways to movethrough the emergency evacuation environment. Owners should keep Service Animalguides confined or securely leashed or harnessed.Under no circumstances should a DPH employee attempt to control or restrain theservice animal. Trying to handle any animal under stress could result in an injuryto you, the owner, and the animal. Immediately notify Security if the owner isunable to control their service animal.Assisting Hearing Impaired Individuals Tap Individual On Shoulder Point To The Visible Alarm Use Facial Expressions & Hand Gestures As Visual Cues Do Not Cover Or Turn Your Face Away Check To See If You Have Been Understood Offer Pencil & Paper (If Available): Written Communication May Be Important Be Patient: Individuals May Have Difficulty Comprehending Message UrgencyAssisting Individuals with Cognitive DisabilitiesIndividuals with learning disabilities may have difficulty in recognizing and responding toan emergency situation. Individuals with cognitive disabilities may become confusedwhen challenged with unusual activities that occur during emergencies and may havedifficulty in responding to instructions that involve more than simple procedures. Be Prepared to Talk: Visual Perception Of Written Instructions Or Signs May Be Confused Sense Of Direction May Be Limited: Assist If Necessary Keep Emergency Information Simple Simple Signals May Be Helpful Individuals Should Be Treated As Adults With Cognitive Or Learning Disabilities. Speak Carefully But Do Not Patronize.Created by holle_s Page 2 of 3 3/22/2012
  3. 3. IIPP Quarterly Training Assisting Disabled Individuals During Emergency EvacuationsAssisting Individuals with Psychiatric DisabilitiesIndividuals with psychiatric disabilities may experience and express panic, fear,confusion, thought processing and memory difficulties, agitation, paranoia, crying,pacing, shouting, depression, withdrawal, irritability, anxiety, and shaking. Thesereactions may increase in severity during an emergency. Do not attempt to reason withan individual in acute psychiatric distress. Notify Security if individuals becomecombative, belligerent, or refuse to comply with emergency instructions.Assisting Individuals with Mobility ImpairmentsIndividuals have varying degrees of mobility impairments, ranging from slow walkers towheelchair users.Crutch & Cane Users may be able to use the stairs. One hand is used to grasp thehandrail while the other is used for the crutch or cane. The best practice is allowing theindividual to move independently unless requested to assist them.Wheelchair Users: In an actual emergency, it may be necessary to leave a chair behindduring evacuation. During Drill conditions, a wheelchair user should not be separatedfrom their chair.Other ConsiderationsIndividuals who tire easily due to medical conditions, such as respiratory disorders orpregnancy, may need special assistance or more time to evacuate:Respiratory Disorders: Asthma & Emphysema Onset of symptoms can be triggeredby stress, exertion, and exposure to dust or smoke. Remind individual to bring inhalationmedication before leaving the work place.Cardiac Conditions Remind Individuals to take their medications with them duringevacuation. Offer them assistance.Pregnancy can result in reduced stamina or impaired mobility, especially while usingstairs. Offer assistance and remain with individual until you have reached safety.Created by holle_s Page 3 of 3 3/22/2012