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Examples of Evacuation Procedures

Updated March 23, 2017

Natural disasters and emergencies, such as fires, prompt quick and necessary evacuation procedures. Procedures developed with safety in mind should remain clearly posted in work and school locations and practised through participation in regular drills. Planning ahead and understanding the general requirements of an appropriate evacuation plan can help lead your family, friends and neighbours to safety.

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Home evacuations may arise from a number of possible situations, including flooding, fire and wind damage. Preparation in advance includes educating the family on possible scenarios, practicing evacuation procedures and planning for recovery. Evacuation procedures for fire scenarios include planning multiple escape routes, exiting to safety and contacting emergency personnel once evacuated. Those with multiple floors should plan on using a fire escape ladder to reach safety. Once out of the house, account for all family members, including your pets, then go to a neighbour's house to contact emergency services and await their arrival.

Evacuations for disasters which provide warning ahead of time, such as flooding and hurricanes, require careful planning. When developing an evacuation plan in these emergencies, discuss multiple evacuation routes and follow local authority guidelines. Refrain from driving over flooded roadways and evacuate when ordered to for the best chance of reaching safety. If time permits, shut off water, gas and electric before leaving and grab important documents, such as banking information, mortgage documents and insurance papers.


Office evacuation procedures relating to fire, severe weather and chemical spills should receive the necessary attention of all employees, including management. Evacuation drills held on a regular basis allow employees to get used to evacuation procedures and warning siren meanings so that they are fully prepared in case of an emergency. Evacuation procedures should include warning sirens, designated exits and meeting spots for various departments, personnel and floors. Each department should have a designated point of contact, prepared with a roster of employees to ensure that each employee has reached safety. Companies should appoint specific managers and personnel to contact emergency services, so as to not overwhelm the emergency system.

Additional Considerations

Consider that not all emergencies will require evacuation. Tornado warnings, for instance, may signify a shelter-in-place situation. In this case, whether at home, work or school, safety procedures call for seeking shelter in an interior hallway, lower level of the building or storm shelter. Evacuation procedures also call for advanced preparation. This includes maintaining, at minimum, a half tank of gas in your car and a well-stocked emergency supply kit. Take into consideration the elderly members of your family, children and pets. Revise any evacuation procedures as necessary to ensure that all members of the family reach safety.

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About the Author

Nicole Long is a freelance writer based in Cincinnati, Ohio. With experience in management and customer service, business is a primary focus of her writing. Long also has education and experience in the fields of sports medicine, first aid and coaching. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati.

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