Personal Preparedness : If you have employees or regular customers with disabilities, take steps to ensure that they will be safe and informed in an emergency.
Identify places where those with disabilities could take shelter. Make sure that the route to the shelter locations are wheelchair accessible, and that they are clearly marked.
Think about investing in equipment that can help evacuate people with disabilities when needed. Special items like stair chairs, warning strobe lights, and braille markers to identify routes for the visually impaired, are all ways you can minimize impact on anyone who has a disability.
Make sure to designate a few employees to assist with special needs evacuations, and train them in the use of any special equipment. Many resources are available to assist you with creating safe accessible evacuation routes and creating clear signs that will help those who need it evacuate. Understanding the needs of people with disabilities will assist you in making your business inclusive and accessible.
- The National Organization on Disability: http://www.nod.org/
- The ADA: http://www.ada.gov/
- The US Department of Labor (Preparing the Workplace for Everyone): http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/ep/preparing2.htm