The Vital Role of Evacuation Chairs in Disaster-Prone Areas

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Living in disaster-prone areas can be challenging and unpredictable. These regions are susceptible to a variety of natural disasters that can wreak havoc on communities, causing extensive damage and posing significant risks to human life.

Here, vulnerable people, such as people with disabilities, the elderly, or pregnant women, can be potentially at risk in multistoried offices, shopping malls, apartments, townhouses, and other buildings during evacuations.

This is where evacuation chairs can be an important tool. Evacuation chairs are easily trainable and can help vulnerable people reach safety in a potentially dangerous situation.

Disasters in Disaster-Prone Areas

Disaster-prone areas are characterized by their vulnerability to various natural disasters. In the era of climate change, more populations are at risk of facing disasters.

Let’s take a closer look at some types of emergencies that require evacuation:

  1. Wildfires: Wildfires are uncontrolled fires that spread rapidly across vegetation. They can devastate forests, grasslands, and residential areas. The intense heat and smoke generated during wildfires pose severe risks to residents, making swift evacuation crucial.
  2. Floods: Floods occur when an area receives an excessive amount of rainfall, causing water bodies to overflow and submerge surrounding areas. Floodwaters can rapidly rise, leading to property damage and endangering lives. Evacuation chairs can be invaluable during flood emergencies, ensuring the safe evacuation of individuals with limited mobility.
  3. Tornadoes: Tornadoes are powerful rotating columns of air that can cause widespread destruction. They often occur in tornado-prone areas.
  4. Hurricanes: Hurricanes are large, rotating storms characterized by strong winds and heavy rainfall. They can cause significant damage to infrastructure, resulting in power outages and impassable roads. Evacuation chairs can assist in safely evacuating individuals from multi-story buildings before disaster strikes.

Examples of Locations At-Risk for Natural Disasters

According to various authorities, the following American cities are most at-risk for natural disasters:

  • California
  • Oklahoma City
  • San Diego
  • Clearlake
  • San Jose
  • Madera
  • Riverside-San Bernardino
  • Bakersfield
  • Houston
  • Santa Cruz
  • Huntsville

Meanwhile, a wide range of cities in Canada, Europe, and Asia are at-risk of different types of natural disasters due to their diverse geography and the growing impacts of climate change.

The Importance of Evacuation Chairs in Disaster Situations

During a disaster, time is of the essence, and the ability to evacuate quickly and safely can mean the difference between life and death. Evacuation chairs are specially designed to facilitate the safe evacuation of individuals with mobility limitations, such as the elderly or those with disabilities. Our chairs are equipped with features like sturdy wheels, brakes, and safety straps to securely transport people to safety.

At Evacuscape, we’ve created an easy-to-use solution with our stair chair.

  • The Evacuscape chair only requires one person to safely evacuate the evacuee.
  • It’s light enough to be carried by anyone who is assisting someone with reduced mobility.
  • Despite its lightweight, it’s strong enough to carry a person of up to 180 kg (400 lbs) safely down the stairs and can be used by a lightweight person to guide an evacuee heavier than themselves.
  • The Evacuscape chair is foldable into a compact size and can easily be stored in a convenient and accessible location via the wall-bracket system.
  • It has rubber tracks to reduce descent speed and won’t propel the evacuee forward. The Evacuscape chair’s sturdy construction and excellent design allows for increased functionality – it can be used as a transit chair.

We offer two types of evacuation chairs — both are made with the highest quality materials and can be vital tools in an emergency.

#EC1

This chair weighs 12.5 kg (27.5lbs) and supports a weight of up to 180 kg (400 lbs). It’s equipped with an emergency under seat light, speed-reducing V belt track, lap safety belt and head restraint strap, solid padded seat and backrest and locking rear wheel castors. It’s also shipped with a protective cover, wall bracket, and training DVD. It comes with a 10-year warranty for the frame and a one-year warranty for all the wheels, tracks, and braking components.

#EC2

This model is slightly heavier but still lightweight at 14.5kg (32lbs). It includes all the features of the EC1, as well as a detachable front carry handle, a fail-safe braking system, and a five-point harness and head restraint strap.

Creating an Effective Escape Plan for Disaster-Prone Areas

burning forest global warming

Having a well-designed escape plan is essential for individuals and businesses in disaster-prone areas.

Here are some key steps to consider when creating an effective escape plan:

Identify Potential Hazards

Assess the specific risks associated with the disaster-prone area you reside in. Consider the types of disasters most likely to occur and their potential impact on your location.

Determine Safe Evacuation Routes

Identify the safest routes to evacuate from your home or workplace, taking into account any potential obstacles or hazards. It is crucial to have multiple evacuation routes in case one becomes impassable.

Establish Meeting Points

Designate meeting points both within your community and outside the disaster-prone area. These meeting points will serve as gathering places for family members, colleagues, or neighbours during and after a disaster.

Communicate The Plan

Make sure everyone in your household or workplace is aware of the escape plan. Regularly review and practice the plan to ensure everyone knows what to do in an emergency.

Prepare Emergency Kits

Assemble emergency kits that include essential supplies such as food, water, medications, flashlights, and batteries. Keep these kits easily accessible in case of a rapid evacuation.

Purchase Necessary Equipment

Ensure that you have all the right tools, including evacuation chairs for vulnerable people in your household or business.

Emergency Plan for Businesses in Disaster Prone Areas

Developing a comprehensive emergency plan is crucial to protect employees, customers, and assets. Here are some key considerations when developing an emergency plan for businesses:

  1. Conduct a risk assessment: Identify the potential hazards specific to your business and its location. Consider the impact of disasters on your infrastructure, supply chain, and employees.
  2. Purchase necessary equipment: Business owners must ensure that their building has all the necessary safety tools, including evacuation chairs.
  3. Establish emergency response teams: Designate employees who will be responsible for specific emergency response roles, such as evacuation coordinators, first aid responders, and communication officers. Provide them with appropriate training and resources. Remember, our evacuation chairs are easily trainable.
  4. Implement evacuation protocols: Ensure that evacuation routes and procedures are clearly marked and communicated to employees. Make sure evacuation chairs are readily available, properly maintained, and strategically placed throughout the premises.
  5. Establish communication systems: Establish reliable communication channels to keep employees informed during a disaster. This can include emergency notification systems, designated meeting points, and instructions for remote work if applicable.
  6. Regularly test and update the plan: Conduct drills and exercises to test the effectiveness of your emergency plan. Regularly review and update the plan based on lessons learned and changes in the business environment.

Businesses in disaster-prone areas have a responsibility to prioritize safety and preparedness. Developing an emergency plan is crucial to protect employees, customers, and assets. The plan should outline procedures for evacuation, communication, and business continuity.

Likewise, households in disaster-prone areas should also have the right plans and tools in place to protect vulnerable people.

When selecting and implementing evacuation chairs, it is important to consider factors such as the size of the premises, the number of individuals who may require assistance, and the layout of the building.

For example, you may need more than one evacuation chair if there is a larger vulnerable population in a building with multiple floors.

Preparedness is Key

In disaster-prone areas, safety and preparedness are paramount, especially for a building evacuation. If you live or work in such an area, take the necessary steps to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Consider investing in evacuation chairs and developing a comprehensive emergency plan.

Remember, in emergencies, every second counts, and evacuation chairs can make a significant difference in ensuring the safety and well-being of those in need.

Compliance for Businesses

Businesses in Canada are adopting stair chairs like ours to honour Part II of Section 125 of the Canada Labour Code. It encourages employers to improve fire safety and emergency measures for employees to “prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with or occurring in the course of employment”.

Likewise, in the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 2010 outlines stricter safety guidelines for people with disabilities. The state of California amended its health and Safety code in late 2018, making evacuation chairs mandatory in multi-story assisted living homes.

About Evacuscape

We’re a Canadian owned and operated business serving a variety of international clients. Our offices serve customers in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

Our buyers include organizations such as Transport Canada, The Department of National Defence, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Ministry of Education in Ontario, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Speciality Care, the Canadian Museum of History, St. Clair College, Texas A&M University, and more.

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