Understanding Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEP’s)
For the millions of Australians who have special needs, an emergency presents a very serious challenge far beyond the scope than those without those needs. Personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEP’s) act as an individual emergency plan designed for those occupants with special needs, providing unique emergency responses, diagrams and more to assist with ensuring their safety.
When is a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) form required?
The Australian Standard 3745-2010: Planning for Emergencies in Facilities does specify, a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) should be included as part of a facility’s Emergency Management Manual, for any occupant who may require assistance when responding to an emergency. . These individuals can generally be classified as special needs, however, to be more specific these occupants can:
- Be accompanied by an assistant
- Have a guide or companion animal
- Have a visual, mobility, hearing or cognitive impairment(s)
- Have an ambulatory disability
- Use a wheeled mobility appliance
- Be using an alternative form of information sharing and communication
- Be those who are easily fatigued
- Be those who easily experience acute anxiety in an emergency
- Be those who easily experience extreme confusion in an emergency
- Be any others with outstanding special needs which are not specified in this list
Essentially, you must ask yourself ‘can this person leave the building unaided in an emergency?’ If the answer is no, then they will require a PEEP. There may also be times that the need is only temporary, however even in those cases the facility must accommodate for this in the Emergency Plan.
It is imperative that your Emergency Plan is tailored to every need of your occupants, including the above individuals. Very minor instances such as using the stairs in an emergency exit must be accounted for if an individual cannot use the stairs.
Once a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan is drafted, a copy of the PEEP should be kept with the relevant Warden and/or designated assistant of the individual. A copy should also be kept in a central location which is readily accessible for the responding Emergency Service.
What does a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan include?
The needs of each individual will be different and therefore the PEEP for each occupant must be tailored to allowing them to individually safely exit the facility. Formulating the plan should ideally be a collaborative effort between the occupant and the person responsible for the Emergency Plan.
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans should ideally include:
- Determined egress routes & procedures for the occupant to use during emergencies
- A diagram of the egress route which the occupant will take to evacuate safely
- The type of assistance the occupant requires during emergencies
- Any equipment that is required for the occupant to evacuate safely from an emergency
- Identify areas of safety & refuge for the occupant’s egress routes
- The names of anyone who has been appointed to assist the person in an emergency
- Identify if any training is required to fulfill the requirements of the PEEP
- Details for any evacuation exercises that will be performed in the next 6 months
If there are any other requirements that are outside the scope of the above points, be sure to add them to the Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan. Overall, it is imperative to cover all bases required for the occupant.
How can I get started with making a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan?
PEEP’s can quickly increase the scope of your Emergency Plan… First 5 Minutes can help you plan ahead so that people with special needs, care providers and first responders can respond quickly and safely when an emergency alarm is raised in a facility.