Your self-directed employment assistant

One of my biggest nightmares is having to endure some type of an evacuation when I’m in a building not on ground level. This occurrence terrifies me in my own apartment where I live on the second floor. It’s even scarier to envision going through this at my place of employment where I’m surrounded by individuals who aren’t familiar with my personal care needs. The best remedy is to have an emergency plan in place should a situation arise.

At my job, we have a required emergency training every summer to discuss what to do in the event of inclement weather or a fire. My boss brought to my attention that she would like to make sure our work team is prepared to assist me in the event of an emergency, and for the past few years I’ve lead the emergency evacuation portion of our training. It was liberating to be able to voice to my peers the proper way to help me in the event of an emergency. I discussed with them how I am to be carried, especially going over areas of concern and extra care. I also was able to offer them advice on how to approach other patrons at our workplace that may require extra assistance during emergencies, emphasizing how important it is to communicate actions versus assuming that they are known. Every person is different and has a specific way that works for them. Once a solid plan of action is in place, the evacuation process can go much smoother.

Even though my workplace is now aware and better prepared with how to help me in the event of an emergency, it doesn’t make me any less nervous. However, I am comforted by the thought that my peers are on the same page with me on what to do to help me. If you’d like to learn more about emergency evacuations, check out this article I found written by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN). As always, be sure to check out our informative Digital Tip on this topic, too. Until next time, I hope you all enjoy the beautiful sunshine of Summer. See you in August!  

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