The Australia Building Codes Board stated in 2013 that a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) is a “necessary and effective measure to assist people with disability respond to an emergency”. A PEEP considers the needs of each individual and the characteristics and egress provisions within the specific building. A PEEP is an essential document for each employee with a disability.
During the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in September 2001 people using wheelchairs were left waiting on the levels where they were employed, while the remainder of the occupants evacuated via fire escape stairwells.
This is despite 125 evacuation chairs being purchased for specific building occupants following the 1993 bombing of the Center. It is now known that only two people successfully evacuated the Towers in 2001 using these evacuation chairs.
It is evident from all accounts of the World Trade Centre attacks that greater planning and consideration for each person’s individual mobility needs was required. The development of an effective PEEP could have improved the success of the evacuations from both Towers for these people and this is what EgressAbility™ can help with: confirming that PEEPs are effective, equipment is available, the PEEP is able to be implemented, the arrangements are rehearsed and are adopted into the overall building evacuation strategy.