EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN

RESIDENT EMERGENCY GUIDELINES

The 98 Union Safety Committee has prepared these resident emergency guidelines for the homeowners and residents of 98 Union. The information is updated as of November 2012.

The complete 98 Union Emergency Procedures document is available as a downloadable PDF and can be viewed in Adobe Acrobat Reader. click here

Sections of the document are available here:

Every Resident's Responsibility
In the Event of a Fire in Your Unit
If You Hear a Fire Alarm While in Your Unit
In the Event of an Earthquake or Large Scale Disaster
What To Do AFTER An Earthquake
Building Evacuation
Building Power Outage
Elevators
Building Response in Large Scale Emergencies
Safety Committee

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Every Resident’s Responsibility 

General Preparedness

It is every resident’s responsibility to acquaint themselves with general emergency preparedness guidelines and to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

For your reference, a copy of the Emergency Resource Guideprepared by the Washington Military Department and the Washington State Department of Health is included in your 98 Union Emergency Handbook. There are many other sources of emergency planning guidelines available through the internet. Among them are:

Every resident should utilize one of these resources and make sure that they are individually prepared in the event of an emergency.

Emergency kits are an essential part of being prepared and all of the above preparedness resources include instructions on how to build a home emergency kit. They are available through many online resources at a reasonable cost. Among them are:

Know your Building!

Every resident should know three things about their floor:

  • The location of the nearest stairway
  • The location of the nearest common hallway fire alarm
  • The location of the nearest common fire extinguisher

Familiarize yourself with the building specific emergency guidelines that follow. In the event of a real emergency, you may not have time to read these guidelines.

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In the Event of a Fire in Your Unit

The main entrance to your unit is a fire-rated doorway and is designed to help contain a residential fire.

Know the location of the nearest common fire extinguisher to your unit. Fire extinguishers are located in each elevator lobby between the two elevators.

  • These extinguishers are designed for putting out small, localized fires, such as a cooking fire. They are not designed for a fire that has spread beyond a small area.

If a fire occurs in your unit – Call 911 immediately before doing anything else – even if the fire is small and you think you can extinguish it yourself. No matter what, having the Fire Department on their way is best guarantee of keeping a fire contained! If the fire is such that you need to leave the unit immediately, don’t wait to call 911. The smoke alarm in your unit will trigger the building’s fire alarm system which will automatically summon the Fire Department!

If the fire is small and you’re comfortable trying to extinguish it using the common fire extinguishers, do so only after calling 911. Be aware the extinguishers are high pressure and the hose must be held tightly to control direction.

  • If you are successful extinguishing the fire, do not cancel the 911 Fire Department call. It is not uncommon for fire to spread to areas difficult of impossible to see (especially kitchen fires) and it is best to allow the Fire Department to inspect the area. Remain in your unit and wait for the Fire Department to arrive.
  • If you are not comfortable trying to extinguish the fire, after calling 911, leave your unit and close your unit door. As mentioned earlier, these doors are fire-rated, and closing the door will help keep a fire from spreading beyond your unit and limit oxygen to the fire.

Do not attempt to remove valuables. The Seattle Fire Department is located in close proximity to our building and will be on scene quickly.

  • If the fire alarm has not already been initiated by the smoke alarm in your unit, after calling 911, pull the nearest common hallway fire alarm.
  • Evacuate the building per the Evacuation Instructions below. You may meet the Fire Department at the building entrance. The building’s fire panel will tell them the location of the fire, and you do not need to be present for the Fire Department to gain access to your unit.

Important Notes:

  • One of the most common causes of household fires is unattended candles; NEVER leave a candle unattended.
  • Keeping a box of baking soda in the kitchen can be a good defense against small kitchen fires. Also, many hardware stores sell personal fire extinguishers. While these are good devices to have on hand, they have expiration dates which should be monitored.
  • The use of the fire hoses in each elevator lobby is NOT recommended by the fire department unless you are trained in their use. In addition, in most circumstances the fire department will arrive before these hoses can be deployed.

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If You Hear a Fire Alarm While in Your Unit

The fire alarms at 98 Union are designed to activate 4 floors at a time.

If the fire alarm is sounding on your floor, that means a smoke alarm or manual fire alarm has been triggered either on your floor, or one of the floors immediately above or below you.

Evacuate the building per the Evacuation Instructions below.

  • If there is heavy smoke in the hallway, return to your unit, close the door, and wait for the Fire Department to arrive. Smoke inhalation is the number one cause of injuries during a building fire. Call 911 and inform the emergency operator that you are unable to evacuate your unit due to smoke in the hallway.

If the alarm is not sounding on your floor, stay in your unit. If you need to evacuate your unit your will informed to do so by either the Fire Department or the building’s public address system.

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In the Event of an Earthquake or Large Scale Disaster

We live in an active seismic zone, and you should pay close attention to the information on what to do in the event of an earthquake in the Emergency Resource Guides listed above. They provide excellent guidance on surviving an earthquake in your home.

98 Union is a modern steel and concrete structure built to earthquake construction standards. These buildings are generally considered to be the safest place to be in a downtown area during an earthquake.

Unless there is severe and obvious structural damage, it is best to stay in your unit. Aftershocks are common and many people who survive the initial earthquake are injured in downtown areas by falling debris.

The Board of Directors of your Homeowners Association has developed an emergency plan in the event of an earthquake or other large scale disaster.

  • Dedicated individuals will inspect the building, and you will be kept informed through the building’s public address system.
  • The building lobby has also been designated as a common information point.
  • If building evacuation is required, do so according to the Evacuation Instructions.

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What To DO AFTER An Earthquake

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Please download and post the following PDF What to do after an earthquake somewhere in your unit so that its visible in the even of an earhtquale

Building Evacuation

The Three Most Important Things to Know:

  • In the case of a fire, earthquake, or other large scale disaster, do not use the elevators.
  • Keep stairwell doors CLOSED
  • Stairwells are fire-rated and are a safe place to wait for assistance if you are unable to evacuate on your own.

If an emergency situation requires evacuating the building, leave your unit, close the unit door, and proceed to the nearest stairwell.

  • If there is heavy smoke in the hallway, return to your unit, close the door, and wait for the Fire Department to arrive. Smoke inhalation is the number one cause of injuries during a building fire. Call 911 and inform the emergency operator that you are unable to evacuate your unit due to smoke in the hallway.

The stairwells at 98 Union are fire-rated and pressurized so that in the event of a fire, it is extremely difficult for smoke to enter the stairwells. For this reason, it is essential that the stairwell doors never be propped open.

The landings in the stairwells at 98 Union are an excellent place to wait for assistance if you are unable to evacuate on your own:

  • As mentioned above, the stairwells are pressurized to keep smoke from entering.
  • The stairwells have emergency lighting and fire sprinklers.
  • The Fire Department and other Emergency Responders will be utilizing the stairwells in the event of an emergency, and will be able to make contact with you on the landings and provide assistance.
  • As part of the emergency plan developed by the Board of Directors of your Homeowners Association, dedicated residents will monitor the stairwells looking for residents who may need assistance during an evacuation.

Proceed to the nearest ground level building exit. There is signage on each landing indicating exit instructions.

If you are someone who believes they may need assistance in the event of a building emergency or evacuation, please inform the Facilities Director as soon as possible and before an emergency occurs.

As part of the emergency plan developed by the Board of Directors of your Homeowners Association, dedicated residents will attempt to assist those in need of assistance in the event of a building emergency.

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Building Power Outage

The building is equipped with an emergency generator that automatically engages in the event of a building power failure.

  • The emergency generator will not provide electricity in the individual residential units, stairwells, garage, or the elevators.
  • Power will be supplied to 98 Union’s fire pump system, and one common area light per stack; for South Arcade common area lighting will be activated.

Power outages, while rare, do occur. You should familiarize yourself with what to do in the event of a power failure in Emergency Resource Guides listed in Section 1.

In general, during a non-emergency related power outage, it is safest to remain in your home until power resumes.

If you do need to leave the building, you should not attempt to use the elevators. The building stairwells contain emergency lighting and should be used in the event that you need to leave the building.

Note: if candles are used to provide emergency lighting they should never be left unattended.

The use of personal emergency generators or portable cooking devices is strictly forbidden and presents a significant risk to the building and your neighbors.

As part of the building emergency plan developed by the Board of Directors of your Homeowners Association, designated individuals will be manning the lobby door and garage entrance for residents who may be caught offsite during an emergency with only electronic key-fobs or garage remote controls.

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Elevators

  • The elevators at 98 Union are programmed so that in the event of power failure, fire alarm, or other emergency, they will return to the lobby level, the doors will be locked open, and the elevators will remain stationary until re-set.
  • The elevators are also equipped with emergency intercom devices. If an elevator stalls or doors fail to open, engage the elevator emergency alarm and wait for someone to contact you.
  • As part of the emergency plan developed by the Board of Directors of your Homeowners Association, elevators will be checked in the event of a building emergency to ensure they have returned to the lobby level and the doors have been locked open.

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Building Response in Large Scale Emergencies

The Board of Directors of your Homeowners Association has developed a chain of command in the event of a building emergency to assure that residential and building needs are met.

During the Facilities Director’s normal business hours (Monday through Friday 8 am to 9 pm, the Facilities Director will be the primary contact and spokesman for the needs of the building at large.

During non-business hours, elected officers from the Board of Directors of your Homeowners Association will assume this role (the President of the Homeowners Association, followed by the Vice-Chair, followed by a member of the Homeowners Association Safety Committee)

Depending on the extent of the emergency and the availability of a dedicated officer of the Board of Directors of your Homeowners Association, dedicated board members may assume general responsibility for the building during the Facilities Director’s normal business hours as well.

Door staff may assist in communication and evacuation efforts, but are not responsible for decision making in the event of a major emergency. You will be kept informed through the building’s emergency public address system of efforts being made and where to direct questions in the event of a major emergency.

The residential lobby has been designated as the building’s general assembly point and in the event of a large scale emergency, response efforts will be directed from there. Residents requiring more information or residents who are interested in assisting in emergency efforts should report to the building lobby. In the event the building lobby is not available due to some type of structural issue, the area of Union Street in front of the residential entrance will be used.

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Safety Committee

The board of Directors of your Homeowners Association has established a safety committee to assist in ensuring the building is prepared in the unlikely event of a building emergency.

If you would like to volunteer to assist with the building emergency response plan or are interested in a building safety walk-through, please contact the Facilities Director.

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