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Is Your Workplace Evacuation Plan Afraid of the Dark?

13 July, 2023


Power outages have surpassed the 2013 U.S. average by 30% in the last two years, according to the Department of Energy Information Administration (EIA). Severe weather storms have caused approximately 100 grid challenges annually, particularly in the Southeast, Midwest and Northeast regions over the past 6 years. According to Climate Central, the U.S. has sustained numerous weather-related disasters that resulted in: 

  • 83% increase in power outages related to weather from 2000-2021 
  • 64% increase in power outages from 2011-2021 

 Natual Disasters Uncovered Broken Grid System

The frequency in which these outages have occurred is alarming, according to Reuters. "In the past two years, power systems have collapsed in Gulf Coast hurricanes, West Coast wildfires, Midwest heat waves and a Texas deep freeze, causing long and sometimes deadly outages."   

Most of the power grid system was built in the 1960s-70s and is at least 25 years old. Due to the interconnected nature of the grid, it has the ability to affect a large number of people simultaneously.  It has become apparent that this old grid cannot sustain the current frequency of severe weather storms. The cost of repairs has increased from 2012 : 

  • $160 billion a year in 2022
  • 11.5% increase from 2012 
  • 9.1% increase from 2021

How Prepared is Your Workplace for Potential Outages?? 

An emergency evacuation can be a chaotic situation.  A documented Emergency Action Plan will result in fewer employee injuries and less damage to the facility during emergencies.

Consider these four tips when developing an Emergency Action Plan: 

  • Conditions for evacuation Identify when and how employees are to respond to different types of emergencies.
  • Clear chain of command Employers should designate individuals to a "evacuation team". One member per 20 employees will suffice. 
  • Routes and exits Create maps from floor diagrams. These maps should also include exits, assembly points, and equipment needed in an emergency.
  • Means for accounting for employees after evacuation Ensure the fastest and most accurate accounting of your employees and include this with the EAP. 

While the Department of Energy works to beef up power grids, safety professionals can shore up emergency evacuation areas with glow-in-the-dark visual communication so workers can get to safety more efficiently. Organized, clear visual communication is vital in emergency evacuations.

Light the Way

DuraLabel PathFinder floor marking and wayfinding make it easy for workers to navigate their environment safely. Floor marking communicates essential information to people where they need it. Deploy or upgrade your emergency evacuation signage today. Give us a call at 1-888-326-9244 and request your free consultation.