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Managing an evacuation

In the event of an evacuation, the Person in Control (PiC) must co-ordinate the response to the incident.

You will be busy! So to ensure that nothing is neglected you should grab four competent people and assign each of them to an area of responsibility below. Write down their names and mobile numbers. You should then get together every 20 minutes to review and record progress.


Ensure the safety and welfare of your people.

Record the basic incident details

This should include:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Location (mark on site plan if easier)
  • How was the incident brought to your attention?
  • Brief description of incident
Confirm with fire wardens that the building is clear

The Fire and Rescue Service will want to know if you believe the building to be clear. (They will not put their people at risk if the building is empty)

Talk to each of the fire wardens and record:

  • their name
  • the area of the building they are responsible for
  • if they believe their area to be clear

Check off the pre-prepared zones on the site plan if easier.

Arrange roll calls

It is very difficult to account for everyone via a roll call (not everyone signs in, people go to different evacuation points, etc.) but you must attempt to account for everyone.

  • Ensure you have a fire warden or appoint a person at each evacuation point.
  • At each evacuation point, record the names of visitors or contractors present.
  • Return the list to the Person in Control (PiC) to match names with visitors’ book.
  • Ask work area managers to try to account for their people.
  • Write down the names of anyone they cannot account for and pass to the PiC.
Record details of any missing persons

Record details of any missing person, including:

  • their name
  • last known location
Record details of any casualties

Record the details of any people taken away for treatment, including:

  • Name of individual
  • Taken to (name of hospital, GP surgery, etc.)
  • By? (ambulance, colleague, etc.)
Anticipate the needs of any people still on site

Consider what the needs of any people still onsite may be, and take action to meet these needs. These may include:

  • Information
  • Food/water
  • Shelter
  • Toilets
  • Keys
  • Cash
  • Communication with family
  • Trauma counselling
  • Transport home
  • Other


Depending upon the severity of the incident, and without putting yourself at risk, assess the following:

  • Damage to building infrastructure
    (location, extent, impact on operation – mark on site plan if easier)
  • Damage to sorting equipment
    (mech, sorting frames, etc.)
  • Damage to vehicles
  • Access to site
    (do we have access to the site?)
  • Access to building and security keys
    (do we have access to the building?)
  • Shared site
    (list any other business units on this site)
  • Possible wider environmental damage

Note: If you have evacuated the building, it is unlikely that the Emergency Services will allow you back in – you may have to talk to people who were close to the incident.


Make a quick assessment of the impact on the operation.

  • What stage of the workplan are you at?
  • What is the impact on the operation?
  • When is the next shift due?
  • Any other notes


Keep people informed about what is happening

Liaise with Emergency Services (if applicable)

Make a record of:

  • what services required (police, fire, ambulance)
  • time called
  • time arrived
  • name of the senior officer

Note: The Emergency Services may want to know the location of your gas/electricity isolation points, etc. These should be listed in your unit plan and marked on your site/building layout plan.

Ensure information is shared within the business

Ensure that information is shared in a timely manner with Central Postal Control (CPC), Ops Control (if you work for PFW), your line manager, Group Property & Facilities Solutions Helpdesk and any other relevant business units.

Make a record of:

  • contact name
  • time called
  • name of contact
  • advice given / action promised
Refer any media enquiries to the Royal Mail Press Office

If you are approached by the media refer them to the Royal Mail Press Office (24×7) on 020 7250 2468.

If in doubt at any stage always call Central Postal Control (CPC)

Central Postal Control deals with issues on a regular basis and will be able to talk you through how to deal with any situation.