Thousands of people drive or catch public transport into the Newcastle CBD every day. If an emergency happens, it is important workers in the city know what to do.
If you work in the city your place of employment will have its own evacuation and emergency procedures to help you get out of your building safely if you need to. If you don't know where the emergency exits are or what the procedures are you should ask your employer or building supervisor.
What happens in an emergency in the CBD?
The Newcastle Local Disaster Plan (EMPLAN) (pdf) details arrangements for the response to emergencies. The Plan sets out the roles and responsibilities of agencies such as the NSW Police, SES and Fire Brigade in controlling and managing emergency situations.
The Newcastle CBD Emergency Arrangements Annex (pdf) is an addition to the EMPLAN. It was developed to manage emergency situations which may require a partial or major evacuation of the city centre.
Every emergency is different, so it is not possible to provide detailed instructions about what to do. The basic rule of thumb is to stay where you are (at home, work or other location) unless you are given directions to evacuate.
If you are in a building with designated Fire or Emergency Wardens you should listen for their instructions. They will inform you if you need to remain in place or evacuate the building. You may also get instructions from appropriate authorities such as the Fire Brigade or Police.
If you don't have any designated emergency personnel and are unsure of what to do, tune into your local radio station to get an update of the situation.
What if you need to evacuate?
If you work in a commercial building you will need to follow existing evacuation plans. These plans will have been developed to meet the specific needs of your building.
Your Fire Warden / Emergency Warden or authorised emergency personnel will tell you which Assembly Area or Safety Site to evacuate to. If you are unsure you should tune in to your local radio to get advice about what to do in the emergency situation.
Because every emergency is different, it is not possible to provide details about the location of the Safety Site you may be required to go to. Listen for the advice of the authorities or tune in to your local radio station for details.
Once you are at the Safety Site you will be provided with information regarding travel home, returning to your place of work and other buildings.
Please bear in mind that local transport services may be disrupted during an emergency. There may also be road closures and blockages. Wait until you are given appropriate instructions before trying to leave a Safety Site. Do not organise relatives or friends to pick you up unless appropriate clearance has been given.
Special arrangements will be made for vulnerable and special needs groups as required.