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The performance of a population during an emergency procedure is less predictable than was once thought, especially given recent high-profile events such as 9/11. This has potentially serious consequences for the success of an evacuation, especially for buildings that require the implementation of a staged emergency procedure. The reaction of the resident population to these procedures is sensitive to their normal use of the building and the level to which the population is engaged and familiar with the procedure. A method is presented to develop procedures in partnership with the occupant population, to take advantage of their indigenous knowledge, to improve their familiarity with the procedures in place and to engage them in the safety process.