Evacuation People with Disabilities


Evacuation of people with disabilities will be given high priority in all emergencies. In an emergency situation, it is important that you are familiar with your needs during evacuation. You are encouraged to convey these needs to your instructor at the beginning of each semester. While attending class, try to position yourself near a doorway for an easier exit. Become familiar with the building and its exits. Follow signs to exits. The following guidelines are important to follow:
  • Establish a buddy system and alternate for each class. People with disabilities should prepare for an emergency ahead of time by instructing a classmate, instructor, supervisor, or co-worker on how to assist in the event of any emergency.
  • If assistance is not immediately available, disabled people should remain near the stairwell landing or in the elevator lobby. Rescue personnel will first check all exit corridors and stairwells for those trapped. S/He should continue to call for help until rescued.
  • People who cannot speak loudly, or with voice / speech impairments, should carry a whistle or have other means of attracting attention of others.
  • Be familiar with alarm signals.
  • Leave school materials in the room to avoid wasting time.
  • Wait for rescue and remain calm.
  • DO NOT re-enter a building until permitted by emergency personnel.

If you suspect a fire is behind a door; cover your hand to provide protection, first and then test the door by touching it. If it is hot then DO NOT use the door as an exit. Try to find an alternate route for an exit. A cautionary note on elevators: DO NOT use elevators unless authorized to do so by police or fire personnel. Elevators could fail during a fire, earthquake or flood.

Wheelchair Users

Wheelchair users should prepare for emergencies, in advance, by instructing a University official or employee. Move toward the nearest Emergency Exit. When a wheelchair user and/or other disabled person reaches an obstruction, such as a staircase, they should request assistance from others in the area. If assistance is not immediately available, the wheelchair users and/or other disabled person should stay visible in an exit corridor or on an outdoor landing. They should continue to call for help until rescued. Persons who cannot speak loudly should carry a whistle (provided free by the UPD) or have other means of attracting the attention of others. Special evacuation chairs (Evacu-Trac) are available in multi-story buildings to evacuate a disabled person DOWN stairs. The chairs are typically located near main stairways with instructions inside the cabinet. Contact the University Police Department for training.