Emergency Preparedness

  • Inform all students of the nearest emergency exit to use in case of an emergency. Faculty can print this information in the course syllabus and announce it on the first day of class.

     
  • Encourage students who may need assistance in an emergency to identify themselves and to make an evacuation plan.

     
  • Develop a “buddy system” by recruiting at least two volunteers to assist each person with a disability requesting evacuation assistance.

     
  • Be aware of all marked exits from your area and building. Maps showing emergency exit routes are posted in all buildings.

     
  • In all emergencies, evacuate people with disabilities only if safe to do so.

     
  • Do not use elevators (unless authorized) since they could fail during a fire or a major earthquake.

     
  • It may be necessary to help clear the exit route of debris (if possible) so that a person with a disability can move out or to a safer area.

     
  • Always ask someone with a disability how you can help before giving assistance. Ask how the person can be best assisted or moved and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.

     
  • Do not grasp a visually impaired person’s arm; ask if he or she would like to hold on to your arm to exit. Warn the person about steps. Be specific in your verbal instructions (e.g. “ to the right” rather than “this way”).

     
  • Keep service animals with owners whenever possible.

     
  • Get the attention of a person with a hearing disability by touch and eye contact. Use facial expressions, gestures and body movements to help in communicating your message. Offer visual instructions to advise of the safest route or direction by pointing towards exits or evacuation maps.

     
  • If people with mobility impairments cannot exit, assist them in moving into the nearest stairway exit to await rescue personnel.

     
  • Attempt a rescue evacuation only if you have had rescue training or the person is in immediate danger and cannot wait for professional assistance. Evacuating a disabled or injured person yourself is the last resort. Consider your options and the risks of injuring yourself and others in an evacuation attempt. Do not make an emergency situation worse.

     
  • Once outside, assist individuals with disabilities (if needed) to move to a clear area that is at least 500 feet away from the affected building. Keep streets and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and personnel.