Building Evacuation for Individuals with Disabilities

Persons with disabilities who are able to exit a building during a fire or emergency should do so.
Those who cannot exit a building safely should go to the nearest exit or preferred area of rescue to await the arrival of emergency personnel, police or the fire department.

• Familiarize yourself with the posted evacuation plan for your housing facility, classroom buildings, dining area, student center, library and other campus buildings.

• Individuals are encouraged to locate fire exits, doors, stairs and fire extinguishers when you enter buildings for the first time.

• When you are in the library, laboratory, or other areas for extended periods of time, let someone know where you will be and approximately how long you plan to be there.

• When fire alarms sound or flash, exit the building immediately or go to the area of rescue assistance, if one is designated/posted for the building.

• Should people not be able to use stairs or exit the building without assistance, a staff person or a student should help get persons with disabilities to a safe place.

• Proceed to a safe place away from the incident, in a room with an exterior window or near stairs.

• Go to a room with a telephone, if at all possible.

• Note the room number.

• Close the door.

• Call 911. A dispatcher will verify the room number. 

• If there is no telephone, close the door and go to the exterior window.

• Individuals with visual impairments should follow regular evacuation procedures. Those who are not thoroughly familiar with the immediate surroundings should ask another person for guidance to the nearest emergency exit. The person providing assistance should guide the individual as they walk, describe the pathway and any obstacles, and orient them to the surroundings when they have reached a safe place.

• Individuals with hearing impairments may not readily perceive emergency alarms. Communicate with
them through a written note stating the emergency and directions to the nearest emergency exit, or
flash the light switch on/off to gain their attention. Indicate by gestures or in writing the nature of the emergency and how to proceed.

• Individuals with mobility impairments who are on the ground floor may be able to exit unassisted. The needs and preferences of a person who cannot walk may vary. Note: lifting or transporting by untrained emergency personnel should be considered only in cases of extreme emergency.

• Service animals should remain with their owners at all times, including during any evacuation.