People With Disabilities and Other Access and Functional Needs

All students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to be familiar with building evacuation and shelter plans. The suggestions and information provided below are additional considerations for those with disabilities or access and functional needs.

Be Informed

The most important step in any emergency planning process is to be informed. It is important to know what types of hazards exist and what types of emergencies are likely to affect the campus and the area around the campus. Be prepared to adapt this information to your personal circumstances.  Know when and where you will evacuate and shelter in the event of an emergency. The more prepared you are the easier it will be to respond during an actual emergency.

Inform Others

Get to know those around you and inform people that you may need assistance during an emergency.  Teach others how they can best communicate with you and assist you in the event you need to take shelter or evacuate.  If you use a wheel chair, oxygen, or other medical equipment, show others how to use these devices so they can better assist you during an emergency.  

How to Respond

How you respond will depend on your specific circumstances and the nature of the emergency.  

In any emergency, the most basic decision you will need to make is whether to evacuate/shelter or stay in place. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information to determine if there is immediate danger and respond accordingly.  If you are specifically told to take shelter or evacuate, you should do so immediately.

Fire Safety

All personnel should plan two ways out of every building in case of fire. Some exits may be blocked due to the actual fire, other people trying to evacuate, or items blocking evacuation routes. In the event of a fire, most buildings on campus have 2 hour fire rated stairwells. If you cannot be evacuated, your best option is to shelter in the stairwell until first responders are able to reach you and evacuate you from the building. If you are unable to evacuate, be sure and locate someone who will immediately inform first responders of your location as soon as they arrive on scene.

Tornado Sheltering

In the event a tornado warning is issued, it is important that all personnel move quickly to the lowest level of the building and in to an interior room, away from exterior walls and windows.  You should plan in advance for a tornado warning and know the location of the nearest tornado shelter.  Plan ahead and be sure that this location is suitable for your specific needs.  As previously mentioned, inform others of the type of assistance you may need so you can quickly move to the shelter location during a tornado warning.

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