Missouri State University

Evacuation Concerns Regarding the Physically Impaired

Persons with special needs should pre-plan for emergencies just as well as anyone else. Often this is much more common in this community. The following are some suggestions that all should consider in advance to prepare for a smooth evacuation.

  1. Ensure that all instructors are aware of your needs in regards to an emergency.
  2. Remember that physical disabilities are not the only conditions that may contribute to difficulties in evacuation. If you chose not to self-disclose to faculty or staff, please consider making your needs known to a classmate that you feel you can trust.
  3. Locate at least two exits, avoiding elevators.
  4. Identify volunteer “companions” that may be relied upon to assist in evacuation if needed.
  5. Identify “Safe Shelter Zones” that may be utilized if normal escape routes are blocked or your pre-plan fails. These areas should be in a room that in on the exterior of the building with windows and preferably a telephone. If forced to use this shelter, dial Public Safety at 836-5509 immediately and advise of your location, situation and number of persons present. Occupants should also make every effort to attract attention to the window by placing something on the glass to advise the firefighting forces of their presence. If windows are designed to open, it may be advantageous to open it to attract attention. However, under no circumstances, should anyone venture out of the window for escape or to attract attention of rescuers. Wait in the room for rescue.

Before attempting to extinguish a fire, make sure Public Safety and/or the Fire Department is notified.