Evacuation Concerns for People with Physical Disabilities

Every person of every ability should pre-plan for an emergency. People with physical or other impairments should prepare for an evacuation.

Before an emergency

Have a plan for getting assistance. Consider options below:

  • If you feel comfortable, let your instructors know of your needs in regards to an emergency.
  • If you chose not to self-disclose to an instructor, consider telling a classmate you can trust. Identify volunteer “companions” that you can rely on during an evacuation.

Identify at least two exit options and areas of rescue assistance. Consider options below:

  • “Areas of Rescue” or “Areas of Refuge” provide a location for building occupants, who cannot traverse the stairs without assistance, to be able to assemble by an exit and await assistance or instructions by first responders.
  • These areas will be clearly marked and provide a two way communication system to university safety and may also communicate with a central control point within the building.
  • These are generally found in stairwells or near elevators.

If the building does not have an Area of Rescue Assistance, identify a room with a window and where there is a phone.

During an emergency

Do not use elevators during a fire.

If you are able to traverse stairs with assistance, ask your instructor or other for assistance.

If you are unable to traverse stairs, move to an area of rescue assistance and notify university safety of your location either through the area of rescue assistance communications system or via phone. 417-836-5509. Provide your location, situation and number of people present.

If you are unable to traverse stairs or move to an area of rescue assistance, move to a room with an exterior window. Attempt to attract attention to the window by placing something on the glass. If windows can open, it may be helpful to open it to attract attention. Contact university safety at 417-836-5509. Provide your location, situation and number of people present. Wait in the room for rescue.