Evacuating Persons with Disabilities

Instructors and supervisors should be proactive and be aware of people who will need assistance.


  • Clearly announce the type of emergency.
  • Offer your arm for guidance.
  • Tell the person where you are going, and alert him/her to obstacles along the way.
  • Keep them informed of what is happening.


  • Turn lights on and off to gain the person’s attention.
  • Indicate directions with gestures or a written note.


  • Elevators should not be used to move people with disabilities.
  • Seek volunteers to assist students/personnel with physical disabilities to the nearest enclosed stairway or designated areas for rescue assistance.
  • One individual should remain with the person(s) if it can be done without unreasonable personal risk.
  • Others should advise emergency personnel of the location so that the evacuation can be completed.
  • If an imminent danger situation exists and the person requests assistance in evacuation before emergency personnel can arrive, assist in finding volunteers to evacuate the person per his/her instructions.


  • If you are physically challenged, you should:
    • Be educated about fire safety.
    • Plan ahead for emergency situations.
    • Be aware of your capabilities and limitations.
    • Notify proper authorities of your conditions so aid may be given in case of a fire.
  • In case of a fire, look for places of refuge, like stair enclosures or behind fire doors. ELEVATORS WILL NOT OPERATE WHEN THE ALARM SOUNDS AND ARE NOT SAFE TO USE DURING FIRES. It may be better to stay in your room.
  • Visually impaired should take the hand of another person to assist with exiting the building.
  • Persons confined to a wheelchair or crutches should not attempt to evacuate the building using these devices unless they have ramped or level access to a designated exit. If access to one of these exits is unavailable, proceed to the nearest fire exit and wait for emergency personnel assistance.

If you are required to leave the building immediately, but are unable to (because of physical disability, injury or obstruction):

  • Go to the nearest area of safe refuge.
  • Notify Campus Police at (304) 367-4357.
  • Signal out the window to emergency responders if possible.
  • Remain calm.

My identified safe refuge area is:


  • No staff member shall silence an alarm until after the property authorities have secured the building.
  • All staff members will comply with requests from Campus Police and/or other emergency response. No staff member should enter any area that appears unsafe. Staff priority is to evacuate the building and instruct and assist others to do the same.
  • Staff members are required to file an incident with the proper authorities by 8:00 a.m. the following day.