Evacuation Procedures

Evacuate when any alarm sounds to the nearest Rally Point and wait for instructions.

Two types of Evacuations

Alarm Sounding

During an alarm sounding evacuation – get out of the building as quickly and orderly as possible. Don’t waste time collecting your personal items, laptops, etc. Do not use elevators.

Word of Mouth in a "Controlled Evacuation."

During a Controlled Evacuation – Take your personnel effects, backpacks, laptops, keys, and leave the area. Don’t gather at Rally Points or EAPs. Check the Humboldt web and 826-INFO for what is happening and when it is safe to reenter your building and continue classes.

In a disaster or major emergency, evacuation of a specific building may be necessary. Classes, departments and offices in every building should know in advance the locations of the Rally Points for the building and the University's Emergency Assembly Points (EAPs), where information and assistance will be provided. Most buildings are posted with yellow Evacuation Plan Signs near doors directing people where to gather.

A building evacuation will occur when a fire alarm sounds or upon notification by UPD, emergency personnel or the building's evacuation team. Members of this team will usually be wearing an orange safety vest for identification.

  • Be aware of all marked exits from your area and building. Know the routes from your work area.
  • Caution: Building fire alarms may stop ringing; even if they stop, continue the evacuation.
  • When the evacuation/fire alarm sounds or you are told to leave by emergency personnel, walk quickly to the nearest marked exit and alert others to do the same. Do not use elevators unless directed.
  • Assist persons with disabilities in exiting the building. Elevators may be used to evacuate persons with disabilities only after the elevator has been declared safe. Always evacuate mobility aids (wheelchairs, walkers, crutches) with the person, if possible. Some wheelchairs may be very heavy, so you may have to leave the heavier items behind.
  • Always ASK if you can help. If blind or visually impaired, ASK if you can help them by guiding them by the elbow.
  • Once outside, move to the nearest Rally Point outside your building. Look for Building Evacuation Team members wearing orange safety vests and check in with them.
  • Emergency Assembly Point (EAP) are usually used only after you have checked in at a Rally Point and/or instructed to go there by the Building Evacuation Team leader.
  • Keep streets and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and personnel.
  • If requested, assist emergency personnel.
  • An emergency Incident Command Post (ICP) may be set up near the emergency site. Keep clear of the ICP unless you have important information to report.
  • Do not return to an evacuated building unless directed to do so by UPD/emergency personnel or your Building Evacuation Team members assisting at the Rally Point.

If buildings are damaged in an earthquake or other emergency, they will be inspected as soon as possible and posted with a red "Closed" or green "Open" sign. Do not re-enter a building that has not been inspected or does not display a sign.

Evacuation of Persons with Disabilities

  • Persons with mobility impairments or using wheelchairs should prepare for emergencies ahead of time by instructing classmates or faculty on how to assist her/him in case of emergency. Persons with visual and hearing impairments should carry a note or tag identifying their disability. Persons with hearing impairments should carry a pen and/or pencil and note pad.
  • In the case of fire or earthquake when the elevators should not be used, persons using wheelchairs or with mobility impairments should move toward the nearest stairwell and request assistance from others in the area.
  • If assistance is not immediately available, the person should remain in the area and call for help until assistance arrives. Persons who cannot speak loudly should carry a whistle or have other means of attracting the attention of others.

Rescue personnel, fire and police will first check all exit corridors and exit stairwells for trapped persons first, if you know a location of someone left behind – let emergency personnel know.

The following guidelines should be considered in evacuating persons with disabilities:

  • Communicate the nature of the emergency to the person.
  • Ask the person how you can assist.
  • If possible, evacuate mobility aids (crutches, wheelchairs, walkers) with the person.

Visual Impairments

Describe the nature of the emergency and offer to guide the person to the nearest exit. Have the person take your elbow and escort him or her, advising of any obstacles, such as stairs, narrow passageways or overhanging objects. When you have reached safety, orient the person to where you are and ask if further assistance is needed.

Hearing Impairments

Many buildings are not equipped with flashing light alarms, and persons with impaired hearing may not perceive that an emergency exists. Communicate with the person by writing a note or using simple hand gestures.

Persons using wheelchairs

Ask the person what method of assistance he/she prefers. Some people have minimal ability to move, and lifting them may be dangerous to them. Some persons using wheelchairs have respiratory complications; remove them from smoke or fumes immediately. If the disabled person wants to be moved in his or her wheelchair, keep the following considerations in mind:
With Their Wheelchair Without Their Wheelchair
Do not attempt to move a person in a wheelchair by yourself; seek help. Ask how to remove them from the wheelchair.
Ask if they want to move forward or backward down the stairs. Ask whether to move their extremities or not.
Wheelchairs have many movable or weak parts. Ask whether they want to be moved down the stairs forward or backward.
Some persons have no upper trunk or neck strength. Ask whether the seat cushion or pad should be brought.
Power wheelchairs have very heavy batteries; an evacuation chair may be needed and the chair retrieved later. Ask what is necessary for after-care.
If a seatbelt is available, use it!