Relocation of Persons with Disabilities


It is suggested that individuals who use wheelchairs or have a mobility impairment prepare for an emergency ahead of time by instructing coworkers or fellow students on how to assist in an emergency. In the event of an emergency, individuals who use wheelchairs, other individuals with mobility impairments, and individuals with disabilities that can affect response to emergencies, should observe the following procedures:

  • During an emergency, request assistance from those nearest you. If no one is there to render assistance, proceed to the nearest stairway landing, and shout for help.

  • As a first choice, use the building elevator, BUT NEVER IN THE CASE OF FIRE, EARTHQUAKE OR POWER OUTAGE.

  • If assistance is not immediately available, continue to call for help until rescued. Individuals who cannot speak loudly should carry a whistle or have other means of attracting the attention of others.

  • Rescue personnel, Public Safety, Emergency Response Teams, Fire and Police Departments will first check all exit corridors and exit stairwells for trapped persons.

  • Consultation about these procedures is available from Campus Police 310-434-4300 or the Office of Disabled Students Programs and Services 310-434-4265.


Practice What to do in a Drill:

  • Participate in a The Great ShakeOut earthquake drill in your region ( – and encourage others to participate with you!

  • Put your plan into action during your drills. Include family members, personal support team members, caregivers, etc.

  • If during your drill you identify a problem, revise your plan to better accommodate your needs.

What to do During an Earthquake:

  • Protect yourself in the safest place possible without having to move far - no matter what your

  • limitations are, you need to protect yourself as best as possible. The more limitations you have the more important it is to create safe spaces for yourself.

  • Do NOT try to get out of the building during an earthquake! Most injuries occur when people try to exit buildings during the shaking and are injured by other people or falling debris.

  • Drop under a piece of desk, furniture or against an inside wall.

  • Cover your head and neck. Hold on to a desk or furniture leg to keep it from shifting or uncovering you until the shaking completely stops.

If it is difficult for you to Drop, Cover, and Hold On then here are some suggestions:

  • If you are in a wheelchair, recliner or bed, do not try to transfer to or from your chair during the shaking. Wait until the shaking stops to transfer.

  • Stay put. Cover your head and neck with your arms or a pillow until the shaking stops. Page 4 of 7 AFN Preparedness Guide © Earthquake Country Alliance

  • Wheelchair user: lock your wheels; cover your head and neck, after the shaking stops. The force of the earthquake may knock you off your feet or throw you to the ground. If you have mobility or balance issues, the shaking may make it even harder for you to move around.

  • If you have difficulty getting back up from dropping under a desk or able, consider using alternate methods of Drop, Cover, and Hold On to protect yourself. Be sure you have made arrangements to have someone check on you, in case you need assistance.

  • If it helps – count out loud until the earthquake stops. It can help keep you calm, and if others in your home can hear you, they will know you are okay. If you have practiced counting out loud during your drills, it can serve as a reminder for others to keep calm and remember what to do.

What to do After an Earthquake:

Once the shaking stops –

  • Check yourself for injury and pay extra attention to any areas where you may have reduced sensations.

  • Be prepared for aftershocks. Stay close to and aware of the safe spaces in your environment.

  • Look around for hazards (broken glass, objects in your way, etc.)

  • Furniture may have shifted and sound cues may not be available.

  • Decide whether or not you need to move or evacuate for safety.

  • Evacuate only if necessary, otherwise stay where you are and shelter in place. Page 5 of 7 AFN Preparedness Guide © Earthquake Country Alliance

  • If the authorities contact you or otherwise advise an evacuation for people in your area, follow their directions immediately. Do not expect that they will be able to come back for you once they have notified the people in your area.

  • If you are near a beach, large lake or in a tsunami evacuation zone, click here for more Information Expect aftershocks

  • Follow your disaster plan

Evacuation Chair Training Video