Building evacuations occur when a fire alarm sounds or upon notification by emergency personnel.

When a Building Evacuation Alarm Is Sounded or When Told to Evacuate by Emergency Personnel:

  • Remain calm.

  • Quickly gather personal belongings such as keys, wallet, etc. if possible.

  • Aecure any hazardous materials or equipment before leaving if possible.

  • Walk quickly to the nearest marked exit.

  • Alert others to the emergency and ask if they need help evacuating.

  • DO NOT USE ELEVATORS unless instructed to do so by emergency personnel.

  • Once outside, move away from the building and proceed directly to the predetermined evacuation assembly area, 

  • DO NOT return to an evacuated building until advised to do so by emergency personnel.

Mobility Impairment

  • It may be necessary to help clear the exit route of debris (if possible).

  • If people with mobility impairments cannot exit, they should move to a safer area such as an enclosed stairwell.

  • Notify emergency personnel immediately about any people remaining in the building and their locations.

If people are in immediate danger and cannot be moved to a safer area to wait for assistance, it may be necessary to evacuate them using an evacuation chair or one of the carry techniques on the following page.

Pack Strap Carry

Kneel in front of victim and place the victim’s arms up and over your shoulders and across your chest. Then lean forward before slowly raising to a full standing position.

Swing Carry

Two rescuers stand on both sides of a victim, and then grasp each other’s upper arms behind the victim’s back and each other’s wrists under the victim’s knees. After the victim sits between the rescuer’s arms, the rescuers hold onto the sides of the victim.

Extremity Carry

This carry can be used for stairwells or narrow passageways. A rescuer in front lifts the legs under the knees while a helper in back reaches under the shoulders and locks their fingers across the person’s chest or grabs the victim’s forearms. Together the rescuers lift to a standing position making sure to use their leg muscles and not their backs.

Evacuation Procedures for Individuals with Disabilities

Evacuation Guidelines for People with Disabilities

We suggest that people with disabilities prepare for emergencies by learning the locations of exit corridors and enclosed stairwells, and by informing co-workers and students of the best methods of assistance during an emergency. If you would like assistance in pre-planning, please call the College Police Department at 310-434-4300.

Always ASK someone with a disability how you can help before attempting any emergency evacuation assistance. Ask how he or she can best be assisted or moved, and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.

Try to avoid evacuating people who use wheelchairs while they are still in their wheelchairs. This is standard practice to ensure the safety of people with disabilities and volunteers. The empty wheelchairs will be evacuated later if possible.

Tips To Remember When Interacting with People with Specific Disabilities

Blindness or Visual Impairment

  • Provide verbal instructions to advise them regarding the safest route or direction using simple directions, estimated distances, and directional terms.

  • DO NOT grasp a visually impaired person’s arm. Ask if he or she would like to hold onto your arm as you exit, especially if there is debris or a crowd.

  • Give other verbal instructions or information (i.e. elevators cannot be used).

Deafness or Hearing Impairment

  • Get the attention of a person with a hearing impairment by establishing eye contact. If the person’s back is toward you, tap him/her on the shoulder to get his/her attention. Clearly state the problem. Gestures and pointing are helpful, but be prepared to write a brief statement if the person does not seem to understand.

  • Offer visual instructions to advise regarding safest route or direction by pointing towards exits or evacuation maps.

Relocation of Persons with Disabilities

It is suggested that individuals who use wheelchairs or have 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, please go 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.

  • The SMC Police Department personnel, outside agencies Fire and Rescue personnel, and Emergency Response Teams (C-CERT) members, will first check all exit corridors and exit stairwells for trapped persons.

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