Emergency Evacuation Procedures for Individuals with Disabilities

Wheel chair back image At some time almost everyone requires assistance in some way. People with disabilities are no different. Not everyone with a disability will require assistance in an emergency. Evaluate your situation and decide if you need assistance. It is the responsibility of each person to ask for help when needed.

It has been suggested that information be provided on what to do in emergency situations for staff and students who have mobility related disabilities (wheelchair users, or disabilities which make it difficult to use stairs).

Many staff and students with mobility related disabilities have asked the following question: What am I supposed to do in the event that an emergency occurs in the area where I have class, work, and/or live? If you have asked this question you are not alone.

Additional resources from Department of Education

Evacuation conference proceedings

Planning - Preliminary Procedures

  • The time to plan for an emergency is before the emergency occurs. You should think about what you will do in the event of an emergency evacuation.
  • Plan ahead - know the areas where you work and study. Check all areas out completely. Is there ground floor access? If there is not, and you normally use an elevator to enter and leave a building, you will need evacuation assistance. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS DURING AN EMERGENCY UNLESS DIRECTED TO DO SO BY EMERGENCY STAFF.
  • Where are the exits on the floor which you live or work? Learn the location of all exits on each floor of the buildings you commonly use. When developing your emergency plan include at least two exits at each location. Examine stairwells and doorways for clearances.
  • Know the location of a telephone in each area you frequent.
  • Once you have a plan, practice that plan. If you would like someone to assist with developing an emergency assistance plan, contact the ADA office at 615-898-5366 or the Disability and Access Center at 615-898-2783.
  • Write down the emergency numbers and contacts from this page and keep them with you.
  • Employees should discuss emergency concerns with their supervisor. Students should discuss concerns with the Disability and Access Center. If you will need some type of assistance, notify the appropriate people. Employees and students are responsible for seeking appropriate assistance.
  • Find a friend/co-worker who is willing to assist during an emergency. It is suggested you find more than one friend/co-worker in the event that person is unavailable during an emergency.


What to do in an Emergency

  1. Call campus police (898-2424) and emergency services (911). Report your name and location (room number or other area and building name). If you are going to an emergency exit, give the location of that exit (floor and location, e.g. NW tower, 3rd fl).
  2. Report your situation - what type of assistance you may require (e.g. wheelchair user, breathing difficulties, blindness).
  3. Ask co-workers/friends as they leave the building to inform the emergency team on site of your location, your name, and situation (e.g. wheelchair user, blindness).


Where do you go in Case of an Emergency?

Do you stay in the classroom or office until help arrives? Do you go to the nearest fireproof stairway?

The answer will depend upon the immediate situation and the building you are in. That's why it is important to be familiar with all areas you frequent. Have a plan and use it.

There is no ground floor access. How do I exit the building? Where should I go?

After you inform a friend/co-worker of your situation and have made the call to 911, go to the nearest emergency exit and wait until assistance comes. Or follow your individual emergency plan if it calls for something different.

Emergency Contact Numbers

Fire 2424 or 911 or 893-1622
Police 2424 or 911 or 893-1311
Medical 2424 or 911 or 896-2520
Poison Control 2424 or 911 or 322-6435
Recorded emergency line 2424
Office Contact
Lance Alexis, Ed.D.
Director of ADA Compliance
Cope Administration Building 116
Phone: (615) 898-2185
MTSU ADA Access Campus Map