Refuge Sites and Accessibility Concerns

Pre-emergency Preparation

  • Be familiar with the buildings, exits and refuge site.
  • Communicate your evacuation needs to instructors and other staff.
  • Know the safest method of assistance you may need.
  • Place a sign on your chair with clear instructions on how to assist you in the case of an emergency.
  • Carry a cellphone, loud whistle or similar device that you can operate during an emergency.
  • In a life-threatening situation, dial 911 for help and advise the dispatcher or your exact situation and location.

Refuge Sites

Refuge sites are established areas for non-ambulatory persons and those who require assistance in the event of a building evacuation. If you require assistance during an evacuation, proceed to the nearest Refuge Site for Evacuation Wardens and Campus Security to assist you.

Persons with mobility limitations should be assisted to the refuge site. Please follow the guidelines below for assisting persons in wheelchair/scooters and persons with mobility limitations.

Guidelines for assisting persons with asthma

If there is smoke in the area, encourage the person with asthma to crawl and to cover their mouth with a damp cloth if it is available.

Guidelines for assisting persons with epilepsy

In the case of a seizure during an emergency, keep the individual safe from further harm and do not force anything in their mouth.

Guidelines for persons with a developmental disability

In the case of an emergency, it is critical that you are clear about your needs during an evacuation. It is important to have these needs conveyed to instructors, staff, Human Resources Services and Campus Security at the earliest possible date of each term.

Guidelines for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing

  • Alert the individual that an emergency exists by using notes or body language.
  • Avoid relying on lip reading as it can cause difficulties in communicating during the emergency.

Guidelines for assisting wheelchair/scooter users and persons with mobility limitations:

  • When on ground level exit the building by using the wheelchair ramp or assisting the person down any steps that may be an issue.
  • If the staircase must be used to reach the ground level, remain at a refuge site until help arrives.
  • Do not use the elevators.
  • Do not take the electrically powered chair up or down the stairs.
  • If you are assisting persons with mobility limitations who are unable to communicate clearly, look for a sign on the chair with printed instructions on how to assist the individual.

Guidelines for assisting persons who have low vision or are blind

  • Identify yourself.
  • Describe the emergency and ask if help is required and how you can provide assistance.
  • Let the person take your elbow. Describe your surroundings and give clear and accurate directions.
  • Alert the individual about upcoming stairs or other obstacles.
  • Do not distract guide dogs and allow them to accompany you and the individual to safer grounds.