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Building Evacuations

IV. Building Evacuations

Diagrams showing the route for evacuating campus buildings for any reason are framed and posted in every room on campus.

Evacuating students with disabilities:

Generally, faculty will be informed in advance when students with special needs are enrolled in a class, but there is no guarantee that all of a student's needs have been identified.

The instructor should discuss disabilities with the student in relation to the specific course and make plans accordingly.

Visually impaired persons will usually be familiar with the immediate classroom area. In the event of an emergency, the visually impaired person may need assistance. The instructor may wish to serve as a sighted guide or assign another student to assist while the instructor oversees orderly evacuation. The preferred method of assistance is offering the elbow and escorting the visually impaired individual. As the guide is walking, inform the person with disabilities where you are and advise them of obstacles.

When you reach the destination, tell the person where you are and ask if further assistance is needed. Do not forget that at the end of the emergency, this person will again need assistance to return to the classroom or newly designated area. Instructors assigning this service to another student should be sure to instruct the guide in these precautions.

Hearing impaired persons - Visual alarms (flashing lights) have been installed throughout the campus to notify persons with hearing disabilities.

Non-ambulatory persons are usually able to exit safely, without assistance, from the ground floor. Some have minimal ability to move and lifting them may actually be dangerous to their well-being. Because non-ambulatory persons' needs and preferences will vary, always consult the person regarding:

* Ways of being removed from the wheelchair

* Number of people necessary for assistance

* Whether to bend or extend the extremities when lifting because of pain, catheter, spasticity, etc.

* Being carried backward or forward down stairs

* After-care if removed from a wheelchair

The instructor may choose to determine answers at the beginning of a term so that the information is readily available in the event of an emergency.

Things to remember about wheelchairs:

* They may have movable or weak parts which are not built to withstand the stress of lifting.

* Remove batteries from an electric wheelchair before attempting to transport it.

* If a seat belt is available and evacuation is by chair, secure the person to the chair.

* If the chair must be left behind, be sure it does not block or obstruct doorways, stairs or passageways.

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