Evacuation Assistance Guide



  • Always ASK someone with a disability or other conditions how you can help BEFORE giving assistance. Ask how best to assist the individual and whether there are any special considerations or items needed.
  • The individual with the disability is the best expert on his or her disability, so ask that individual for advice before assisting that person.
  • Take extra time when communicating with people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability.
  • If you are asked to be an evacuation assistant, discuss roles and expectations with the individual who has asked you to assist him or her, including requesting a copy of his/her Personal Action Plan and discussing appropriate exit strategies,  so that you are prepared in the event of an emergency.


  • Call 911 or call the Kansas University Public Safety Office (PSO) at 864-5900
  • Notify First Responders that you are assisting a person with a disability.
  • Identify the floor and where you are located and how you plan to evacuate.
  • Provide a description of your situation, as appropriate.


  • Evacuate yourself and the person you are assisting
  • Identify existing options and select the nearest appropriate exit, including, potentially, an Area of Refuge if you are assisting a person using a wheelchair or with other mobility restrictions.
  • Do not use the elevator unless it is a designated an EMERGENCY EXIT elevator or if emergency personnel have directed you to do so.
  • It may be necessary to help clear the exit route of obstructions or debris (if possible) so that the person with a disability can move out or to a safer area.


  • Evaluate Conditions – Exit the premises, if possible, or find a safe location to defend in place.
  • If a person with a mobility disability cannot exit, assist the individual to a safer area, including an office or classroom and close the door. EXIT STAIRWELLS can be used effectively; they are fire protected and have direct access for emergency responders. If you can, go for help!
  • If conditions suggest that exit paths may be blocked, evaluate locations to defend in place against worsening conditions and go for help.
  • If you and/or a person with disability are unable to exit the building, identify the location of the defending person to responders so they can execute a rescue.
  • If you are in immediate danger and cannot move to a safer area, CALL 911 and wait for assistance.
  • Police or fire personnel will decide whether people are safe where they are, and will evacuate them as necessary.



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