Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Areas of Refuge

If there is a major emergency that requires a building evacuation, people with disabilities may not be able to evacuate without help. There are designated areas of refuge in each building that provide protection where they may wait until assistance is available from Public Safety or emergency responders.

During emergencies, people with disabilities may need assistance with evacuating a building. If there is someone in your class that is blind, deaf, or whose mobility is restricted by the use of crutches or a walker, simply ask them if they need help. Classmates may use the buddy system when evacuating the building. A buddy can assist these individuals by guiding them to a stairwell, waiting until clear passage is established, and helping them down the stairs.

Video about Areas of Refuge


Elevators should not be used during an emergency, so people who cannot travel down the stairs should move to the outside area of the stairwell identified as an area of refuge and wait for the Campus Public Safety Department.

Individuals should wait in the designated area of refuge outside the stairwell, away from the path of traffic. Public Safety or emergency responders will ascend to the areas of refuge to assist with evacuation down the stairs if the situation warrants.

If the hazard becomes life-threatening before Public Safety or emergency responders arrive, people with disabilities should immediately move into the stairwell and close all doors.

If you need assistance during an evacuation, respond to the nearest area of refuge and immediately inform the Campus Public Safety Department of your location. If you are unable to respond to the nearest area of refuge or if you have to retreat to a different location, make sure you contact Public Safety.

Your safety is our priority. In the event of an evacuation, please help your fellow students evacuate safely. Look for the Emergency Evacuation Routes posted throughout the College, and as always, call campus Public Safety if you need assistance.