Building evacuation

  • All building occupants are required to evacuate when the fire alarm sounds or upon the order of an authorized university official such as a Police Officer or a Building Supervisor.
  • If time permits, stabilize lab procedures, turn off stoves and ovens, and unplug or disable any device that could make the situation worse.
  • Move to the closest exit and proceed down the EXIT stairwell in a safe and orderly manner.
  • Do NOT delay evacuating to collect your personal belongings.
  • Do NOT use elevators.
  • Remain at least 500 feet outside of the building and await further instructions. Keep roadways open and beware of approaching emergency vehicles. Notify emergency responders of anyone who is trapped inside and mention if they have a physical disability that hinders their mobility.
  • Do not go back in the building for any reason until the Chief of the University Police Department deems it safe to re-enter.

Large-Scale Evacuation

  • If evacuation of part or all of the campus is necessary, monitor emergency alerts and email for additional information.
  • Pre-Planning is important for everyone, but especially if you may need assistance evacuating. If you are an employee who may need assistance evacuating in an emergency you should pre-plan and contact the HSU Police Department directly for assistance in pre-planning.  Students who may need assistance evacuating should contact the Disability Resource Center at 870-230-5475.
  • Evaluate your need to identify yourself as someone who requires assistance during an evacuation. The people around you may not realize you will need assistance in an emergency.
  • Master the skill of giving quick information on how best to assist you. Be clear and concise. If you have difficulty speaking, consider using a carry-with-you preprinted message.
  • Establish a personal network of people who are regularly in the same area as you. Do not depend on any one person as they may not always be available. Assess your own abilities and communicate your capabilities and limitations to those in your personal network.
  • Determine all your evacuation options and prioritize them. Consider the pros and cons of each:
  • Being carried by a co-worker, student or other non-professional – You have a chance to get out but you and/or your helpers may be injured in the process.
  • Waiting for professional assistance to evacuate – There is less chance of injury to you or your helper but there will be a delay before you can get out.  You may be overcome by smoke before getting help from rescue personnel.

Evacuating the disabled

Use of elevators – Elevators are useful in some non-fire emergencies.  However, elevators are not safe to use if there is a fire alarm.  Elevators in some buildings do not work if the fire alarm is activated.  Also, elevator shafts can become a chimney for smoke and heat.  The power can go out, leaving an elevator stuck between floors.

Evacuation Procedures

  • Attempt a rescue evacuation only when a physically disabled person is in immediate danger and cannot wait for professional assistance.
  • If you do not attempt a rescue evacuation, the disabled person should be moved to the nearest stairwell, or a room with the door shut which is well clear of any known hazard.  If possible, at least one person should wait with the disabled person.
  • Ask others leaving the building to notify emergency responders that a physically disabled person needs assistance in evacuating. Give the specific location.
  • If waiting for rescue is not an option, two physically capable occupants of the building should be invited to volunteer to assist the disabled person in evacuating. Ask how the disabled person can best be assisted or moved, and whether he/she requires any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.
  • Keep in mind that you may need to clear debris in order to safely evacuate.
  • Do not use elevators unless told to do so by emergency responders.