Evacuation Plan for Main Campus

General Evacuation Procedures

Evacuations from buildings will occur when the fire alarm sounds and flashes continuously and/or upon notification by the Department of Safety & Security. If you see a fire and the alarm is not on, pull the nearest fire alarm.

Remain calm and shut down equipment according to your department protocol (i.e feeds for Bunsen burners, lab equipment), if possible, without endangering yourself or others.

Do not attempt to collect personal items except for your wallet or purse or Cell phone. If your Emergency Kit is nearby, take it with you. Before opening a door, feel it for heat. If it is hot, do not open it. Do not break windows unless absolutely necessary for ventilation and escape. If it is safe to leave, close doors, but do not lock them. If you are trapped in a closed room, contact Department of Safety & Security at:

215-751-8111 (Safety & Security main number)
Or Extension 5555 from an in house phone
Or call 911

All people in the building should walk quickly to the nearest exit and ask others to do the same.

Persons with disabilities will need your assistance in exiting the building. Escort those who need assistance to the nearest fire tower and notify Safety & Security about you location. Do not use elevators, unless authorized to do so by fire department personnel.

Once outside all people should move to a clear area away from the affected building. Streets and walkways need to be clear for emergency vehicles and personnel.

No one should return to the building unless directed to do so by the Department of Safety &Security.

Assisting People with Disabilities to Evacuate

Guidelines for Evacuating People with Disabilities

Prior planning and practicing of emergency evacuation routes are important in assuring a safe evacuation. The following guidelines are presented to assist with the evacuation of people with physical disabilities.

General Guidelines

If you are a person (employee or student) with a disability who may need assistance during an emergency, it is strongly recommended to establish a system now that assures you get the help you need. Work with the Office of Students with Disabilities to develop an individual plan for how you will handle various types of emergency situations. If you need assistance and do not have a plan, it will be more difficult to assure your safety.

In any emergency situation, if an individual wants to help a person with a disability, always ASK how you can help BEFORE giving assistance. Ask how he or she can best be assisted or moved, and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.

DO NOT use elevators, unless authorized to do so by fire personnel. Never use elevators if there is fire or structural damage to the building.

If the situation is life-threatening, call 911. Immediately contact Security at x5555 from an in house phone, 215-751-8188 so the officers can guide emergency units to the proper location quickly

While it is best to follow the individual's emergency plan, in the event of an imminent life-threatening situation, no one should hesitate to assist a person with a disability to evacuate a building, using whatever means possible.

(LABORATORIES) Extinguish any open flames and pull fume hoods down.

Assisting People with Disabilities - Responses to Emergencies

People who are mobility impaired (those who use a wheelchair)

When the alarm is activated, people using wheelchairs should move to the nearest fire tower. Each fire tower on campus has been designated as an area of refuge during a fire emergency. Notify Security of your location. A member of the Fire Department, or other trained emergency personnel will assist in evacuating away from the building or floor.

Emergency personnel are trained to go to Areas of Refuge to assist people with disabilities. If the person with a disability is alone, he/she should contact Security at extension 5555 from an in house phone, 215-751-8188 or call 911. He/she should give the present location or Area of Refuge to which he/she is going. Elevators can be used only if authorized by emergency personnel, but may never be used in the event of fire or structural damage.

People who are mobility impaired (those who do not use a wheelchair)

People with mobility impairments who are able to walk independently may be able to negotiate stairs in an emergency with minor assistance. In an actual evacuation, these individuals may choose to wait until heavy traffic has cleared before attempting the stairs. If there is no imminent danger, the person with a disability may choose to stay in the building or move to an Area of Refuge until emergency personnel arrive. Elevators can be used only if authorized by emergency personnel, but may never be used in the event of fire or structural damage.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing

Most areas and rooms in College campus buildings are equipped with fire bells and strobe lights that simultaneously sound an alarm (auditory) and flash strobe lights (visual). Although this system is intended to alert deaf and hard of hearing individuals, they may not notice or hear emergency alarms and may need to be alerted to emergency situations.

People with a sight disability

People with sight disabilities are generally familiar with their immediate surroundings and frequently traveled routes. Nonetheless, because the emergency evacuation route might be different from commonly traveled routes, people who have a sight disability should be assisted to exit the building.

People who are Deaf and blind or partially sighted

People who are deaf and blind or partially sighted will need to be alerted to emergency situations. People who are deaf and blind or partially sighted may be familiar with their immediate surroundings and frequently traveled routes. Nonetheless, since the emergency evacuation route might be different from commonly traveled routes, people who are deaf and blind or partially sighted should be assisted to exit the building.

College Notification System

The College Notification System is a system that includes several methods of notification. If an emergency occurs, any method or combination of methods may be used to communicate about the emergency and procedures to follow.

College Notification System

  • Fire Bell/Strobe Light - People should evacuate the building and go to an Assembly Area.
  • Campus wide email - Follow instructions on the email.
  • Canvas LMS - Follow instructions on the message.
  • Alertus Emergency Notification Beacons - Follow the instructions in the message.
  • Emergency Broadcast Announcement - pop-up message on computers
  • Person-to-person messages - spread by people in the buildings.
  • Emergency and evacuation signage on exit doors. Follow instructions on the signs
  • Emergency text messaging system- Send Word Now text and email delivery system

Floor Captain Roles and Responsibilities

Things you should do now (prior to a future emergency)

  • Familiarize yourself with all contents of the Floor Captain Binder.Review the Emergency Operations Plan and Preparedness guide information.
  • Become familiar with the locations of every possible exit of your building or floor (depending on your area of responsibility).
  • Familiarize yourself with the safe areas such as fire towers (areas of refuge) or assembly areas (away from the building gathering points. Periodically check to ensure that you have access to the supplies area and if supplies need to be restocked.
  • In most safe areas the only supply that is stocked are water bottles.
  • Develop a plan of how to contact persons on your floor or building. For those with responsibility for a building, you should identify someone on each floor (administrative secretaries are probably the best option) that will be contacted by their preferred method (pager, phone, etc.) and assist with the information sharing for individuals on that floor. You can then share the information with individuals on your floor.
  • Establish a back-up plan and identify someone in your office to serve as Floor Captain in your absence (vacation, etc). Share the contents and location of the binder, the location of the exits, the safe areas, the supplies location, and the manner in which individuals on your floor can best be contacted.
  • Familiarize yourself with the location and contents of the area emergency kit. The binder contains information about recommended emergency supplies. Personalize it to your preferences. Serve as the connection between the Emergency Management Team (EMT) and your assigned area.

Your responsibilities during an emergency

  • Post the appropriate emergency signage immediately. If the back-up person is available, you can delegate that responsibility. (Be sure that the locations for posting the signs are pre-identified on each sign.)Pick up your emergency kit, and inform individuals on your floor of the emergency and where they should go.
  • Go to the Safe Area. If your safe area is only accessible by key, be sure that you are there immediately to unlock the door.
  • Provide on-site assistance (e.g. calming presence, sharing information, etc.)
  • Account for the people in the safe area (make reasonable effort)
  • Ask that individuals remain in the safe area until Safety officers or EMT member stops by to inform you that everyone can come out. Some safe areas are not accessible by cell phone (poor signal), requiring a Safety & Security officer to stop by at each location.
  • Serve as the liaison between the EMT and your assigned area.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures and Routes

All students and employees should be aware of the nearest exit to evacuate from their buildings and be aware of alternate exits if needed.

Students' and employees' primary route should be the nearest exit. The secondary route should be the next nearest exit. The Assembly Area should be the area nearest the main entrance of the building or the Primary Evacuation Site, except in instances where shelter in the building is appropriate (i.e. severe weather).

Students, faculty and staff should wait at the Assembly Area or Primary Evacuation Site until advised of further action by the Department of Safety & Security, the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD), an Emergency Team member, or a fire fighter.

If it is necessary to evacuate the campus completely, procedures will be explained to faculty, teachers, staff, and students at the Assembly Area.