Macalester College is committed to developing and implementing procedures to assist students with disabilities during an emergency. However, students must create their own personal emergency plan that addresses their needs before and during an evacuation.

General emergency evacuation plan


Pre-emergency Preparedness by the Student with a Disability

If you are a student with a disability and are concerned about your ability to safely evacuate in an emergency, you should:

  1. Discuss your concerns and options with the Director of Disability Services. The Director of Disability Services can assist you in developing a plan to meet your needs in case of an emergency. If necessary, the Assistant Dean can work with the Safety and Security Department to know your whereabouts as appropriate.
  2. Bring to the attention of your faculty members, employers, coaches and roommates the extent of the assistance you may need in case of an emergency. It is your responsibility to make your needs known.
  3. Register your mobile-phone numbers and email address with the college’s Emergency Notification System, “Mac Alert”.
  4. Become familiar with all emergency exits and evacuation routes in the buildings you frequent.
  5. Identify people willing to serve as an emergency “buddy.” A buddy could be a classmate, class instructor, supervisor, roommate, co-worker or any individual who could be in the vicinity during a potential emergency. The buddy should be familiar with your needed assistance in advance of an emergency. The buddy will assist individuals in arriving at all evacuation areas, and a buddy should stay with you at all times during an emergency until the emergency has expired.
  6. If you have difficulty speaking loudly, or have a voice/speech impairment, you should carry a whistle, or have other means of attracting attention from others, at all times.

Emergency Guidelines

  • When possible, students who have registered on the Mac Alert system will be contacted either by a cell phone text or e-mail if an emergency should happen.
  • Elevators should NOT be used in an evacuation unless instructed by emergency personnel.
  • School materials or any accessories should be left in the classroom or other room occupied to avoid wasting time in the event of an evacuation.
  • In the event of an evacuation, students who are unable to exit the building on their own accord should remain near the stairwell or the elevator. Emergency personnel will check the stairwells and elevator lobbies for those who are trapped.
  • Don’t be afraid to let others know when you need assistance.

Assisting Students with a Disability During an Emergency

The highest priority will be given to evacuate students with disabilities in all emergency situations. If an individual wants to help a person with a disability, always ask how you can help before giving assistance. The following guidelines should be used in assisting individuals with specific disabilities: