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Emergency Evacuation, Sheltering, Shelter-in-place Plan for Individuals with Disabilities

Emergency Evacuation, Sheltering, Shelter-in-place Plan for Individuals with Disabilities

This plan is under currently under development and McNeese State University is actively seeking feedback and comments from students, faculty and staff on this plan. The intent of this plan is to ensure that persons with disabilities are provided a full and equal opportunity to benefit from these services in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the individuals.

Your comments and suggestions are vital to developing this plan. Please use the electronic comments form to submit your feedback. This for will go directly to the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. If you have any questions about the draft plan or the process to submit comments, please contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities.

Physical location:
Drew Hall, Room 200

By Mail:
Box 92904
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70609

By Phone:
(337) 475-5916
(337) 562-4227 TDD/TTY, Hearing Impaired
(337) 475-5878 FAX

By e-mail:
tdelaney@mcneese.edu

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Individuals with Disabilities

  1. Are you a person with a disability?

    Answer: If you are a person with a disability, it is your responsibility to plan ahead for emergency situations which could involve evacuations.
  2. Would your disability affect your safety in an emergency situation?

    Answer: In many emergency situations, elevators will not work, lights will go out, or telephones may not be operable.
  3. Do you know the "safe places or Areas of Refuge" in the buildings you use?

    Answer: For many buildings a stairwell is a "safe" area to wait until emergency personnel arrive when stairs or elevators cannot be accessed. However, in some buildings, the stairwell acts as a chimney fostering smoke and flames. (For specific information contact the building coordinator.)
  4. Would you require special equipment for evacuation?

    Answer: If elevators are not operating during an emergency, critical time can be saved when you have made arrangements with supervisors or faculty or staff in the buildings or areas you occupy. Emergency personnel will need to know if you require an evacuation chairs or other special equipment. This advance planning may save your life.
  5. Do you know whom to contact to learn about evacuation and safety?

    Answer: If evacuation information is not posted in areas you use, then contact one of the following or your Building Coordinator: University Police, the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities in Drew Hall, Room 200; the Facilities Compliance Coordinator with the Office of the Director of Facilities and Plant Operations; or the Environmental and Safety Officer with the Office of the Director of Facilities and Plant Operations.

    * The Student Emergency Evacuation Plan Form will be developed and implemented by the Director of Services for student with disabilities. Completion of the Student Emergency Evacuation Plan form is voluntary and is available to University students living in University housing , undergraduate and graduate students, and any other University students with a disability enrolled at McNeese. The Director of Services for Students with Disabilities will be the office of record for Student Emergency Evacuation Plans.

MSU Faculty and Staff Information


Visually Impaired Individuals with Disabilities

  • Announce the type of disability.
  • Offer your arm for guidance.
  • Tell the person where you are going, obstacles you encounter.
  • When you reach safety, ask if further help is needed.

Hearing Impaired Individuals with Disabilities

  • Turn lights on/off to gain the person's attention, or
  • Indicate directions with gestures, or
  • Write a note with evacuation directions.

Evacuating Individuals with Disabilities Using Crutches, Canes or Walkers

  • Contact Rescue Person. Call 9-1-1 or trained emergency personnel.
  • Determine if you can move the person safely.
  • Non-ambulatory persons' needs and preferences vary. Individuals at ground floor locations may exit without help. Others may have minimal ability to move. Remember, lifting may be dangerous to you or them.
  • Some non-ambulatory persons have respiratory complications. Remove them from smoke and vapors immediately.

Evacuating Individuals with Disabilities Using Wheelchair

  • Contact Rescue Person. Call 9-1-1 or trained emergency personnel.
  • Determine if you can move the person safely.
  • Non-ambulatory persons' needs and preferences vary. Individuals at ground floor locations may exit without help. Others have minimal ability to move. Remember, lifting may be dangerous to you or them.
  • Some non-ambulatory persons have respiratory complications. Remove them from smoke and vapors immediately. Wheelchair users with electrical respirators should get priority assistance.
  • Most wheelchairs are too heavy to take down stairs. Consult with the person to determine best carry options and reunite the person with the chair as soon as it is safe to do so.

Hurricane plan

  1. Notification

    Students with disabilities will be notified by email, text messaging, and by the University's telephone First Call Notification Emergency System. All students are encouraged to register in the First Call Emergency Notification System.

    McNeese web site

    McNeese Emergency web site

    Louisiana Emergency Website

  2. Evacuation

    International students and Students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to communicate their emergency evacuation plans to parents and family prior to a weather-related emergency. Students with disabilities are encouraged to complete an Emergency Evacuation Plan through the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities at the beginning of each semester. Although students are responsible for vacating the university and making their own transportation and lodging arrangements, the potential exists that a number of on-campus students simply may not comply, or may not have the means to self-evacuate. In the likelihood that this occurs, McNeese has a contingency plan to provide assistance to these students.

  3. Emergency transportation

    Students with disabilities requiring assistance should contact the university police at time of notification. Students with disabilities will be accommodated to meet their basic needs. Wheelchair accessible buses are available for evacuation if needed. A McNeese university police officer and emergency personnel or other medical caregiver will be present on the bus to assist students with disabilities, as needed. Students with disabilities are encouraged to self-identify and register with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities once they arrive on campus each semester, and develop a personal hurricane evacuation plan that will incorporate their needs.

    Shuttle service to a central evacuation point designated by parish officials will be available 48 - 72 hours prior to projected landfall.

  4. Sheltering

    If students are unable to evacuate on their own then the parish will transport evacuees to shelters in designated chosen locations outside the storm impact area that are deemed safe.

  5. Access to medications, refrigeration, and back-up power

    Students are responsible for obtaining their medications prior to evacuation. Students with disabilities should prepare themselves a disaster evacuation kit before the start of hurricane season. Important items would consist of medications, important documents such as immigration documents including passport, class books, cell phone, laptop, and contact information. This list can be found in the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities and the Office of the Dean of Student Services and also see appendix D in the Hurricane Emergency and Preparedness Plan.

  6. Access to mobility devices or service animals

    Mobility devices and service animals will be transported with the individual with the disability by shuttle to a central evacuation point designated by parish officials.

  7. Access to information

    A McNeese official will be with the student's evacuating. This point person will have access to information regarding current situation and procedures.

  8. Community Resources

    Students will be encouraged to sign up with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities and should also be encouraged to develop an evacuation plan.

  9. Employees with Disabilities

    Supervisors of employees with disabilities and /or employees with disabilities will contact the Office of Human Resources and the Office of the ADA Coordinator during a campus emergency or evacuation.


Hurricane season coincides with active sports seasons. Athletic administrators, head coaches, and assistant coaches will communicate with student athletes emergency and evacuation preparation and instructions.

Shelter in Place

A shelter -in-place incident is a potentially threatening situation on campus that may involve disasters such as 1) an active shooter, 2) tornado, or 3) an outdoor airborne hazardous materials release. Listed below are the steps faculty, staff and students should follow if any of these incidents should occur on the McNeese State university campus. The alert system will sound directing people to take shelter, an email will be sent to all faculty, staff and students, and for subscribers of the First Call emergency Notification System, a text message and a phone message will be sent. McNeese State University encourages all faculty, staff and students to register with the First Call Emergency Notification System.
  1. ACTIVE SHOOTER
    • 1.1 Warning Siren/Information: When you hear the Shelter-In-Place warning:
      1. Direct any non-threatening individuals into your area.
      2. Lock and barricade your area door and windows, if possible.
      3. Exit the campus if you are outdoors on campus. Entering a building is dangerous as the shooter may still be in the building.
    • 1.2 Text/Phone Message: If you hear the outside alarm and you are registered with the First Call Emergency Notification System,
      1. Check your text messaging service immediately.
      2. Silence the ringer on your mobile device.
      3. You will receive a text message indicating the nature of the emergency and what steps to protect yourself.
    • 1.3 Email Message: An email message will be sent to all McNeese email addresses indicating the nature of the emergency and what steps to take to protect yourself.
    • 1.4 Move Away From doors And Windows:
      1. Direct others in your area to move away from doors and windows and stay silent.
      2. Do not open your door for any reason. (McNeese University Police has keys to open doors).
    • 1.5 Cover Window/Turn Off Lights:
      1. Cover area windows/close blinds (if possible).
      2. Turn off lights.
    • 1.6 If You Hear Gunfire:
      1. Lie flat on the floor and direct those around you to do the same.
      2. Remind everyone to stay silent and silence their ringer on their mobile devices.
    • 1.7 Take Roll Of Those Present:
      1. Someone should take roll of everyone present.
      2. Be prepared to provide this information to the university police department.
    • 1.8 Stay Where You Are:
      1. Until the all clear is sounded, an all clear email is received, or an all clear text message is received.
      2. Until you are given face-to-face instructions by MSUPD or a University Administrator that the emergency is over.
    • 1.9 Do Not Call MSUPD:
      1. Once the siren/warning system has sounded, MSUPD will be aware of the emergency.
      2. Restrict calls to MSUPD for life-threatening emergencies or specific information on an immediate dangerous situation to report.
  2. TORNADO
    • 2.1 Warning Siren: When you hear the official siren/loud warning system:
      1. Take shelter in a building if you are outside on campus and see dark threatening clouds or an approaching cloud of debris.
    • 2.2 Text Message/Voice mail: If you hear the campus alarm and you are registered with the university First Call Emergency Notification System,
      1. Check your text messaging service immediately.
      2. You will receive a text message indicating the nature of the emergency and what steps you should take to protect yourself.
      3. Direct individuals to the lowest floor of the building.
    • 2.3 Email message: An email message will be sent to all McNeese email addresses indicating the nature of the emergency and what steps to take to protect yourself.
    • 2.4 Seek Shelter:
      1. Shelter should be an interior windowless room/area such as a bathroom or an interior classroom on the lowest floor of the building.
      2. Direct others in your area to move away from doors and windows.
      3. Close and lock or barricade doors if possible.
      4. Kneel or sit facing a wall and cover your head and face.
      5. If you are in a vehicle, seek shelter in a building as soon as possible.
      6. If disabled individuals cannot safely move to the lowest level, assist to an interior room or area away from windows and areas with a large expanse of glass.
    • 2.5 If you are outside when the Alarm sounds:
      1. Move at right angles away from the tornado.
      2. Attempt to reach shelter, such as a building.
      3. If there is no time to escape, lie flat in a ditch or depression.
    • 2.6 Areas to Avoid:
      1. Do not use elevators.
      2. Avoid areas with glass windows/doors, or hallways with windows at either end.
      3. Avoid automobiles.
      4. Avoid areas with large ceiling spans, such as auditoriums and gymnasiums.
    • 2.7 Take Roll of those Present:
      1. Someone should take roll of everyone present.
      2. Be prepared to provide this information to MSUPD.
    • 2.8 Stay Where You Are:
      1. Until the all clear alarm is sounded, an all clear email is received or an all clear text message is received.
      2. Until you are given face-to-face instructions by MSUPD or a University Administrator that the emergency is over.
    • 2.9 After the Tornado:
      1. Watch out for fallen power lines.
      2. Stay out of damaged areas.
      3. Listen to the radio for information and instructions.
      4. Use a flashlight to inspect the immediate area for damage. Do not use candles at any time.
    • 2.10 Do not Call MSUPD:
      1. Once the alarm has sounded, MSUPD will be aware of the emergency.
      2. Restrict calls to MSUPD for life-threatening emergencies or specific information on an immediate dangerous situation to report.
  3. OUTDOOR AIRBORNE HAZARDOUS MATERIAL
    • 3.1 Warning Alarm/Siren: When you hear the official Shelter-In-Place warning siren/alarm:
      1. Close and lock or secure your door as best you can.
    • 3.2 Text message: If you hear the alarm/siren and you are registered for the university First Call Emergency Notification System,
      1. Check your text messaging service immediately.
      2. You will receive a text message indicating the nature of the emergency and what steps you should take to protect yourself.
    • 3.3 Email Message:
      1. An email message will be sent to all McNeese State university email addresses indicating the nature of the emergency and what steps to take to protect yourself.
    • 3.4 Seek Shelter:
      1. Upon confirmation of an outdoor hazardous materials release, the *building supervisors will turn off all ventilation systems to their building. (Locally controlled air conditioners, lab hoods, air circulation fans, etc.);
      2. Do not use elevators.
      3. Direct individuals to a floor above ground level.
      4. Shelter should be an interior windowless room/area such as a bathroom or an interior classroom.
      5. If the room has windows, close and seal them and any doors. Place wet cloth material, i. e., clothing, towel, rags, etc., in the opening between the door and the floor. (Seal all openings as best you can)
      6. If disabled individuals cannot safely move to an above ground level, assist to an interior room or area away from windows and exterior walls.
      7. Listen to the radio for information and instructions.
    • 3.5 If you are outside when the alarm/siren is activated;
      1. If you see a cloud of smoke or smell any unusual smells, cover your nose and mouth and seek shelter inside of a building.
      2. Check your text messages or e-mails to identify the threat and follow the same precautions as above.
    • 3.6 Take Roll of those Present:
      1. Someone should take roll of everyone present.
      2. Be prepared to provide this information to MSUPD.
    • 3.7 Stay Where You Are:
      1. Until the all clear alarm/siren has sounded, an all clear email ie received or an all clear text message is received.
      2. Until you are given face-to-face instructions by MSUPD or a University Administrator that the emergency is over.
    • 3.8 Do Not Call MSUPD.
      1. Once the alarm/siren has sounded, MSUPD will be aware of the emergency.
      2. Restrict calls to MSUPD for life-threatening emergencies or specific information on an immediate dangerous situation to report.
    • 3.9 When the "All Clear" is Given:
      1. Ventilate buildings, open windows and doors.
      2. Turn "ON" all air circulation equipment that was turned "OFF" during the Shelter-in-Place emergency. (3)
  4. Bomb Threats

    All bomb threats will be taken seriously. A University official will consult with the University Police Department to determine the appropriate course of action. All bomb threats are not legitimate and evacuation is not always required.

    In most cases, the fire alarm should not be activated in the event of a bomb threat. Activating the fire alarm during a bomb threat will leave people with disabilities in designated "safe refuge areas". The University Official may mobilize the Emergency Response Team without making use of the general alarm system.

Responding To Bomb Threats

Employees must be instructed in what to do if a bomb threat call is received. A calm response to the bomb threat caller could result in obtaining additional information. This is especially true if the caller wishes to avoid injuries or deaths. If told that the building is occupied or cannot be evacuated in time, the bomb threat caller may be willing to give more specific information on the bomb's location, components, or methods of initiation.

When A Bomb Threat Is Called In, Perform the Following Actions:
  1. Remain calm
  2. Attempt to keep the caller on the line as long as possible. Ask him/her to repeat the message. Record every word spoken by the person.
    • Ask for the exact location where bomb has been or is going to be planted.
    • Get as much information as possible about the caller, e.g., vocal characteristic, race, sex, group affiliation, why the bomb was placed.
    • Clues from background noises, which might indicate caller's identification and location.
  3. Immediately after the caller hangs up, report the threat to 911, and your supervisor.
    • Remain available, as law enforcement personnel will want to interview you.
    • Wait for further direction from university police.
    • Do not spread rumors.

When A Written Threat Is Received, Perform the Following Actions:
  1. Remain calm.
  2. Avoid handling it unnecessarily in order to preserve possible fingerprint(s), handwriting or typewriting, paper, and postal marks. These will prove essential in tracing the threat and identifying the writer.
  3. While written messages are usually associated with generalized threats and extortion attempts, a written warning of a specific device may occasionally be received; it should never be ignored.
  4. Contact the McNeese State University Police and your supervisor
  5. Wait for further direction from McNeese State University Police and/or your supervisor.
  6. Do not spread rumors.

Bomb Threat Evacuation Procedures

Upon notification of a bomb threat, the following should occur:

The Emergency Response Coordinator will:
  1. Notify 911
    A University Official, in consultation with the Police, will determine if an evacuation is warranted. The Police and a University Official will assess the threat and make a decision to:
    1. Ignore the threat
    2. Search and Evacuate
    3. Evacuate Immediately
  2. If Search and Evacuate is warranted, the following actions should be taken:
    1. The University Official will notify by telephone all Building Supervisors and they will contact personnel within their areas of responsibility. These instructions must be obeyed promptly.

      Telephone communications may be reinforced by the use of the public address system and/or pager system. Do not use cell phones or two way radios, as they may set off a suspect device.

      Members of the Emergency Response Team may then take such steps as emergency circumstances warrant.
    2. Employees should check (SCAN) their immediate work area for any unusual or suspicious items as they leave their workstation.
    3. Building Supervisors and Facilities Management personnel should check their assigned areas such as restrooms, office areas, stairwells, and other common areas.
    4. Any suspicious items should be reported immediately.
  3. If a suspicious object/item is located: Clear the area where the suspicious object is located, and then evacuate the rest of the building.
    1. Employees should take all personal belongings with them (i.e., car keys, coats, purse, and bags or backpacks). If a suspect item is found, the employee may not return to the building until it is found clear. This may take considerable time.
    2. All employees should exit through a designated evacuation route that has been checked for any devices, and proceed to their designated assembly area.
    3. Parking lots and garages should be avoided, as they may contain a vehicle bomb.
  4. After the bomb disposal organization has disposed of the suspicious object or verified that it is harmless, initiate action to recall evacuees to their offices and work areas.

Resource Documents

  1. Inclusive Preparedness external link
  2. Environmental Health & Safety office UNO PDF
  3. University Emergency Plans (UNO) PDF
  4. Louisiana spirit Hurricane Recovery

The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities has developed an Emergency Evacuation Plan for students to complete in their office. This document is optional and would mostly apply to those that live in Student Housing.