Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Disasters happen. Especially for people with disabilities, planning and preparation are the keys to being as safe as possible in an emergency. UC Berkeley is committed to the safety of all of its students, staff, faculty and visitors with and without disabilities.This section provides information on the campus-wide emergency preparedness features and procedures, as well as building-specific plans as they pertain to people with disabilities.

Each building’s page includes information of that building’s most important safety features. Specifically, you can find  the location of evacuation wheelchairs and Designated Waiting Areas on each building’s directory. DSP students who anticipate needing evacuation assistance in the event of an emergency should notify their DSP specialist in order to further discuss specific needs.

Individual Evacuation Planning for Students

Students enrolled in the Disabled Students’ Program may request an individualized assessment of their emergency preparedness needs for times when they are in class or on campus. Students should contact their assigned Disability Specialist to start that process, or can make a request via our portal. Individual planning appointments covers:

  • Review of building plans showing DWAs, evacuation chairs/cabinets, accessible routes
  • Itemizing what is needed in the students go bag
  • Scripting instructions for those assisting you during evacuation
  • An email introduction for student and Building Manager
  • Set up for Text 911, Emergency Notifications, and download of media app for the university radio- all for information exchange in emergency
  • Warm hand-off for student to DOR/VOR or Lighthouse for the Blind where student would like wayfinding/ travel training
  • Scheduling of a building evacuation walk-thru/observation upon request

Office of Emergency Management

The Office of Emergency Management(link is external) (OEM) is the campus office responsible for maintaining campus-wide emergency plans and coordinating the campus response in case of an emergency. Campus Access Services works closely with the OEM to make sure that those plans include considerations for the needs of campus community members with disabilities.

Preparedness Video from the World Institute on Disability

Disaster Readiness for People with Paralysis and Other Disabilities