An evacuation is defined as the emptying of an occupied area and the transference of its occupants to a safe location. A critical element of any evacuation is transportation. The dense urban population, high number of resident students, and use of transportation alternatives at UCSB must be taken into account when planning the steps necessary to evacuate all campus occupants, whether they arrived by public transit, single-occupant auto, carpool, vanpool, or bicycle..

In a major emergency, the decision to implement evacuation procedures generally rests with the members of the UC Santa Barbara EOC Executive Policy Group. In situations requiring immediate action, emergency responders (police, fire) can also order an evacuation. When evaluating the possible evacuation, several considerations will be made, including the specific threat (bomb, fire, storm, earthquake, explosion, hazardous materials incident, power outages, etc.), its context (time of day, likelihood, etc.), and the recommendation of public safety officials.

After a major disaster many people may choose to leave campus to check on their family members and homes. Ideally, individuals should first check-in with their Department Safety Representative (DSR), so that they are not assumed to be trapped or missing, and they can learn information about the emergency.

Building Evacuation

Emergency procedures and State law require that everyone exit a building when a fire alarm is activated. In a building evacuation the DSR will try to make sure that all members of their department/unit (and any related students or visitors) are proceeding to the Emergency Assembly Points for their building. Without re-entering the building, the DSR will then ensure as best they can that the building is secured and that all personnel are accounted for. When evacuating a building:

  • Proceed toward the nearest safe exit.
  • Do not use elevators for evacuation because they may be damaged and unreliable.
  • After exiting the building go directly to your building Emergency Assembly Point. If that area is no longer safe, determine the safest place away from imminent danger.
  • DO NOT return to your building until notified by emergency personnel.

Evacuation of Persons with Access and Functional Needs

During emergencies when an elevator is not available or safe for use, the following procedures have been developed for those unable to use the stairs in multi-story buildings:

  • Designated personnel should escort individuals with impaired mobility to a refuge such as an enclosed stairwell landing that leads to an exterior exit at the ground level.
  • Someone should remain with the individual while another person notifies arriving emergency personnel of the location of the person who needs assistance.
  • The instructions of the emergency responder should be followed, and no attempt should be made to move the individual to another building level unless there is imminent danger in the refuge.
  • Individuals unable to utilize the stairs and who are alone should call 911 and report the location of their planned refuge.
  • Anyone unable to reach a refuge location (for instance due to smoke), should close all doors into the area, call 911 and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.

students quickly going down the stairs