Evacuation Procedures

A building evacuation goes into effect in case of a fire or other emergency that requires all occupants to immediately leave the building to ensure their safety.

Preparing: Familiarize yourself with emergency stairwells, exit routes and the assembly area for your primary location, and for all buildings that you frequent.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Terms and Definitions

Evacuation Assembly Area (EAA)- an outside location at least 50 feet from the building, away from roads and walkways used by emergency vehicles.

Evacuation Site (ES)- a building in close proximity to the evacuated building that will provide protection from the weather or other elements in the case of a prolonged evacuation. The on-site incident commander, usually a University Police officer will determine if personnel should move from the Evacuation Assembly Area to the Evacuation Site. An Evacuation Site list can be found below.


Evacuation is required any time the fire alarm sounds, an evacuation announcement is made, or a university official orders you to evacuate a building to the Evacuation Assembly Area (EAA). When an evacuation occurs, departments should put their evacuation plan into effect. After the building has been evacuated, the building cannot be re-entered until University Police gives permission. The silencing of alarms is not the sole indicator that it is safe to re-enter.

Lecturers and Lab Supervisors should notify each class at the beginning of the semester of the designated evacuation plan. The department’s plan should indicate a meeting place outside the building EEA as well as the designated ES. It is imperative that students know to stay together as a class while at the EAA or the ES. Everyone must be accounted for, and their names should be written down, or checked off an attendance roster. You can not release students from the EAA or ES until University Police have given permission to do so.

General Evacuation Procedures for Academic and Administrative Buildings

  • Quickly shutdown any hazardous operations or processes and render them safe.
  • Notify others in the area of the alarm if they did not hear it while you are evacuating yourself.
  • Exit the room.
  • Take jackets or other clothing needed for protection from the weather.
  • If possible close windows and doors as you leave, but do not lock the doors.
  • If you are away from the class/lab room when the alarm sounds, you should exit the building immediately and not return to the room. You should meet the class at the EEA.
  • Exit the building, walk to the nearest safe exit route (do not run). Do not use elevators.
  • Move away from the building, report to the class/ labs designated EAA and meet with other persons from the class or lab. Wait at EAA for directions.
  • Account for faculty, staff and students and write down their names while at the EAA. Report any missing or trapped people to the emergency responders. Keep existing groups together.
  • Review with everyone the location of the Evacuation Site, should this have been an instance where you would have been required to go there.
  • Do not reenter the building until University Police gives the "all clear" signal.

General Evacuation Procedures for Residential Buildings

Residence Hall Directors shall:

  • Head toward the cage instructing others to move as calmly and as safely as possible.
  • Instruct people not to use the elevators.
  • Instruct Residence Hall Advisors to meet at the cage and then move to an assigned exit.
  • Meet University Police near the front of the building, get instructions, and move to the EAA and get a report from the RA’s.

Residence Hall Advisors shall:

  • Follow the guidelines in the Residence Hall Handbook as to where to meet.
  • Move toward the cage, instructing others to move as calmly and as safely as possible to the nearest exit, notifying people as you go.
  • Instruct people not to use the elevators. Notify others in the area of the alarm if they did not hear it while you are evacuating yourself.
  • Go to your assigned door.
  • Assemble the residents in the EAA.
  • Review with everyone the location of the Evacuation Site, should this have been an instance where you would have been required to go there.

Evacuation of Persons with Disabilities

Assisting Visually Impaired Persons

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

Assisting People with Hearing Limitations

  • Turn lights on/off to gain the person’s attention, or indicate directions with gestures, or write a note with evacuation directions.

Assisting People Using Crutches, Canes, or Walkers

  • Evacuate these individuals as injured persons.
  • Assist and accompany to evacuation site if possible, or use a sturdy chair (or one with wheels) move the person to an enclosed stairwell, notify emergency crew of their location.

If you are unable to leave the building due to a physical disability:

  • Go to the nearest stairwell.
  • Use a telephone to call University Police 3550, or use other means to advise them of your location.
  • If possible, signal out the window to on-site emergency responders.
  • One person may remain with you if they wish to assist you.

The following buildings will be the designated Evacuation Sites (ES) when a prolonged building evacuation occurs as determined by University Police or the Incident Commander. The Building Administrator (designee) or Residence Hall Director (designee) will be present. Occupants will be sent to the emergency assembly spaces

Designated Evacuation Sites
Building with Emergency Evacuation Site
R.F. Netzer Chase Gymnasium
Alumni Hall Hulbert Dining
Bacon Hall Alumni Hall Little Theater
Blodgett Hal Wilsbach Dining
Bugbee Hall Big Parking Lot
Bus Garage MOC-Garage
Cooperstown Campus Front Parking Lot
Denison Hall Alumni Hall
East Street Guest House
Fine Arts Center IRC Lobby
Fitzelle Hall IRC Lobby
Alumni Field House Chase Gymnasium
Ford Hall Mills Dining
Golding Hall Lee Hall Top Floor
Grounds Building MOC – Garage
Grant Hall Mills Dining
Hays Hall Mills Dining
Health Center Hulbert Dining
Heating Plant Chase Gymnasium
Higgins Hall Hulbert Dining
IRC Fine Arts Theater
Hulbert Hall Alumni Hall Little Theater
Human Ecology Chase Gymnasium
Huntington Hall Mills Dining
Hunt Union Visitor’s Parking Area by entrance to Fields
Lee Hall Morris Hall-Craven Lounge
Littell Hall Lee Hall – Top Floor
MacDuff Hall Wilsbach Dining
Matteson Hall Wilsbach Dining
Mills Hall Wilsbach Dining
Milne Library Chase Gymnasium
Morris Hall Alumni Hall Little Theater
Chase Gymnasium Alumni Field House Gym
Schumacher Hall IRC Lobby
Science Building #1 Chase Gymnasium
Physical Science Building Chase Gymnasium
Service Building Grounds Building
Sherman Hall Mills Dining
Tobey Hall Lee Hall Top Floor
Wilber Hall Lee Hall Top Floor
Wilsbach Hall Mills Dining
College Camp Parking Area in front of Care Taker’s Home

Signals: A building evacuation will be signaled by the building fire alarm, including strobe lights and audible alerts, or by a person of authority.

Action: When notified, leave the building and proceed to the assembly area in the building’s evacuation plan.

Reentering the building: You may reenter a building only when instructed to do so by an authorized campus designee (a building contact, resident assistant/resident director, University Police or fire department).

If you have a special need that prevents you from exiting:

  • Move to a safe location in a stairwell to be rescued by a member of the fire department.
  • Once at your safe location, call University Police at 607-436-3550 or emergency responders at 911 and provide the following information:
    • Exact location (floor, stairwell number, etc.)
    • Information about any assistance you need to evacuate
    • Cell phone number
    • Name
  • If possible, ask another person to accompany you to a safe location and to immediately notify emergency responders of your exact location once he/she has evacuated.

Do not attempt to lift/carry individuals with disabilities since this may cause serious injuries.

This preparedness guide for students, faculty, staff and visitors has been provided to you by SUNY Oneonta. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with how SUNY Oneonta plans for emergencies, and to improve your understanding of emergency preparedness and response. This guide is based on presently available information, as well as current federal- and state-recommended protective actions. In every situation, common sense and awareness of personal safety should take precedence over any action described in this guide.

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