DePaul University Emergency Plan > Emergency Evacuation > Evacuation and Reverse Evacuation

Evacuation and Reverse Evacuation

The purpose of the Evacuation and Reverse Evacuation Annex is to manage, direct and control an orderly campus evacuation in the event of a campus emergency. ​​If an emergency situation arises and the University must evacuate any of its facilities, our goal will be to keep unaffected campuses open and operating on a normal class and business schedule. The University is prepared to evacuate any campus, and will do so if it becomes aware of potential danger.

The evacuation of any campus building requires the teamwork of many departments, professional and student staff and residents.

The evacuation of any housing building will be conducted in coordination with Housing Services, Public Safety Office and Facility Operations. All other evacuations shall be conducted in coordination with Public Safety and Facility Operations.

This procedure is coupled with the Long Term Emergency Evacuation procedure. In addition to the procedures set forth below, Public Safety and Facility Operations staff will further respond as directed in the Housing Services and Facility Operations procedure manuals.

GENERAL EVACUATION PROCEDURE

In the event of an emergency situation requiring evacuation, students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be alerted via electronic message boards and interior/exterior emergency speaker announcements. Everyone will be instructed to leave personal belongings and evacuate the building quickly and will be allowed back in the building as soon as the appropriate authorities issue an “all-clear.”

In the event of an emergency other than fire, for example criminal activity, the Facility Operation and Public Safety Offices shall determine whether evacuation is necessary, and communicate with appropriate staff to ensure swift and efficient evacuation of students, staff and guests. In the event of a building evacuation, the closest non-affected University building will serve as the reassembly area, unless outdoor assembly is deemed necessary.

Unless otherwise communicated, the primary outdoor assembly areas are:

  • Loop Campus: Grant Park (Southeast corner of Jackson and Michigan Ave.) and Pritzker Park (Northwest corner of State and Van Buren)
  • Lincoln Park Campus: The Quad and Wish Field

REVERSE EVACUATION

If it appears dangerous for the community to remain outside, then all students, staff, faculty and guests may be directed to move into a building(s), for example, in the event of a tornado, armed aggressor, or any other major event near the campus. A complete lockdown of the building(s) may be required. Everyone should be prepared to follow the instructions of law enforcement personnel.

RESIDENCE HALL EVACUATION PROCEDURE

Upon hearing a building alarm, students must leave the residence halls immediately. Exits are clearly marked in each housing facility. Students should leave using the most direct and safe route. Evacuation procedures are posted near the entrances of University buildings and affixed to the back door of each residence hall or apartment unit.

After a fire alarm, or other emergency necessitating the evacuation, if a housing building has been deemed uninhabitable, the Long Term Evacuation procedure will take effect.

UNINHABITABLE HOUSING BUILDING

Campus housing buildings can be deemed uninhabitable by the following (or their designee): Director of Housing Services or the Director of Facility Operations.

This information will be communicated to the Director of Housing Services, who will inform the following individuals:

  • Vice President of Facility Operations
  • Director of Business Continuity
  • Director of Residential Education
  • Office of Public Relations and Communications
  • Public Safety
  • Vice President of Student Affairs, Chair of the Student Affairs Response Team.

Once the building is evacuated and deemed uninhabitable Facility Operations will remove all student and student staff access to the building. Access will be revoked.

Dependent upon the length of time, the following contingency plans will be enacted:

  • Campus Housing: Emergency Room Change procedure, Room Change By Staff procedure and/or Temporary & Expanded Housing procedure;
  • Non-Residential Campus Housing: Temporary Campus Housing Agreement with Ray Meyer Fitness & Recreation Center; and
  • Off Campus Housing: Local Area Hotel Accommodations and/or non-University residence hall accommodations.

OTHER UNINHABITABLE UNIVERSITY BUILDING

In the event of an emergency situation requiring evacuation of a non-housing University owned building, everyone will be instructed to leave personal belongings and evacuate the building quickly. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be allowed back in the building as soon as the appropriate authorities issue an “all-clear.”

TEMPORARY HOUSING: ON CAMPUS

After all campus housing spaces are occupied, Housing Services will move the remaining affected residents to non-residential temporary campus housing at the Ray Meyer Fitness & Recreation Center. The Ray Meyer Fitness & Recreation Center is able to accommodate up to 380 people on the 3rd floor.

The Director of Housing Services will contact the Director of Campus Recreation to begin moving affected residents to the Ray Meyer Fitness & Recreation Center. Residents will be provided with linens and mats for sleeping. Residents will be housed on the 3rd floor of the Ray Meyer Fitness & Recreation Center. Residents may use existing lockers, towels and shower/restroom facilities.

Admission to the 3rd floor of the Ray Meyer Fitness & Recreation Center will be managed by Housing Services. As other campus housing accommodations are created or become available, affected residents will be moved.

TEMPORARY HOUSING: OFF CAMPUS

After all campus housing spaces are occupied and use of non-residential temporary campus housing is no longer viable, Housing Services will move the remaining affected to local area hotels. Housing Services will work to keep all students in safe accommodations, with the preference of keeping students in campus housing.

ADDITIONAL OFF CAMPUS HOUSING

After all campus housing spaces are occupied and use of non-residential temporary campus housing is no longer viable, Housing Services will move the remaining affected to local area colleges with campus housing facilities. Housing Services will work to keep all students in safe accommodations, with the preference of keeping students in University campus housing.

PERSONS REQUIRING ASSISTANCE WITH EVACUATION PROCEDURES

Students, faculty and staff who have disabilities are encouraged to self-report their status to the Assistant Director of Emergency Management at 773-325-4414, so appropriate action can be planned for or taken on their behalf in the event of an emergency situation.

Upon contacting Public Safety the following information will be requested:

  • Name
  • Office phone #
  • Cell phone #
  • Building
  • Office room/classroom #
  • Class schedule information-if student
  • Hours in building
  • Days of the week
  • E-Mail address
  • Type of assistance needed

Note: At the beginning of each academic quarter students must update their information due to class and location changes. All others are encouraged to update their information as needed.

When alarms sound, all requiring assistance should proceed to a safe area away from the danger, see below evacuation options. Emergency personnel/first responders upon arrival will begin a search of all floors. If an individual finds themself in a serious situation, they should immediately call 9-1-1 then DePaul Public Safety, and report their location.

In the event of an emergency building or campus evacuation, City of Chicago emergency personnel are the only personnel formally trained and authorized to provide physical evacuation assistance. In the event danger is imminent and there is no time to wait for City of Chicago personnel, the University suggests the following evacuation options for students, faculty, and staff with special needs:

  • “Buddy System” Evacuation Option—Inform a student, staff and/or faculty acquaintance (a “Buddy”) of the need for special assistance in the event of a fire alarm. When the fire alarm sounds, the “Buddy” should make sure of the individual’s location, then go outside and inform emergency personnel of a person in a specific location who needs assistance in leaving the building. Emergency personnel will then enter the building and evacuate that person.
  • Horizontal Evacuation Option—Move a safe distance away from the area of imminent danger to another wing of the building or opposite end of the corridor.
  • Vertical (Stairway) Evacuation Option—Those who are able to evacuate with or without minor assistance may evacuate via stairways.
  • Stay in Place Evacuation Option—Unless danger is imminent, remain in a room with an exterior window, closing the door if possible. If possible, dial 9-1-1. The individual should be prepared to tell the 9-1-1 operator his or her name, location and the nature of the emergency.

Most buildings on campus are equipped with fire alarm horns/strobes that sound an alarm and flash strobe lights.However, persons with hearing and/or vision impairments may not immediately notice or hear emergency alarms and may need to be alerted of emergency situations. Some persons may need to be alerted to the situation by gestures or by turning the light switch off and on. Emergency instructions can be given by verbalizing, mouthing or by a short, explicit written note. University faculty and staff are encouraged to offer such assistance, as appropriate.​