Emergency Preparedness


Campus Police Emergency Number: 210-458-4911

Campus Police Non-Emergency Number: 210-458-4242

Weather Hotline: 210-458-SNOW (7669)

Campus Alerts Website: alerts.utsa.edu

Student Disability Services at UTSA would like to encourage all students with disabilities to be prepared in the event of an emergency. The Emergency Preparedness page is designed to provide suggestions to students with disabilities on how they can become better prepared for emergencies and how faculty and staff can assist them.

Suggestions for Students with Disabilities

  • Keep and maintain a list of emergency phone numbers so that it is readily available. Program the UTSA Police emergency number (210-458-4911) and non-emergency number (210-458-4242) in your cell phone for quick access.

  • Develop an evacuation plan by finding out the locations of emergency exits.

  • Become familiar with alternate accessible routes in buildings you use frequently and learn what may constitute a "safe area" in those buildings (i.e. most enclosed stairwells).

  • If you are unable to evacuate a building safely because of your inability to use an elevator and you do not have an evacuation plan, look for a university employee (staff, faculty, floor captain with yellow/orange vest) and make your need for assistance known. If a university employee is unable or unavailable to assist, please secure yourself in an enclosed exit stairwell, note the location of the stairwell (i.e. S-1, S-2, etc.), call UTSA Police immediately with your location, and if other people are present when the emergency occurs, ask someone to send help for you.

  • Inform rescue workers of the safest and most comfortable way of evacuating you. If you use a wheelchair and need to be carried downstairs let rescuers know how you prefer to be carried and explain any special precautions they need to take in order to avoid causing you any discomfort or injury.

  • If you take prescription medications on a daily basis, carry a three to five-day supply with you at all times. In an emergency situation you may not be able to get to your home or a pharmacy for several days.

  • If you have any medical conditions or drug allergies that emergency personnel would need to know about, keep written information in your wallet, purse, backpack, etc.-including the names and phone numbers of friends or relatives who can be contacted in an emergency.

Suggestions for Faculty and Staff

  • Inform all students of the nearest emergency exit to use in case of an emergency. Faculty can print this information in the course syllabus and announce it on the first day of class.

  • Encourage students who may need assistance in an emergency to identify themselves and to make an evacuation plan.

  • Always ask someone with a disability how you can help before giving assistance. Ask how the person can be best assisted or moved and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.

Guidelines for Evacuating People with Disabilities

  • DO NOT use elevators, unless authorized to do so by emergency personnel. Elevators could fail during a fire.

  • Always ask someone with a disability how you can help before giving assistance. Ask how the person can be best assisted or moved and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.

  • Attempt a rescue evacuation only if you have had rescue training or the person is in immediate danger and cannot wait for professional assistance. Evacuating a disabled or injured person yourself is the last resort. Consider your options and the risks of injuring yourself and others in an evacuation attempt. Do not make an emergency situation worse.

  • Visually Impaired - Do not grab a visually impaired person’s arm; ask if he or she would like to hold on to your arm to exit. Warn the person about steps. Be specific in your verbal instructions (i.e. "to the right" rather than "this way"). Keep guide dogs with owners whenever possible.

  • Hearing Impaired - Get the attention of a person with a hearing disability by touch and eye contact. Use facial expressions, gestures and body movements to help in communicating your message. Offer visual instructions to advise on the safest route or direction by pointing towards exits or evacuation maps.

  • Physically Impaired - If people with mobility impairments cannot exit, assist them in moving into the nearest exit to await rescue personnel and inform first responders immediately of individual's location in the building.

Additional resources on emergency preparedness for people with disabilities