The Catholic University of America

Campus Safety

Safety First, Safety Always - Personal Emergency Plan

Personal Emergency Plan (PEP)

It is strongly recommended that individuals develop their own Personal Emergency Plan (PEP) on how to evacuate during an emergency and practice it.  Practice will help to ensure that it can be implemented appropriately and help identify any gaps or problems that require refinement so that it works as expected. Although the process of developing a Personal Emergency Plan is optional for students, faculty and staff, the university encourages proactive planning on the part of the entire campus community for emergency conditions. Individuals with disabilities may require additional assistance with alerting, evacuating and sheltering in the event of an emergency.

When developing a PEP, one should include such strategies as storing extra equipment or medications, specific evacuation procedures, sheltering procedures, volunteer rescue assistants, and designating means of communication in the event of an emergency.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to identify their concerns about evacuation in case of an emergency, and to develop a PEP that is effective for them.

Individuals needing assistance are encouraged to share information with several reliable people in their classes, residence hall or work area about their need for assistance during an emergency. These are their 'volunteer rescue assistants' who might assist in an actual evacuation. Such notification is intended to act as a supplement to the Self-Identification On-Line Survey for those with disabilities. On the form, it is recommended that the individual with a disability describe the type of assistance he/she may need during a building evacuation. Include any mobility devices used (i.e. wheelchair, cane, crutch, service animal) and whether your disability prohibits you from using steps or would hinder your ability to negotiate stairs.  Do NOT provide medical details.

Developing a Personal Emergency Plan

This plan should include:

  • Identifying the safest area(s) located on each floor within the building(s) where a person with disabilities can await assistance from emergency response personnel.
  • Designating a means to inform emergency response personnel (e.g., police, fire) of the locations of any person(s) requiring assistance.
  • Identification of volunteer Rescue Assistants.
  • Location of back-up medical or assistive equipment and medications.
  • Training in transfer techniques, if needed, for use of specialized evacuation equipment.
  • Practice/drill opportunities.

Individuals should keep a copy of their PEP and share it with those people identified to assist. PEP’s should be dated and reviewed periodically.

PEP Reference websites and additional information