Emergency Evacuation for People with Disabilities in City of Vancouver Facilities

The following general guidelines are provided to visitors with disabilities (temporary or permanent) and those who may have difficulty exiting during building evacuations. Please consider these options in advance of visiting our facilities to determine their best response to building emergencies and evacuations.


  1. Consider evacuation options for each building you visit.
  2. Identify a volunteer who will be responsible to communicate with emergency services on your behalf during a building emergency.
  3. For City of Vancouver employees only: Document your evacuation plans on the Evacuation Plan for Persons with Disabilities form and provide to the building evacuation director who will inform evacuation sweepers and retain for reference.
  4. Understand your access needs during an emergency.

Evacuation Options

When the building alarm system is activated or an emergency occurs requiring evacuation, you should evacuate if able to do so. However, below are evacuation options (listed in order of safety) for those who are unable to exit during an emergency independently and safely.

Elevators can be unsafe to use in an emergency and in most buildings are automatically recalled to the ground floor. Emergency personnel have keys to over-ride the elevator functions and may use them to assist with evacuation.

Emergency Procedures

  1. Persons with mobility disabilities should evacuate if able, report to an area of refuge (if available), or stay in place in the event of an emergency requiring evacuation or when the building alarm system is activated.
  2. If reporting to an Evacuation Waiting Area or staying in place, contact emergency services by calling 911 and inform them of your plans.
  3. Volunteers may assist persons with disabilities reach an area of refuge but should evacuate and go to the evacuation assembly point and report to the evacuation sweeper, evacuation director, or emergency services the location and status of the person with disabilities.
  4. The evacuation director should provide any relevant information to emergency services.