BYU Emergency Management has worked to ensure that our university is prepared to assist all students in the event of an emergency -- including those with disabilities. We have compiled several resources that can be used by students with disabilities before, during, and after an emergency, and have included them below as a reference for the campus community. If you have specific questions or concerns, we encourage you to reach out to our team by emailing Emergency-Mgmt@byu.edu.
Toggle ItemMaps of Disability Features by Building
To view maps of disability features by building:
- Go to maps.byu.edu
- Under "Accessibility Access" (menu on right), choose desired accessibility features to view
- Click "Indoor" button (on right)
- Choose a campus building
- To view accessibility features on different floors, use the stair feature (on left)
For more information on campus accessibility, visit uac.byu.edu/campus-accessibility-information.
Toggle ItemEvacuation Chairs
Since elevators are often unsafe to use during emergencies, most multi-story buildings on campus have evacuation chairs that can be used to aid in the evacuation of students whose physical disabilities would prevent them from using stairs. We would encourage all students who require mobility accommodations to become familiar with evacuation routes before an emergency occurs.
To access a free, 15-minute training course on how to use evacuation chairs:
- Go to byu.myabsorb.com
- Log in using your net ID and password
- Enroll in the Evacuation Chair online course
- Complete the required materials
Toggle ItemResources for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
In an emergency, good communication can save lives. However, we recognize that emergency terms are not always well known by the general public. To combat this problem, the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) put together a glossary of ASL terms relating to emergencies, which can be found here. The glossary was created in collaboration with certified ASL translators and features videos with over 150 terms. Familiarizing yourself with these terms can be extremely helpful if you ever face an emergency.
Students are encouraged to sign up for Y-Alert, the university’s emergency alert system. This program is designed to immediately stream information to students through emails and text messages in the event of an emergency. Sign up on our Y-Alert page.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a series of disaster preparedness and safety videos available in ASL on YouTube.
Toggle ItemService Animals
In general, BYU does not permit any animals on campus property. However, service and assistance animals are allowed on campus if they meet the requirements set by the Animals on Campus Policy. Service animals are permitted to be in places that serve the public as long as the animal is not out of control or otherwise posing a direct threat to the health or safety of individuals.1
In the event of an emergency your service animal will face the same dangers as you, and they may be frightened, panicked, or disoriented. It’s important to include them in your emergency plan. Add some of their food and water to your emergency kit, as well as a collar, ID tag, leash, and sanitation items.
1Information taken from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Toggle ItemManaging Stress and Anxiety During an Emergency
Seek help when needed – If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a counselor or doctor, or contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990. BYU’s CAPS program also offers many valuable resources to help manage stress, which can be found at caps.byu.edu.
It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster. Everyone reacts differently, and your own feelings will change over time. Notice and accept how you feel. Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family. Self-care during an emergency will help your long-term healing.
Take the following steps to cope with a disaster:
- Take care of your body - Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
- Connect with others - Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships and build a strong support system.
- Take breaks - Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths. Try to do activities you usually enjoy.
- Stay informed - When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or nervous. Watch, listen to, or read the news for updates from officials. Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis, especially on social media. Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities. \
- Avoid too much exposure to news - Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as possible and check for updates between breaks.
- Seek help when needed - If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a counselor or doctor, or contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990. BYU’s CAPS program also offers many valuable resources to help manage stress, which can be found at
Disaster Distress Helpline: CALL or TEXT 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish)
People with deafness or hearing loss can use their preferred relay service to call 1-800-985-5990
Toggle ItemResources for Students who are Blind or Have Low Vision
If you are blind or have low vision, navigating an emergency can be difficult and scary. However, taking the following steps can help you feel more prepared if you are ever in an emergency situation.
- Be familiar with multiple routes in and out of buildings in case hazards such as fallen objects block your exit path.
- Label emergency supplies in Braille or large print.
- Include communication devices and special needs items (such as extra contact lenses, contact solution, or magnifying glasses) in your emergency supply kit.
- If you use a cane, keep extras in accessible locations in your home, office, and school. Talk to your Emergency Building Coordinator or the UAC to see if they can help you find a place to store an extra cane on campus.
- Keep a list of emergency phone numbers of friends and family members who would be able to help you navigate debris and other obstacles after a disaster.
- Carry a whistle with you. Loud shouting is tiring over time, but as long as you can breathe you can whistle. This will help emergency responders find you if you are trapped or lost.
Toggle ItemAdditional Information and Checklists
- Emergency Preparedness for Blind or Low Vision
- Emergency Preparedness for Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard-of-Hearing
- Emergency Preparedness for Mobility Disabilities
- Emergency Preparedness for Life Support Medical Needs and Compromised Immune System
- Emergency Preparedness for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
- Emergency Preparedness for Cognitive and Intellectual Disabilities
- Emergency Preparedness for Mental Health Disabilities
- Emergency Preparedness for Service Animals and Pets