(Copied and revised from the guidelines prepared by CU-EH&S.)
These are a list of things to keep in mind when selecting a location or locations for occupants to gather when their building is evacuated. This location should be determined well before an emergency occurs.
Try to Locate Evacuation Point:

  • Uphill and upwind from building. Be aware that buildings can be evacuated due to hazardous materials release, fire and smoke, or potential incendiary device.
  • At a clearly visible location that is easy to describe in plans and to responders.
  • At a safe distance from the building (Preferably 150 - 200 yards away).
  • Away from secondary risk factors, such as dumpsters (which may contain a secondary explosive device), gas mains or gas lines, high voltage wires or transfer points, and sewer main access covers.
  • Close enough to access routes to facilitate vehicular evacuation.
  • In a location that is easily accessible.

Try to Avoid:

  • Blocking access routes or staging areas responders will use.
  • Hydrants or utility shut-off valves / access points.
  • Crossing major traffic arteries unless there is a traffic light or other traffic control measure.
  • Other risk / danger areas such as gas mains or gas lines, high voltage wires or transfer points, sewer main manhole covers / access.
  • Structures that may be at risk of collapse due to blast or other building damage, such as high unsupported walls, large windows, towers, or antennas.
  • Channeling those who are evacuating into confined areas, such as tunnels and dead-ends or terrain that may cause people to trip. Both situations can cause crushing.


  • Those who are hearing, mobility, and developmentally impaired and who may have special needs.
  • Ways to account for those who have evacuated the building and to transfer evacuees to indoor shelters as they become available.
  • Radio / cell phone availability. Try not to position evacuation points in areas where communications are impaired or not accessible.
  • The possibility of a criminal act. If a criminal act occurs (e.g., a bombing, shooting or arson), responders are to control the area and maintain the integrity of the crime scene.