New Signs Identify Emergency Assembly Areas for Residence Halls

Students arriving on campus this fall may have noticed new signs marking emergency assembly areas across the six residential areas. During evacuation situations, students can now locate and gather at their residential hall’s assembly area without staff directing them where to go.

The assembly areas are designated with strategically placed signs outside residence halls. Each sign is labeled by residential area and number, John Quincy Adams Tower, for example, is labelled “SW-8.” Information regarding evacuation policy and the assembly area locations can be found in each residential lobby, along with the phone numbers for the UMass Police Department and Environmental Health and Safety.

The assembly signs are a collective effort of Dawn Bond and Lacy Olson of Residential Life, Pamela Monn, Physical Plant, Michael Swain, Fire Prevention Services, and Jeffrey Hescock, Environmental Health & Safety.

Last week, the evacuation assembly areas were tested with a series of residential fire drills. Hescock says, “The drills were a great opportunity for students to utilize the signs for the first time” and allowed members of the project to see the signs in action. “Slight modifications [of several signs] will be made in adjusting height and direction,” says Hescock.

Hescock adds, “Students and faculty are stakeholders in their own safety. It is important to educate themselves on the up-to-date emergency procedures.”

The evacuation areas can also be found in the My UMass App. The design by Niels la Cour, Campus Planning, and Alexander Stepanov, A&F Systems, allows students and faculty to now find their assembly area location using an interactive campus map. The information can be found at the “Residential Hall Evacuation Assembly Areas” tab located under “Campus Map.”

Planning is underway to designate evacuation assembly areas for academic and administrative buildings across campus, according to Hescock.