Know Your Zone

A new evacuation zone map has been released to help the campus community understand their evacuation zone in the event of an emergency. During the response phase of a disaster, UCI Police Department and/or Orange County Fire Authority will assess the need to initiate evacuation procedures. In the event an evacuation is required, it’s critical for campus personnel to be familiar with these zones and review this page for additional resources available to assist with evacuating during an incident. Click on the map to see what zone you are located in.


Evacuation Terminology and Protective Actions

The terminology that will be utilized when issuing potential or imminent evacuation notices will be consistent with the City of Irvine and standardized across local response agencies. Below is a list of evacuation terms and the corresponding protective actions. Following these instructions during an emergency will help increase your safety and allow our first responders to focus their efforts on the immediate threat.

Evacuation Warning

  • UCIPD / OCFA urges persons and their animals in the evacuation area(s) to relocate to safer locations
  • Those with access and functional needs should leave now
  • Loss of life and property is a risk, but is not imminent
  • Personal discretion whether to evacuate is allowed, but not advised
  • If at any time a person feels threatened, evacuate immediately; do not wait for an official notification

Immediate Evacuation Order

  • UCIPD / OCFA orders all persons and their animals in the designated evacuation area(s) to immediately relocate to safer locations
  • Risk of loss of life and property is extreme and imminent
  • Evacuation is mandatory
  • Persons refusing to comply with an immediate evacuation order will not be forcibly removed from their homes, but should not rely on rescue or other lifesaving assistance once the incident is underway

Shelter-in-Place

  • UCIPD / OCFA orders all persons and their animals to remain indoors during or following an emergency event
  • This protective action is recommended when an incident offers little or no time for the public to evacuate or when it is safer for them to remain indoors
  • A shelter-in-place order can reduce congestion on transportation routes facilitating evacuations that have been ordered

Evacuation Notification Method

If an emergency happens that requires an evacuation, campus personnel will be notified via the following methods:

  • zotALERT – an emergency alert system that uses cell phone text messaging to quickly notify the UCI community with safety information. You can sign up to receive these emergency message by visiting the UCI OIT website.
  • Alertus Beacons – emergency alerts placed in lecture halls that displays an emergency message and flashing lights when activated for emergency notifications
  • UCI Emergency Updates Page – a website that will provide you the most up-to-date information during an emergency and can be access via Emergency Updates | UCI.
  • Social Media – updates regarding the emergency will be posted via Twitter (@ucirvine) and the Facebook (University of California, Irvine - Home | Facebook)
  • Additional methods for receiving information during an emergency are 1-800-IRV-NEWS, our Hotline, AM 1690 radio, newsboards, and marquees.
These will not only be the methods of initial notification of an emergency, but will also be utilize to ensure you are informed throughout the entirety of the incident.

Transportation Access Points

During an evacuation, you may be directed to a designated care and reception / shelter location off campus. If you do not have means of transportation to evacuate, the campus will provide transportation assistance utilizing our Transportation Access Points (TAPs). TAPs are pre-designated locations around the outskirt of the campus that personnel can access transportation assistance during an evacuation. Most designated TAPs are bus stops, however, not every bus stop is a TAP. Below is the signage that indicates which areas are TAP locations and which are not. You can also access the TAP map at Anteater Express (uci.edu).

TAP signage with QR code

This sign indicates this is a TAP location.

Not a TAP signage with QR code

This sign indicates this is NOT a TAP location.


If transportation assistance is required for an evacuation, Anteater Express will be notified to activate their TAP procedures. At that time, Anteater Express will cease normal operations and the buses will begin servicing the pre-determined TAP routes and only picking up personnel at the designated TAP locations. Buses will update their marquee text to indicate Evacuation TAP service. In addition to Anteater Express, the campus will also utilize US Coachways to provide additional transportation services to and from the designated care and reception / shelter area(s) via the designated TAP routes and locations. Buses will continuously run the assigned TAP route until all personnel have been picked up.

Disabilities and Access and Functional Needs (DAFN) personnel needing assistance with evacuation should contact the PD dispatch at 949-824-5223. Coordination will be made to have a paratransit unit respond and assist with evacuation to the care and reception / shelter area. Medical transportation should be reserved for those with injuries and acute medical issues.


Repopulation Procedures

It’s important to remember that even though there may no longer be a direct threat to your home or to the area you work, there are many other factors that determine whether area residents are allowed to return to their homes either temporarily or permanently, also known as repopulation. UCI Police Department will coordinate with OCFA, Emergency Management, Transportation & Distribution Services, Safety and other community partners to determine repopulation planning efforts taking in to account the following considerations:

  • Residual environmental health and safety hazards
  • Utility infrastructure status
  • Emergency worker safety
  • Investigations (where criminal activity is involved)
  • Transportation (i.e. ingress and egress route)

Once the determination has been made to repopulate, notifications will be sent via all forms of notification methods. Your patience and understanding during this process is greatly appreciated to ensure our UCI team can ensure the safety of you, your family, and the UCI community.


Care and Reception / Shelter Area

The time of the evacuation, anticipated duration, and evacuees needs is going to determine whether a care and reception is established or a shelter area. A care and reception area is going to be a designated location that provides a short-term, safe place for people away from the hazard area. These sites can also be used as means of providing updated information to those who are impacted. Personnel will remain in this location until they are authorized to return to their homes. A shelter area provides everything that a care and reception area does in addition to a dormitory area for individuals who need a place to sleep. A care and reception area can also transition into a shelter area if the incident carries into the evening hours or becomes a multi-day incident.

UCI personnel may need to be temporarily relocated to an area away from the incident which could be an on or off campus location. At the time of the emergency, a decision will be made on whether a care and reception / shelter area needs to be activated and if so, where it will be located. Once this information has been determined, it will be disseminated via the campus emergency notification methods. If you need transportation assistance to this site, report to the nearest Transportation Access Points.


What Can You Do to be Prepared?

  • Sign up for zotAlert – be sure your profile remains current with your contact information to receive emergency notifications. Add up to 5 additional contact numbers to your profile.
  • Know Your Zone – signage is posted at the boundaries of all zones, it’s posted on the Emergency Action Plans at the entrance to all facilities, and on the EM web app UCI EM Web App (arcgis.com)
  • Create a personal Go Bag – find a suggested list of items by visiting Build A Kit | Ready.gov
  • Find a buddy – if you need transportation ask a friend, classmate, coworker, or neighbor upon notification of an evacuation. Know where the nearest TAP location is or where you can locate this information.
  • Account for your pets – take your pets with you during an evacuation but understand that only service animals may be allowed in public shelters. The Bren Center does not allow pet(s). Have a plan on how you will care for your pets in an emergency.
  • Make a Plan - Identify several places you could go in an emergency such as your family’s home or a friend’s home in another town. Choose destinations in different directions so that you have options during an emergency.