This emergency guide is formulated to assist the College during a crisis or emergency. The guide is intended to provide a framework for the emergency response team in the management of an emergency and allow the College to focus its time and energies on the event rather than the method of managing it. The guide also provides for the stanardization of practices and procedures during an emergency and is intended to be a brief, practical "what to do next" guide. It is not intended to be all encompassing, but rather limited to true emergencies. The emergencies covered can be viewed below.
Roberto N. Ifill, Ph.D.
Dean of Students
- Building Fire or Explosion with Damage/Injuries
- Bomb Threat
- Campus Evacuation Plan
- Civil Disturbance or Unplanned Demonstrations
- Fire Alarm/Emergency Building Evacuation Protocol
- Hostile Intruder/Threat of Campus Violence
- Levels of Management During a Crisis
- Natural Disaster Protocol
- Pandemic Guide
- Power Failure Guide
Purpose of the Emergency Guide:
- To positively affect the campus community by improving overall
- campus safety
- To outline responsibilities of building coordinators
- To facilitate emergency planning
An administrative structure has been put into place to ensure that each academic and administration building has a central person who will have the most up-to-date information and provide direction. Emergency and safety resources are also provided. Details can be found on page 31. Another purpose is to facilitate emergency planning. This plan establishes an Emergency Response Team (ERT) consisting of the president, provost, vice presidents, dean of students, a media relations representative, associate vice president for planning and facilities, assistant vice president for academic administration, and the assistant vice president for campus operations or designee. The chair of this team will normally be the dean of students. His/her decision will prevail on issues should no consensus be reached. The ERT provides general guidance and direction to the College community during the emergency and serves as chief overall decision- maker. The team will be guided by the following philosophy and priorities:Protect the Health and Lives of the Students:
To protect all life is the overall goal of the plan, but campus officials primarily must ensure the safety of the students.
Protect the Health and Lives of College Personnel:
While the health and safety of students is our primary focus, the safety of all College personnel must be considered when undertaking decision-making during an emergency. In an emergency, College personnel may be involved in carrying out the logistics of an emergency plan, but the emergency plan should never promote policies that endanger College personnel. Protect College Property: If a crisis is handled well, it will minimize the damages that will have to be repaired once the crisis is over. Property should not be protected at the expense of the health of students and College personnel, but campus facilities and property should be guarded.
Communicate Clearly to Internal and External Constituencies:
This priority keeps people from harboring misconceptions about what has happened. Sometimes the misconceptions are much worse than the actual emergency and the "grapevine" only heightens the anxiety of everyone on campus. Without the facts, the campus community will take speculation as fact. Our internal constituencies are students, faculty, and staff. Our external constituencies include, but are not limited to, parents, visitors, alumni, neighbors, vendors, trustees, state, federal, and local officials.ADA Communication
No special methods of communication need to be employed for students, employees, or visitors with mobility impairments. Students, employees, and visitors with vision impairments or blindness will be able to hear the campus siren system, alarms, and voicemail, and will be able to hear the voice-over message on the campus TV system. Students, faculty, and staff in close proximity to students, employees, or visitors who need assistance should offer to read any flyers, e-mail, or Web announcements that are posted.
Students and employees with hearing impairments or deafness will greatly benefit from text messaging and campus “crawling” messages on the TV system. If the College employs a campus-wide text messaging service, this will be the best means of communication with these students and employees. If the College does not employ a campus-wide text messaging service, the Office of Residence Life will attempt to obtain cell phone/text messaging contact number for all hearing impaired or deaf students and will send out a text message to these students during an emergency. Human Resources will attempt to obtain cell phone or text messaging contact numbers for all hearing-impaired or deaf employees and will send out a text message to these employees during an emergency. Information should be sent out via e-mail and the College Web page. Flyers or announcements should be widely posted.
As a precautionary measure, disabled employees should notify Public Safety (4911) if they are working in their offices after normal hours. If there is an emergency after hours, Public Safety will try to notify the employee and will check the employee’s office first upon arriving at the building.
This critical step frequently is overlooked. The crisis is not over until everyone on campus has had a chance to deal with the trauma. This cathartic process may include a proactive move by the administration to provide counseling. Many students and employees have anxiety disorders and other psychological needs that may not be readily apparent or known by the ADA coordinator, Human Resources Office, or other College officials. Still other students and employees may simply panic due to the unknown factors associated with an emergency situation. If someone appears to be having a difficult time coping with the situation or is behaving in a way that is unusual or different from normal behavior (for example, a person is crying uncontrollably for a prolonged period of time, talking to him/herself; displaying unusual anger, violence or abusive language, etc) try to be supportive, calm, and reassuring. If possible, offer emotional support. This involves understanding, patience, affection, and encouragement. Try to engage the person in conversation and listen carefully. Do not disparage feelings expressed, but point out realities and offer hope. You can acknowledge that things are bad now, and then promote the idea that things are going to get better. Emphasize the temporary nature of the situation and explain that the crisis will pass. Encourage the student to follow up at the Counseling Center (private therapy for employees) after the crisis has been resolved if that seems appropriate (to try to avoid prolonged post-traumatic stress disorder). Remember to offer care-giving to our own employees. After ensuring the physical, emotional, and sometimes spiritual wellbeing of community members, it is easy to overlook the primary staff who responded to the crisis. Large campus-wide issues and isolated incidents (e.g., student deaths) can provoke fatigue, stress, and burnout. Once the crisis is managed and the campus returns to its normal hum, each professional and student staff member involved in resolving the issue can be approached for personal counseling, assistance, time off, and, perhaps, positive recognition as reward for good performance.Protect and Maintain the College Image:
When College officials maintain an informed, calm and competent demeanor during a crisis, it will support everything the College environment represents. It will help make the students, employees, community, alumni, parents, state officials, and every constituency comfortable with the actions of the College before, during and after the emergency.Resume Business as Usual:
The quicker that order can be restored, the better everyone on campus will feel. Opportunities will be provided for administrators, staff, faculty, and students to debrief on the emergency management procedures. ERT administrators should share the rationale behind the decision-making during the emergency and grant forums for all to air their fears, hopes, recommendations and comments about the crisis, whenever possible. Evaluate the Crisis and Update Procedures as needed: In every crisis, omissions or flaws in the plan will become evident. The next crisis will be handled more effectively if every department that was key to containing the last one has a chance