The College President and the Director of Physical Plant shall be responsible for establishing procedures to respond to campus emergencies in coordination with local authorities. These procedures shall always place reasonable emphasis on the safety of students and staff; observe federal, state, and local laws; and be periodically reviewed by the campus safety committee.
SAFETY AND EMERGENCY PROCEDURES GUIDELINES
Emergency procedures should be followed if any disaster, crisis or threat occurs that could adversely affect students, employees, visitors or property of the College District. Employees should familiarize themselves with the basic content of this guide and have it readily available for quick reference in times of emergency. The campus emergency number is “0” or 5280 or 936-676-2563 after 4 p.m.
Any employee who is first to observe any medical emergency or life threatening event of disaster should follow the following procedures:
1. Dial 0 or 5280 (or 936-676-2563 after 4:00 p.m.) and clearly report the location of the emergency, disaster or threat. 911 may also be contacted if the threat or crisis seems particularly severe or imminent.
2. Wait for the emergency dispatcher to repeat the message, so that there is no misunderstanding of the location and nature of the emergency.
3. Stay on the phone until instructed otherwise by the emergency dispatcher.
CAMPUS NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES
The switchboard or Physical Plant will immediately notify the President (or his administrative designee if the President is not on campus) who will activate the appropriate notifications systems as follows:
1. In the event of an emergency, the telephone notification system allows the President or the Physical Plant Director to call and communicate with all buildings or divisions on campus at the same time. This system has the capability to accommodate 20 persons simultaneously. Instructions will be given to the Director’s Office or appropriate contact in each building regarding lock-down, evacuation or other procedures.
2. The College maintains an alert system to send email messages and/or text messages with directions to faculty, staff, and students during an emergency. Employees and students may sign up for email and/or text messages by visiting the Emergency Alert System link located on the College home page. It is important for faculty and staff to encourage students to register in this system every semester.
3. The Physical Plant Office will have a plan to immediately use their radios to dispatch an employee to each building or parking lot to assist in warning or closing areas of campus.
4. In a crisis situation the police or fire department will be contacted immediately if appropriate.
FIRE AND EVACUATION PROCEDURES
If a fire is detected on campus, dial 0, 5280 or 911 and proceed with the following plan:
1. Warn others and activate the nearest available emergency alarm. All employees should familiarize themselves with the location of fire alarms and extinguishers and evacuation routes posted in each classroom and lab. The Director of the Physical Plant will ensure that each building has appropriate evacuation routes posted, has access to first aid kits and appropriately marked exits. The faculty should inform the students on the first day of class of the plan and the location of the exit diagram.
2. Evacuate the building. Instructors should be familiar with and explain the building evacuation plan to their classes at the beginning of each semester.
3. Stay at least 500 feet away from the building and out of the fire department’s way. Also, stay away from overhead electrical power lines.
4. Keep access roads open for emergency vehicles.
5. Do not return to the building until fire department officials declare the area safe.
The President will make the decision regarding campus or building evacuation. If the President is unavailable the Vice President of Business Services, then the Vice President and Dean of Instruction, then the Director of Physical Plant will make the decision. If evacuation of the campus is necessary, College District security personnel and the city police will provide traffic control and information on evacuation procedures. They will advise occupants of each campus building of the evacuation order and instructions for the routes to be used.
When weather conditions are sufficiently hazardous to warrant limited activities, students and employees will be notified by local media and given instructions about the status of College operations. (See CG) In case of a tornado, students and employees should:
1. Remain in the building away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
2. Select the safest ground floor area within the building. Immediately go to interior space or hallways. Stay away from glassed areas. Cover head and body.
3. If caught outside a building during a tornado and with no nearby shelter, lie flat in the nearest ditch or ravine with hands shielding the head.
Any person observing a suspicious object or potential bomb threat on campus should not handle the object, open drawers or cabinets or turn lights on or off. The object should be reported at once to campus security, extension 5280 or dial 0.
1. Any person receiving a bomb threat phone call should ask the caller: a. When the bomb is going to explode. b. Where the bomb is located. c. What kind of bomb it is. d. What the bomb looks like. e. Why the bomb is there.
2. He or she should go to a safe area and dial 0 or 5280. The switchboard operator will dial 911 to report the threat and notify campus security and administrators.
PSYCHOLOGICAL CRISES AND VIOLENT OR CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR
A psychological crisis exists when an individual is threatening harm to himself/herself or to others. If such a crisis occurs, one should never try to handle it alone. If any danger exists dial 0, 5280, or campus security after 4:00 p.m. (cell 936-676–2563). Anyone who observes a criminal act or a suspicious person on campus should dial 0 or report the incident immediately to campus security at 5280 (cell 936-676–2563).
The following information should be provided:
1. Location of the person
2. Description of the person
3. Reasons for suspicion
4. Your name and location
After notifying Campus Security, alert your immediate supervisor and others that could be in danger.
1. If possible, secure your area to prevent entry.
2. Also report to 911 if a weapon is visible.
Anyone who observes a gun or other weapon should dial 0 or 5280 (or cell 936-676-2563) and report the incident. Campus security will immediately investigate these situations and notify the city police.
The College does not suggest that reactive measures are inappropriate; however, threat assessment focuses not on short term reactions but on proactive prevention.
THREAT ASSESSMENT PROCESS
The College employee or student witnessing a student exhibiting behavioral problems or breaches of student conduct should contact campus security at 5280 or 0. On weekends or after 4 p.m. call campus security cell at 936-676-2563 or call 911. Do not hesitate to call. Security notifies the Dean of Students and he/she responds in one of two ways:
1. If conduct is the issue, the Dean of Students addresses the issue.
2. If alleged threat or disruption represents a danger to self or others and may involve mental or physical health issues, the Dean of Students consults with the Behavioral Intervention Team.
If the latter of the two is the issue, the Dean of Students will call a meeting with the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT). This team includes the Dean, Campus Nurse or designee, Director of Physical Plant/Security, Special Student Support Services Coordinator and a Counselor.
The team will meet with the student to assess the alleged threat/issue. If the team deems the threat/issue to be valid, the student is informed that he/she is either suspended permanently or suspended until clearance is obtained from a mental health professional regarding safety of self and others. Documentation from the mental health professional must be provided by student.
If the student is already in the mental health system, the student must provide the Dean of Students with a consent form to release information and communicate with the student’s mental health provider and family of significant others.
Dial extension 5280 to report any problems with electrical/light fixtures, plumbing failure/flooding, gas leaks, improper ventilation, etc. On weekends or at night, call the security guard on duty to report any problems. The security guard’s cell number is 936-676-2563.
Official comments to media during any emergency will be given only by the College President or designee.
The College District complies with Title II of the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, which requires that information on campus security and crime statistics be distributed to all current and prospective students and employees and that campus crime is reported to the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) on a scheduled basis. The Director of Physical Plant/Security is charged with this responsibility.