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RSCC Policy GA-13-03; Emergency Notification and Evacuation

RSCC Policy GA-13-03; Emergency Notification and Evacuation

Roane State Community College
Policy Number: GA-13-03
Subject: Emergency Notification and Evacuation
  1. Purpose
    To establish procedures to ensure the Roane State community is notified of an immediate threat to the campus community.
  2. Policy
    The institution will, without delay, and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the appropriate notification system(s), unless issuing a notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.

    If a serious crime, a natural disaster or a manmade emergency occurs that poses an immediate threat to the health or safety of the Roane State campus community or a segment of the Roane State campus community, Roane State Community College (RSCC) will immediately notify the campus community or the appropriate segments of the community that may be affected by the situation. An “immediate” threat as used here encompasses an imminent or impending threat including but not limited to emergencies such as: outbreak of meningitis, norovirus or other serious illness, approaching tornado, hurricane or other extreme weather conditions, earthquake, gas leak, terrorist incident, armed intruder, bomb threat, civil unrest or rioting, explosion, and nearby chemical or hazardous waste spill.
  3. Procedure
    1. Stage One: Initial Emergency Response

      Guidelines: In the initial moments of an emergency situation, speed is the key to saving lives. In this section, the emergency response message of utmost importance is the first, initial warning that there is a crisis that could endanger lives. This warning should come from the first authorized person who has credible knowledge of the crisis.
      1. Authorized persons include all members of the President’s Cabinet, public relations personnel, all site directors, police/security or those designated to serve in this role in the absence of others. The primary objective that needs to be fulfilled in this stage is protection of life.
      2. The authorized person(s) or designee who first obtains credible confirmed knowledge of a crisis should immediately use the phone public address system or other appropriate methods such as the text messaging system (RaiderAlert), building coordinators, campus e-mail system, and/or social media sites to deliver the appropriate emergency warning to the campus location. Confirmation means that an institution official has verified that a legitimate emergency or dangerous situation exists by using whatever means necessary including but not limited to speaking with witnesses or local authorities, observing news reports, making personal observations, etc. Confirmation doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the pertinent details are known or even available. Appropriate warning could include lockdown or evacuation information.
      3. The context of the notification should be to provide sufficient information to inform the campus that a dangerous situation exists and if appropriate what action they should take. If time permits, Public Relations (PR), in coordination with the director of Public Safety/Chief of Campus Police, Vice President for Business and Finance or other designees, will develop and distribute messages. If time does not permit, then the authorized person(s) will use their best judgment to provide sufficient information to the campus.
      4. The authorized person(s) or designee should then call 911 and the director of Public Safety/Chief of Police.
      5. The authorized person(s) or designee should contact security through the button labeled “Security” on the Roane State phone. If an office phone is not available call (865) 882-4500.
      6. Security will contact Public Relations to send a RaiderAlert. If PR staff is not available security will contact another site director to send a RaiderAlert. If no site director is available, Police/Security will send the RaiderAlert directly.
      7. The person who sent the RaiderAlert should send an email with the same information as the text message.
      8. If we receive information about a crisis/threat, but are not sure which campus has been affected, we will assume the threat is real, with an unknown location, and follow the steps listed above. This may include locking down all campus locations, as a precaution, until more specific information is available.
    2. Stage Two: Next few minutes/few hours

      Guidelines: Once the initial call to law enforcement has been made and the warning sent, the crisis moves into a phase of information management. The objectives in this stage still include the protection of lives as the top priority; however, providing comfort to external stakeholders and assisting media with coverage are also important.
      1. The president will be the Crisis Communications Leader (CCL). In the absence of the president, the Vice President for Student Learning will fill this role. In the absence of the Vice President for Student Learning, the Vice President for Oak Ridge and satellite campuses will fill this role. In the absence of the Vice President for Oak Ridge and satellite campuses, the Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management can fill this role. Should all of the above be unavailable, the next available vice president will serve as the CCL.
      2. The CCL will serve as the ONLY spokesperson for the duration of the crisis unless the CCL directs otherwise.
      3. The CCL will direct the actions of the vice presidents, assistant vice presidents, and Public Relations. One of the first priorities is to replace the current home page with an “Emergency Site,” a dormant web site that can be turned on during a crisis. The components of the Emergency Site will be contact information for law enforcement and other reference material. The primary components are real-time updates about the crisis posted on the site through Roane State’s Twitter page.
      4. The Emergency Site should be online, if possible, within 30 minutes of a crisis report that warrants its use.
        1. College webmasters will activate the Emergency Site.
        2. Owen Driskill (primary), Celia Breedlove (backup) or Melinda Hillman (second backup) will post information to the Emergency Site via the Roane State Twitter account.
        3. Updates to the Emergency Site will be done through Roane State’s Twitter account. Updates via Twitter are also automatically posted to Roane State’s Facebook page.
      5. A pre-recorded message (recorded by the president) will be activated college-wide directing callers to the Emergency Site for information about the crisis.

        The director of networking (Peter Souza) or his designee will activate the pre-recorded message. The option will remain for callers to dial an extension, if they know it, but the full directory will not be available.
      6. The CCL will travel to the command post designated for the crisis at or near the campus where the crisis happened. If the CCL is away from the main campus, the CCL should designate someone to handle media/public inquiries at the main campus. Each campus director should report to their campus site to handle possible media/public inquiries.

        Public Relations will begin producing information for the Emergency Site and handling media inquiries. The contact information for the Public Relations Department will be on the Emergency Site.
      7. Callers will be directed to the Emergency Site as the best source of information.
      8. Additionally, the Public Relations office will develop and disseminate press releases if appropriate.
        1. Information producers
          1. Owen Driskill and Celia Breedlove produce information for Emergency Site.
          2. Melinda Hillman will review before it is posted on the Emergency Site.
        2. Fact-gatherers
          Fact-gatherers will report to PR office, T-104. They will help run down information at the request of PR. The following staff members shall serve as fact-gatherers:
          1. Tamsin Miller
          2. Kathy Rhodes
          3. Dana West
          4. Shelley Esquivel
        3. Schedulers
          Schedulers will help schedule media interview requests for senior administrators, with the exception of Danny Gibbs, and the director of Public Safety/Chief of Police who should remain as free of media commitments as possible. Schedulers will place interviews on the Outlook calendars of the president and vice presidents. Schedulers will get the name of the media member and contact information for media member. Schedulers will be:
          1. Jeana Bradley
          2. Linda Brown
        Local media will be given comparable priority and access as national media.
      9. A media center will be established in the library. Press conferences will be held in the upper floor of the library. The spokesperson should be facing the windows. The Raider Room could be a backup location.
      10. All members will retain and preserve any correspondence to include, notes, messages, and emails of their involvement so that an accurate record can be maintained post event for an after action review/report.

        Tamsin Miller will stage/direct the press conference with assistance from Diane Cox, Sarah Hooper, and technical staff as needed.
    3. General Evacuation Procedures
      1. Building Evacuation
        1. All building evacuations will occur when an alarm sounds and/or upon notification by institutional personnel.
        2. When the building evacuation notice is activated during an emergency, those present are to leave by the emergency evacuation route for the area in which they are located. If the exit is blocked, use the nearest marked exit and alert others to do the same.
        3. Assist those with disabilities in exiting the building. Do not use the elevators in case of fire and/or potential power loss. Once outside, proceed to a clear area that is at least 1000 feet away from affected building. Keep streets, fire lanes, hydrant areas, and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and personnel. Identify an assembly point to congregate once outside.

          DO NOT RETURN to an evacuated building unless instructed to do so by institutional personnel or law enforcement.
      2. Campus Evacuation
        All persons are to immediately vacate the area in question and move to another part of campus as directed. Persons with disabilities should be given necessary assistance to evacuate.
  4. Test of Emergency Procedures
    1. The institution will conduct emergency drills and post-drill assessments at least on an annual basis.
    2. Information regarding the institution’s evacuation procedures will be provided as part of the drills.
    3. Documentation regarding the drill will be maintained.
  5. Policy Updates
    Generally RSCC policies do not contain the names of individuals but rather use the individual’s title. However, in this policy it was decided to use individual names since the roles individuals are filling related to this policy are not necessarily related to their normal position. The college will need to update the policy when the individuals specified leave their employment with RSCC.
  6. Responsible Party
    The director of Public Safety/Chief of Police shall be responsible for development and maintenance of this policy for issuance by the president.
Revision History: 08/27/2014
TBR Policy Reference: 4:01:05:70
Revision Date Effective: 06/01/2016
Revision Approval By: Christopher L. Whaley, President
Original Date Effective: 07/01/2013
Original Approval By: Christopher L. Whaley, President
Office Responsible: Vice President for Business & Finance
Reviewed: 07/25/2018

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