If an emergency situation arises and a campus must evacuate any of its facilities, the goal of the institution will be to keep unaffected campuses open and operating on a normal class and business schedule. The institution is prepared to evacuate any campus, and will do so in the event or perceived potential of danger.
A campus should be considered for closure when:
- there is significant physical threat of injury or harm to employees and/or students;
- there is widespread inaccessibility or malfunctioning of transportation systems;
- the local government advises business to cease operations; or
- a physical disaster has occurred and the buildings are uninhabitable.
The campus President should consider for each campus whether classes should be cancelled and whether business operations should close. The decision to close all or any one campus will be made for a period of one business day unless there is physical destruction of a building. Each day a new decision will be made regarding the need to remain closed.
Building or Campus Evacuation Procedure
In the event of an emergency situation requiring evacuation, designated campus officials will begin a floor-by-floor evacuation of each affected building from the top down. Students, faculty, staff and visitors are instructed to leave personal belongings and evacuate the building quickly.
General evacuation guidelines and best practices:
- Building management will provide information and instructions via the emergency speaker system throughout the building.
- Do not use elevators.
- Do not bring food or drink with you and/or into any stairwell.
- Do not break windows.
- Always stay to the right within the stairwell to allow emergency personnel to pass.
- If applicable, fire escapes should be used as a last resort.
Persons Requiring Assistance with Evacuation Procedures
In the event of a building or campus evacuation, local municipal emergency personnel are the only personnel formally trained and authorized to provide physical evacuation assistance to individuals with mobility impairment. In the event danger is imminent and there is no time to wait for municipal personnel, TCSPP suggests the following evacuation options for students, faculty, staff and guests with such impairments:
- Horizontal Evacuation Option: Move a safe distance away from the area of imminent danger to another space of the building or opposite end of the corridor.
- Stay in Place Evacuation Option: Unless danger is imminent, remain in a room with an exterior window, and if possible a closing door. If possible, dial 9-1-1. The individual calling emergency personnel should be prepared to tell the 9-1-1 operator his or her name, location, and the nature of the emergency.
- “Buddy System” Evacuation Option: Individuals with a mobility impairment should make prior arrangements with a student, staff, and/or faculty acquaintance (a “Buddy”) of the need for special assistance in the event of a fire alarm or any other situation which may require evacuation. During an evacuation, the “Buddy” should make sure of the individual’s location, then go outside and inform emergency personnel of a person in a specific location who needs assistance in leaving the building.
Most areas on campus are equipped with fire alarm horns/strobes that sound an alarm and flash strobe lights. However, persons with hearing and/or vision impairments may not immediately notice or hear emergency alarms and may need to be alerted of emergency situations. Some persons may need to be alerted to the situation by gestures or by turning the lights switch on and off repeatedly.
Emergency instructions can also be communicated by verbalizing, mouthing, or by short, explicit written note. TCSPP employees are encouraged to offer such assistance, as appropriate.