Any emergency should be promptly reported to campus safety and security at 413•559•5424. Alert campus safety and security about the nature and location of the emergency and follow instructions provided. A complete list of emergency numbers should be on the inside of residential room doors.
Should a campus emergency exist, campus safety and security will activate the Emergency Response Team. The college has a comprehensive emergency response plan that is activated any time an emergency occurs that will require emergency response team oversight to the college's response.
The College's Emergency Response Team assures appropriate response to any campus emergency. This team is made up of members of campus safety and security, facilities and grounds, student life, IT, and other vital staff, and meets regularly to plan campus emergency response, to conduct table-top and live drills to prepare for a variety of campus emergencies, assess and evaluate emergency plans and capabilities, and to debrief after any campus emergency. The Emergency Response Team also works with town police, fire and ambulance personnel to coordinate response efforts and to conduct joint drills.
Every person in the building, including staff, faculty, students, visitors, and contractors where the fire alarm is sounding or when directed to do so by emergency officials, regardless of known or suspected cause, is required to evacuate immediately. Persons evacuating must leave via the closest exit. Any equipment that could cause a fire should be turned off before exiting if it can be done quickly and safely. Exits are posted throughout each building.
Elevators cannot be used by any person as a means of emergency evacuation. Elevators in most buildings are pre-set to return automatically to the bottom floor. Use of an elevator can result in opening on the fire floor, exposure to life-threatening levels of fire or gases, and being trapped in a malfunctioning elevator.
Evacuation for the Mobility and Visually Impaired
Persons with mobility impairment may be allowed to "defend in place" and not be required to evacuate if they are:
- Located above or below the level of building exit, and
- Physically cannot exit without assistance.
Persons who use a wheelchair, crutches, canes, walkers, etc. Persons who are able to walk should exit if possible, but need to decide if they can safely descend the stairs. Those with emphysema, asthma, heart disease, and arthritis, depending on the situation, may also follow the guidelines for defending in place.
Persons who are visually impaired should, with the assistance of others, evacuate the building using the stairs, if they are familiar with their immediate surroundings and frequently traveled routes. If visually impaired persons are unfamiliar with the emergency evacuation route and assistance is not available, they should defend in place. To assist visually impaired persons:
- Announce the type of emergency.
- Offer your arm for guidance.
- Tell the person where you are going, obstacles you encounter.
- When you reach safety, ask if further help is needed.
To alert people with hearing limitations:
- Turn lights on/off to gain the person's attention, or
- Indicate directions with gestures, or
- Write a note with evacuation directions.
- Personal Emergency Plans (PEPs) for Persons with Disabilities
Although the process of developing a Personal Emergency Plan is optional for students and staff, the College encourages proactive planning on the part of the entire college community for emergency conditions. Individuals with disabilities may require additional assistance with alerting, evacuating, and sheltering in the event of an emergency. The College offers the opportunity, through a confidential process, to develop a PEP that could include such strategies as storing extra equipment or medications, providing Campus Safety and Secuirty with your class and personal schedule, specific evacuation procedures, sheltering procedures, volunteer rescue assistants, and designating means of communication in the event of an emergency.
Although not required, faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to identify their concerns about evacuation in case of an emergency, and to develop a PEP that is effective for them.
Even without a PEP in place, having a cell phone on you at all times and programming the Campus Safety and Security phone number into your phone can allow you to alert Campus Safety and Security if an emergency occurs and you have concerns about evacuating. Students wishing to create a PEP for themselves, or those with questions about evacuations can contact Campus Safety and Security.
Defend in Place
Unless the fire or other hazard is life threatening to a mobility-impaired person, or the person is on the ground floor (exit level of the building), then it may be advisable for that person to remain in her or his currently occupied room. If the individual decides to defend in place, he or she must immediately:
Notify others evacuating that you are remaining in your room and ask them to contact campus safety and security with that information immediately upon exiting the building. If a phone is available, call Campus Safety and Security to inform them that you are defending in place, and your exact location. Close the door to prevent smoke entry, and, if necessary, put towels or any other available fabric at the crack at bottom of the door. If possible, move to a window with a brightly colored cloth to wave to the fire department. Do not break the window unless absolutely necessary. (Breaking the window could allow smoke to enter the room from the floor below or injure a person below).
Once outside the building, all occupants should proceed to the designated assembly areas for a roll call. Each organization is responsible for determining the assembly areas for all buildings that their participants and staff may be using, especially the housing areas. These areas should be at least 25 feet away from the building and should leave access for emergency personnel to enter the building. The building liaison and/or faculty/instructor will take the roll call and report back to the emergency coordinator. The roll call is an important function as town emergency personnel responding to the incident need to determine if anyone is missing and may be in the building. If employees are missing, do not re-enter the building! Notify emergency response personnel and/or the emergency coordinator and inform them of the missing employee's name and last known location. Re-entry into the area will be made only after clearance is given by the emergency coordinator or his or her designee.
Each building should keep a list of people who live or have offices in the building. Examples include mod lists, residence hall lists, and staff rosters. Because the college is a public place, all people in the building may not be on a roster. The evacuated groups should be polled by the building liaison as to who may be left in the building.
Evacuation of all or part of the campus will be announced by the Campus Safety and Security or appropriate agency. All persons (students and staff and their visitors) are to vacate immediately the area of campus in question and relocate to another part of the campus grounds or off campus as directed.
Emergency Information and Drills
Emergency Procedures are posted in each building and provided to new employees at orientation. All residential buildings have two evacuation drills each semester.