Emergencies

WARNING/DISASTER/EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS

In the event of an existing or impending danger ( tornado or severe weather warning, natural or man made disaster or the existence of criminal activity on campus or other emergency), the college will use multiple means of communicating an emergency message, including:

  • Emergency Notification System ( a campus wide public address system in each building)
  • Email alert system
  • Text messaging system
  • Emergency status page on the college’s website
  • Signage posted in each building

In the event that a situation arises, either on or off campus that in the judgment of the College President, or designee, in consultation with the Director of Campus Safety constitutes a ongoing or continuing threat, a campus wide “timely warning” will be issued. The warning can be issued through any or all of the above mentioned means of communication.

Criminal activity which represents a continuing danger to the campus community will be communicated by any or all of the above listed means unless issuing the 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.

The Emergency Notification and Timely Warning policy can also be referenced in the Campus  Emergency  Operations Plan.

BUILDING EVACUATION PROCEDURES AND LOCATIONS

The college conducts numerous emergency response exercises each year, such as table top exercises, field exercises, evacuation and fire drills and tests of the emergency notification systems. These tests are designed to assess and evaluate the emergency plans and capabilities of the institution.

Trinity Christian College Campus Safety staff and supervisors have received training in the Incident Command System and methods of responding to critical incidents on campus. When a serious incident occurs that causes an immediate threat to the campus, the first responders to the scene are usually the Campus Safety and Security officers, the Palos Heights Police Department and the Palos Heights Fire Protection District, and they typically respond and work together to manage the incident. Depending on the nature of the incident, other departments and other local or federal agencies could also be involved in responding to the incident.

General information about the emergency response and evacuation procedures for Trinity Christian College is publicized each year as part of the institution’s Clery Act compliance efforts and that information is also available in the College’s Emergency Operations Manual.

All members of the college community are notified on an annual basis that they are required to notify the Campus Safety & Security of any situation or incident on campus that involves a significant emergency or dangerous situation that may involve an immediate or ongoing threat to the health and safety of students, employees and/or guests on campus. The Department of Campus Safety and Security has the responsibility of responding to, and summoning the necessary resources, to mitigate, investigate, and document any situation that may cause a significant emergency or dangerous situation. In addition, the college has a responsibility to respond to such incidents to determine if the situation does in fact, pose a threat to the community. If that is the case, federal law requires that the institution immediately notify the campus community or the appropriate segments of the community that may be affected by the situation.

An evacuation drill is coordinated by the college each fall semester for all on campus buildings including residential facilities. A second drill is coordinated in the spring semester for residence halls. Thus, the emergency response and evacuation procedures are tested at least once each year and, for some of the buildings, twice a year. Students learn the locations of the emergency exits in the buildings and are provided guidance about the direction they should travel when exiting each facility for a short-term building evacuation.

The purpose of evacuation drills is to prepare building occupants for an organized evacuation in case of fire or other emergency. The evacuation drills are used as a way to educate and train occupants on fire safety issues specific to their building. During the drill, occupants ‘practice’ drill procedures and familiarize themselves with the location of exits and the sound of the fire alarm.  In addition to educating the occupants of each building about the evacuation procedures during the drills, the process also provides the college an opportunity to test the operation of fire alarm system components.

Evacuation drills are monitored by Campus Safety and Physical Plant staff to evaluate egress and behavioral patterns.  Reports are prepared by participating departments which identify deficient equipment so that repairs can be made immediately.  Recommendations for improvements are also submitted to the appropriate departments/offices for consideration.

Students receive information about evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures during their first floor meetings and during other educational sessions that they can participate in throughout the year. The Resident Directors members are trained in these procedures as well and act as an on-going resource for the students living in residential facilities.

Evacuation Assembly Locations

Alumni Hall
The area (courtyard) between West and South halls

Administration – Molenhouse Student Center
Lawn area next to Lot C – Cheyenne lot, north side

Arts and Communications Building (ARCC)
Lawn by Baseball field

Bootsma Bookstore/Café
Lawn area north of building

Dining Hall, Student Development
Lawn area directly south of the dining hall  on the west side of Student Development building

Classroom Building, Vander Velde Hall, Groot Hall, Jennie Huizenga Memorial Library
Lawn area – north of Parking Lot A (Dining Hall)

West Hall, South Hall, Tibstra Hall
Lawn area directly south of the dining hall on the west side of  the Student Development building

Mail/Print Center
Lawn area directly south of the dining hall on the west side of the Student Development building

De Vos Athletic and Recreation Complex
Lawn area of the Athletics Field (softball field)

Maintenance Building
Lawn area in front of De Vos Atheltic Complex

Ozinga Chapel, Science Center
The Quad – the area bounded by the chapel, the classroom building, the library, and the science building

Persons experiencing a temporary disability or injury can contact the following persons to receive further instructions and/or accommodations.

Students: Office of Student Development ext. 4704

Faculty/Staff: Office of Human Resources  ext. 4608

SHELTER-IN-PLACE PROCEDURES

If an incident occurs in which it is preferable to remain in a building due to the circumstances such as a report of a armed subject on campus or the buildings or areas around you become unstable, or if the air outdoors becomes dangerous due to toxic or irritating substances, it is usually safer to stay indoors, because leaving the area may expose you to danger. Thus, to “shelter-in-place” means to make a shelter of the building that you are in, and with a few adjustments this location can be made even safer and more comfortable until it is safe to go outside.

Basic “Shelter-in-Place” Guidance
If an incident occurs, stay inside-seeking an interior room-until you are told it is safe to come out. If your building is damaged, take your personal belongings (purse, wallet,, etc.) and follow the evacuation procedures for your building (close your door, proceed to the nearest exit, and use the stairs instead of the elevators). Once you have evacuated, seek shelter at the nearest building quickly. If police or fire department personnel are on the scene, follow their directions.

A shelter-in-place notification may come from several sources, including the Emergency Notification system in each building ,campus safety staff members, other college  employees, or first responders from emergency agencies  utilizing the college’s emergency communications methods.

No matter where you are, the basic steps of shelter-in-place will generally remain the same. Should the need ever arise, follow these steps, unless instructed otherwise by local emergency personnel:

1. If you are inside, stay where you are. Collect any emergency shelter–in-place supplies and a telephone to be used in case of emergency. If you are outdoors, proceed into the closest building quickly or follow instructions from emergency personnel on the scene

2. Locate a room to shelter inside. It should be:

  • An interior room;
  • Above ground level; and
  • Without windows or with the least number of windows. If there is a large group of people inside a particular building, several rooms maybe necessary.

3. Shut and lock all windows (tighter seal) and close exterior doors.

4. Turn off air conditioners, heaters, and fans.

5. Close vents to ventilation systems as you are able. (University staff will turn off ventilation as quickly as possible.)

6. Make yourself comfortable and listen for further instructions.