Emergency Procedures

Safety and Emergency Procedures

An evaluation has been made of the possible emergency situations that could arise, including those in which the closing and evacuation of the campuses would be required. These situations include fire, gas leaks, bomb threats, tornadoes, earthquakes, aircraft accidents, hazardous materials spills on or near a campus, power outages, flooding, snow emergencies, medical or public health emergencies, an incident at a nuclear power plant and mass violence, among others. The extent of and manner in which a shelter-in-place response or the evacuation of a portion of or entire campus would be conducted would depend on the particular incident, the immediate impact on life safety and the availability and safety of evacuation routes from the campus.

Safety and Security officers continually monitor conditions and events on their campuses. Should they become aware of a situation that constitutes an emergency, officers will respond to, investigate, confirm and determine the nature and extent of the threat. They will request assistance from outside emergency services as the situation dictates. Should an emergency situation pose an immediate threat to the health and safety of the College or campus community, the ranking public safety officer or emergency response personnel on scene will determine what level response is required (shelter-in- place or the evacuation of a building, buildings or the entire campus). Using the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Incident Command System guidelines, officers will ensure that their chain of command is immediately utilized. The director of public safety will be notified, who will then initiate the emergency immediate notification procedure to disseminate alert information and instructions to affected members of the college community.

If you observe a situation which may create an emergency, please immediately contact your campus public safety office. If there is an immediate threat to life, call 911 first and then notify campus Safety and Security as soon as possible.

Emergency and Immediate Notification

The Director of Safety and Security or designee, upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation which poses an immediate threat to the college or campus community, or any portion thereof, will without delay and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification system. The director of public safety or designee in consultation with the Office of College Advancement and/or the College president and/or campus vice president, will produce and disseminate the emergency notification via any or all of the following systems:

  • E2Campus Mass Alert System
  • Employee and student HAWKmail e-mail systems
  • Telephone
  • Campus electronic signage
  • Loudspeaker announcement
  • Activation of a building emergency alarm
  • Direct notification 
  • The College website at http://www.hacc.edu

Communications systems will be selected as the Director of Safety and Security or designee determines to be appropriate to alert the campus community of the specific emergency situation. Notifications may be issued on a College-wide basis or to directly affected members of the College community (e.g., a specific campus or buildings) as the situation dictates. This will be done unless issuing a notification will, in the professional judgment of the Director of Safety and Security or designee and/or outside emergency responders, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to or otherwise mitigate the emergency.

The Department Safety and Security, in cooperation with emergency responders, will continually monitor the emergency situation and advise the Director of Safety and Security as conditions change. The Director of Safety and Security or designee may issue additional notifications and instructions to the college or campus community as the situation requires.


In the event that an emergency situation should make the evacuation of a campus or building necessary, Safety and Security officers will notify the affected members of the campus community using the emergency and immediate notification procedures. Instructions and evacuation routes will be communicated via the most effective methods and tailored to the emergency situation. Safety and Security officers will assist emergency responders in evacuation by barricading unsafe areas and providing traffic control.

Shelter- in- Place

Shelter-in-place is defined as taking immediate shelter where you are. On campus, this will generally mean using a classroom or office as an enclosed shelter to protect you and others from the dangers of an emergency situation.

Basic Shelter-in-Place Guidance

If the building you are in is not damaged, stay inside in an interior room until you receive notification that it is safe to leave. If the building is damaged, take your personal belongings and follow the evacuation routes posted in the building. Once you have evacuated the building, seek shelter at an undamaged building nearby. If college Safety and Security officers and other emergency responders are on scene, follow their directions.

How to know When to Shelter-in-Place

The primary means for communicating shelter-in-place instructions will be the e2Campus emergency alert system. You may also receive instructions directly from Safety and Security officers or emergency responders on scene or by any other means of communication previously listed.

How to Shelter-in-Place

If you have received direction to shelter-in-place and it is safe to do so, adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Stay inside the building you are in or seek an interior room.
  • Seek shelter in the nearest undamaged building if you are outside, or follow instructions given by emergency responders
  • Seek a room above ground level and turn off ventilation systems if possible in cases of the release of a noxious substance. College facilities personnel will disable any automatic systems in this situation.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Keep your cell phone available for emergency communication and updates. (Silence your phone and turn off other electronic devices which may reveal your location)
  • Close and lock any windows or doors in the room.
  • Prevent the perpetrator from entering the room by using furniture or other heavy objects in the event that doors cannot be locked in mass violence emergencies..
  • Turn off lights and equipment in the room. 
  • Remain calm, quiet and alert.