About HACC

Safety and Emergency Procedures 

Learn about HACC's safety and emergency procedures.

What types of emergencies has HACC planned for? 

HACC has evaluated our response plan for all types of emergency situations. These include:

  • Fires 
  • Gas leaks 
  • Bomb threats 
  • Tornadoes 
  • Earthquakes 
  • Aircraft accidents 
  • Hazardous material spills on or near a campus 
  • Power outages 
  • Flooding 
  • Snow emergencies 
  • Medical or public health emergencies 
  • Nuclear power plant incidents 
  • Mass violence

How does HACC determine our response to an emergency? 

We evaluate the situation before we respond to an emergency. We consider: 

  • The particular type of incident 
  • Immediate impact on life and safety  
  • Availability and safety of evacuation routes from campus 

We will use our review to decide how to respond and to what extent. Our response levels include: 

  • Shelter-in-place  
  • Evacuation of an entire campus, a portion of campus, or a building 

Public 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 and security officer or emergency response personnel on scene will determine what level of response is required (shelterinplace 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 and Security 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.

What is the National Incident Management System (NIMS)?

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to work together seamlessly and manage incidents involving all threats and hazards—regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity—in order to reduce loss of life, property and harm to the environment.

A key component of NIMS is the Incident Command System (ICS) which provides standardized procedures and communication protocols for interagency cooperation during emergency events and Security officers will use Incident Command System guidelines for emergencies. This helps to ensure that the response to an emergency situation is orderly, efficient, and effective, even in situations where multiple emergency response agencies are involved.

What should I do in an emergency?

Call 911 if there is an immediate threat to life. Then notify campus Public Safety and Security as soon as safely possible. If you observe a situation that could create an emergency, immediately contact your campus pubic safety and security office.

What is HACC's emergency and immediate notification procedure?

The Director of Public 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 and Security 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 HAWK mail e-mail systems
  • Telephone 
  • Campus electronic signage 
  • Loudspeaker announcement 
  • Activation of a building emergency alarm 
  • Direct notification 
  • HACC web site

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

What do public safety and security officers do during an evacuation? 

The Department of Public Safety and Security will: 

  • Notify the affected members of the HACC community.  
  • Use the emergency and immediate notification procedures. 
  • Communicate instructions and evacuation routes.  
  • Use the most effective notification methods. We will tailor them to the emergency situation.  
  • Assist emergency responders in evacuation. 
  • Barricade unsafe areas.  
  • Provide traffic control. 

Shelterinplace 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.


What are the shelter-in-place procedures? 

Seek shelter in the nearest undamaged building if you are outside. Follow instructions of emergency responders. You will receive shelter-in-place instructions from: 

  • The e2Campus emergency alert system. 
  • DPSS Officers or emergency responders on scene.  
  • Any other HACC notification system. 

If your building is not damaged, you must:  

  • Stay inside. 
  • Stay in an interior room if possible.                                                                              
  • Stay in a room that is above ground level if possible. 
  • Lock any windows or doors in the room. 
  • Turn off ventilation systems if possible. This will help prevent the circulation of any noxious substance. HACC personnel will disable any automatic systems in this situation. 
  • Turn off lights and equipment in the room. 
  • Use furniture or other heavy objects to barricade the door in the event of active violence.  
  • Stay away from windows. 
  • Keep your silenced cell phone available for emergency communication and updates. 
  • Silence your phone and turn off other electronic devices that may reveal your location. 
  • Wait until you receive notification that it is safe to leave. 
  • Remain calm, quiet and alert. 

If your building is damaged, you must: 

  • Take your personal belongings. 
  • Follow the evacuation routes posted in the building. 
  • Seek shelter at an undamaged building nearby. 
  • Follow the directions of Safety and Security officers and emergency responders on scene.

Emergency Procedures Tests and Drills

The Public Safety and Security Department conducts emergency drills and tests at least once per calendar year at all campus locations. These tests and drills may be announced or unannounced. The type of tests and drills may vary, but will be designed to assess and evaluate the procedures for a specific emergency type, such as active shooter, building fire, bomb threat, hazardous materials spill, or other emergency condition. Depending on the type of emergency response being tested, shelter‐in‐place and/or the evacuation of campus building drills may be included. Tests may be a live exercise or a table‐top simulation.

Whatever type of test is conducted, the Public Safety and Security Department will conduct a test of one or more emergency systems in conjunction with the test or drill. The emergency systems that may be tested include the e2Campus mass notification system, building alarms and PA systems, emergency lockdown systems, or other emergency system appropriate to the campus location and the condition being tested or drilled.

In an effort to continue to foster close working relationships with the emergency responders who serve our campus communities, representatives from local and state police, local fire and EMS, or other emergency response agencies will be invited to participate in campus drills and tests. The goal of each agency’s participation is to ensure a familiarity with the personnel and facilities at the campus which they serve and help foster a strong coordination of efforts in the event of an actual emergency.

HACC may notify the media outlets and emergency responders local to a campus when a live test is conducted. Press releases will contain a link to the College’s emergency procedures for public review. Other avenues for distribution of the emergency procedures may include the HACC website, the student newspaper at each campus, printed handouts distributed at the time of the test or drill, faculty and staff newsletters, the SKI gram, employee e-mail and/or student HAWKmail distribution, or other College publications calculated to reach the campus community.

As required by the Clery Act, the Public Safety and Security Department will document each test in a report which includes the date of the test, a description of the drill or test conducted, start and end times, and whether the test or drill was announced or unannounced. Additionally, this report will contain any deficiencies discovered in procedure or equipment, lessons learned, and the possible solutions for any deficiencies noted. The report may be distributed to any College department or local agency which plays a role in the immediate correction of any noted deficiencies.