emergency response and communications procedure

Policy Statement

Colby-Sawyer College has contracted with Omnilert, LLC to offer e2Campus as part of the CSC ALERT system to the Colby-Sawyer College community. The system is designed to send emergency messages to enrolled campus members via SMS (text) message, RSS feeds and wireless PDA, and on My Yahoo, My AOL, or personalized iGoogle home pages when circumstances dictate. The e2Campus system is part of the College's overall communication plan.

CSC ALERT will be used when a situation exists that presents an imminent danger to the campus; to notify the College's Emergency Management Team (EMT) of an incident; and when urgent and timely information must be conveyed to the college community. An “imminent danger” is one that threatens the immediate safety of the campus community, is not anticipated, and failure to provide such a warning may result in serious harm. Examples of such emergencies are a tornado, a chemical or hazardous material spill, or an armed and actively violent person. CSC ALERT messages will not be used unless the situation is determined to be imminent and requires immediate action. CSC ALERT can also be used for “urgent and timely” information such as a college closing due to a heavy snowstorm that could endanger drivers and pose significant parking hazards.

Information submitted to the e2Campus system will be used only for purposes of emergency and urgent communication and will not be sold or used for marketing or any purpose other than emergency communications. Emergency communications are those that describe a significant risk to the health and safety of the community. Urgent and timely communications are those that that potentially affect a significant sector of college community members; have a major impact on college operations; require a significant change in daily activities such as classes.

The President or his designee authorizes the activation and use of this system during a campus emergency or when urgent and timely information must be conveyed based on recommendations and/or discussion with the Emergency Management Team, the Director of Communications and the Director of Campus Safety. During a life threatening emergency, the President may act alone based on information and recommendations from the Director of Campus Safety or the Student Development Administrator (SDA). In the absence of the President and only in situations that pose an “imminent danger” to the campus community the Director of Campus Safety or Student Development Administrator (SDA) has the authority to request and/or implement this action with an immediate briefing to the President and other core team members to follow.

The CSC ALERT system will be tested at least once annually and/or as part of a campus-wide drill. The purpose of the drill is to ensure that the system is in good working order and that campus community members know what actions should be taken in case of emergency.

Procedures


Registration

  1. Enrollment in CSC ALERT is available to all members of the Colby-Sawyer College community and it's Board of Trustees.

  2. In order to receive CSC ALERT messages, members of the Colby-Sawyer College community must enroll online and provide contact information indicating by what means they would like to be notified in case of emergency.

  3. A message will be sent out via the College's e-mail system notifying community members that the College has contracted with the e2Campus System and providing an Internet hyperlink to the enrollment page.

  4. Individuals who choose to enroll will complete the online registration form available through myColby-Sawyer and submit the information to e2Campus.

  5. Enrollment information will be provided to all new College employees upon hire.

  6. Enrollment messages will be sent out to students at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters to enroll new students and/or to provide students an opportunity to update their contact information.

  7. An enrollment message will be sent out to faculty and staff at the beginning of each fall semester to ensure contact information is correct and up-to-date.

Activation of CSC ALERT

  1. When Campus Safety receives a report that an incident has occurred or may occur that presents an imminent danger to campus, s/he will immediately advise the supervisor on duty of the threat. If a supervisor is not on duty the Officer will contact the Director of Campus Safety or the Student Development Administrator (SDA) on weekends.

  2. The Supervisor, Campus Safety Director or SDA will determine whether the incident presents an imminent danger and requires immediate emergency campus notification via the CSC ALERT or if the campus notification can be made effectively via other communication methods.

a. Imminent Danger-If it is determined that CSC ALERT will be used, the supervisor will contact the Director of Campus Safety or his designee, who will log on to e2Campus and send out the appropriate warning notification.

b. Urgent Situation-If the incident is determined NOT to be an imminent threat, but instead, an urgent situation or lower-level emergency, the Supervisor, Director of Campus Safety, or SDA will contact the Incident Commander to consult him about the incident to determine:

i) the nature and level of threat,

ii) whether a CSC ALERT notification is required and

iii) to whom it should be addressed (all campus or specific groups).

  1. If the Director of Campus Safety is not able to access the Internet, he will contact one of the following e2Campus Administrators to send out the notification: College President, Director of Communications, Student Development Operations Manager or Applications Analyst.

  2. The Director of Campus Safety or designee will notify the President or his designee (if not already notified), who will initiate the telephone tree for the EMT.

  3. The Incident Commander or his designee in consultation with the EMT the director of communications and director of Campus Safety (if available) should determine whether subsequent messages should be sent via CSC ALERT to the college community.

  4. When the emergency is over, [the emergency situation has been resolved and order is restored] a message will be sent out to the community indicating that the emergency has ended. The agency responsible for managing the incident (as defined by state statute) would notify Campus Safety of the “all clear”. The message to the campus community would be sent by the e2Campus administrator who sent the original message, or by College Communications.

Additional messages may need to be sent to the college community with specific instructions or clarification of issues in the aftermath of an emergency situation. Depending on their level of urgency, the e2Campus administrators should determine whether to use CSC ALERT or another less urgent communications vehicle.

College Communications and the President's Office, in concert with the IC, may be required to post or send additional messages through alternate communications vehicles (college web site, mass e-mail) to other important constituencies including parents and families; alumni; surrounding communities; media; and the general public.

CSC ALERT Testing/Maintenance

The Emergency Notification System will be tested periodically to ensure it is in good working order in case of an actual emergency or an emergency drill.

  1. When a test of the system is authorized, the College will make every effort to notify the Colby-Sawyer College faculty, staff, and students via web and e-mail postings.

  2. When the test begins, the Department of Communications will send out a message indicating that the system is being tested using the procedure described above.

  3. At the conclusion of the test, an e-mail will be sent to Colby-Sawyer College faculty, staff, and students advising them that the test is concluded and any further emergency notifications should be considered real.

The following individuals are authorized to request a test of the system:

  • College President or designee
  • Director of Campus Safety or designee
  • Director of Communications or designee
  • Chief of New London Police Department
  • Chief of New London Fire Department

Annual Drill

  1. When a drill is authorized, the College will make every effort to notify the Colby-Sawyer College faculty, staff, and students via web and e-mail postings.

  2. Prior to the beginning of the drill, a message will be disseminated to the campus via broadcast e-mail indicating that the following message is associated with a drill and that all community members are to respond as they would in a true emergency.

  3. When the drill begins, Campus Safety staff will be advised to send one of the standard emergency messages.

  4. In concert with the above message, a message will be sent out via other campus messaging systems announcing the drill and actions to be taken.

  5. Drill staff will ensure that the appropriate actions have been taken (building evacuated or shelter taken as directed).

  6. When the drill is concluded, an e-mail will be sent to Colby-Sawyer College faculty, staff, and students advising them that the drill is concluded and any further emergency broadcasts should be considered real.

This policy is subject to periodic review and revision at the request of the College Emergency Management Team.