This Emergency Preparedness Plan has been designed to provide a guide for the Sterling College community to plan for campus emergencies. While it is impossible to produce a document that is all-inclusive, this publication addresses the most common emergencies. These policies and procedures are intended to be used primarily for preparedness training. While it is not practical to suggest that these procedures will be followed verbatim during an actual emergency situation, they will provide information needed to prepare for an emergency.

Your judgment often determines whether or not an incident is an emergency. If you consider a situation to be an emergency, then it is an emergency and the procedures in this booklet should serve as a guide to be followed. If in doubt, err on the side of safety.

If you have an emergency situation which requires action, dial 9-1-1, then contact the campus information center at 620-278-2173 or the RD on duty phone number after hours at 620-278-6218.
Any questions regarding emergency procedures should be addressed to the Vice President of Student Life.

Bomb Threat


  1. Call 911

If a suspicious object is observed:

  1. Don't touch it!
  2. Evacuate the area.

All bomb threats must be treated as a serious matter. To ensure the safety of the faculty, staff, students, and the general public, bomb threats must be considered real until proven otherwise. In most cases, bomb threats are meant to disrupt normal activities. However, building evacuation is a decision for the proper authorities. The procedures described below should be implemented regardless of whether the bomb threat appears real or not.

All personnel should acquaint themselves with the following procedures:

A. If a suspicious object or potential bomb is discovered. DO NOT HANDLE THE OBJECT. CLEAR THE AREA AND CALL 911. Be sure to include the location and appearance of the object when reporting.

B. If a phone call bomb threat is received, ask the caller the following questions and record the answers:

Questions You Should Ask:

  1. What time is the bomb set to explode?
  2. Where is the bomb located?
  3. What kind of bomb is it?
  4. Description of bomb?
  5. Why did you place the bomb?

Voice Description:

  1. Male/Female
  2. Young, Old, Middle-Aged
  3. Calm/Nervous
  4. Rough/Refined
  5. Accent: Yes/No, Describe:____________
  6. Speech Impediment: Yes/No, Describe: ____________

Bomb Threat Checklist:

  1. Do you recognize the voice?
  2. Who do you think it was?
  3. Background noises:
    • Music
    • Running Motor (type)
    • Traffic Whistles
    • Bells
    • Horns
    • Aircraft Tape Recorder
    • Machinery
    • Other: ________

Additional Information:

  • Did the caller indicate knowledge of the facility? If so, in what way?
  • On what line did you receive the call?
  • Is the number listed?

If an evacuation is needed or alarm sounds, follow established building evacuation procedures (See BUILDING EVACUATION).

C. Report the call.

  • During working hours: Contact the CIC.
  • After working hours: Call Sterling Police at 911.

D. Follow the instructions given by the CIC or dispatcher.

Building Evacuation


  1. When the alarm sounds (fire or announcement from SC employee), leave the building immediately.
  2. Calmly evacuate the building using the nearest exit.
  3. Assist persons with disabilities or special needs.

A. All building evacuations will occur when an alarm sounds continuously and/or upon notification by emergency personnel.

B. If necessary or if directed to do so by an emergency official, activate the building alarm.

C. Be aware of people with disabilities in your area who might require assistance in an emergency evacuation. Be prepared to render assistance if necessary.

D. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS during an emergency evacuation. Emergency personnel may use an elevator for evacuation after review of the circumstances.

E. When the building evacuation alarm is sounded or when told to leave by a designated emergency official, walk quickly to the nearest marked exit and ask other to do the same.

F. DO NOT return to an evacuated building until advised by an emergency official.

It is suggested that people with disabilities prepare for emergencies by learning the locations of exit corridors and enclosed stairwells and by informing co-workers, professors, and/or classmates of best methods of assistance during an emergency. See the Appendix 1 for additional information on assisting persons with disabilities.

Stay calm and take steps to protect yourself. IF there is a working telephone call 911 (on-campus) and tell the dispatcher where you are or where you will be moving. Contact an RD on Duty at 620-278-6218

If you must move we recommend the following:

  1. Move to an exterior enclosed stairwell.
  2. Request persons exiting by way of the stairway to notify the emergency personnel of your location.
  3. As soon as practical, move onto the stairway and await emergency personnel.

Crime and Violent Behavior


In progress incidents:

  1. Protect yourself first
  2. Call 911

Give your name and location. The officer/dispatcher should be told that the incident IS in progress


If you are a victim or a witness to any in-progress criminal offense, report the incident as soon as possible to the Sterling Police. You should attempt to provide as much of the following information as possible.

  1. Nature of the incident. MAKE SURE the officer dispatcher understands that the incident is in progress!
  2. Location of the incident.
  3. Description of suspects involved.
  4. Injuries that have occurred.
  5. Description of any weapons involved.
  6. Description of property involved.

Stay on the line with the officer/dispatcher until help arrives. Keep the officer/dispatcher updated on any changes so responding units can be updated. Even if you cannot communicate, keep the line open. The dispatcher may be able to learn more about what is happening.

If the crime occurred on the Sterling College campus, then you must contact the Student Life Office to report the crime so it can be included on our campus crime report.



If you have become a victim of a crime and it is not an emergency or life threatening situation, contact the Student Life Office to report the crime or the RD on duty after business hours. Be prepared to provide at least the following information:

  1. Your name
  2. Your address
  3. Your telephone number
  4. A brief synopsis of what occurred
  5. Persons involved if known
  6. Your exact location at the time of the call (room #, apartment #, campus building, etc.)

Elevator Failure


  1. Remain Calm
  2. Activate on-board emergency alarm.
  3. If medical emergency call 911
  4. Keep occupants calm.

If you become trapped in an elevator activate the elevator emergency bell within the elevator car. If you hear an elevator bell, please take the following actions. The elevators on campus are equipped with a call button which dials the Otis emergency line and they dispatch a service tech if help is needed.

A. If there is a medical emergency, call 911.

Give the dispatcher the following information:

  1. Name of the building
  2. Location within the building of malfunctioning elevator.
  3. where the car is stopped, if known.
  4. Tell specifics of medical emergency

Before you hang up, make sure the dispatcher has all the information they need.


C. Elevators have mechanical safety brakes that will operate in all situations, even during power failures.

D. Keep the occupants calm and wait for help to arrive

NOTE: The activation of an elevator smoke detector will cause building elevators to return non-stop to the main floor and lock with the doors open. Never use an elevator to evacuate the building.




  1. Take cover
  2. Call 911
  3. Assist the injured

In the event of an explosion or similar emergency, take the following action:

A. Immediately take cover under tables, desks, etc., which will provide protection from falling glass or debris.

B. Call 911. Give them the following information:

  1. You name and number
  2. Location (use street address)
  3. Area where explosion occurred
  4. Cause of the explosion, if known.
  5. Injuries


C. Evacuate the area as soon as it is safe to do so, following established building evacuation procedures.



  1. Sound or shout the alarm
  2. Call 911 from a safe location
  3. Evacuate the building

In all cases when a faculty, staff, student, or visitor becomes aware of a fire and/or smoke the Fire Department MUST be notified immediately.

A. Go to the nearest safe location and activate the fire alarm system at the pull station, or shout the alarm as you evacuate the building. Telephone 911.

Give the following information:

  1. Name of the building
  2. Location of the fire within the building
  3. A description of the fire and (if known) how it started.

B. Evacuate the building following the established building evacuation procedures (see BUILDING EVACUATION)

C. Know the location of fire extinguishers, fire exits, and alarm systems in your area and know how to use them.

D. For a minor fire like those in a wastebasket, locate a fire extinguisher.

Fire Extinguisher Instruction:

  1. P PULL safety pin from handle.
  2. A AIM nozzle at the base of the fire.
  3. S SQUEEZE the trigger handle.
  4. S SWEEP from side to side (watch for re-flash)

For large fires, evacuate the building and pull a fire alarm. Make sure the Fire Department has been called. In all cases, possible injury and excessive risks should be avoided. If the fire is or could get out of control, the building should be evacuated.

E. If you become trapped in a building during a fire:

  1. Stay calm, and take steps to protect yourself.
  2. If possible, move to a room with an outside window.
  3. If there is a telephone, call 911 and tell the dispatcher where you are. Do this even if you can see Fire Department personnel from the window.
  4. Stay where rescuers can see you through the window, and wave a light-colored item to attract their attention.
  5. Stuff clothing towels or paper around the cracks i the door to help keep smoke out of your refuge.
  6. If possible, open the window at the top and bottom. Be ready to shut the window quickly if smoke rushes in.
  7. Be patient. Rescue of occupants within large structures will take time.


Sprinkler systems and water flow detection devices are present in some buildings on campus. Water flow in these devices is monitored by Maintenance and automatically triggers a response.

Smoke detectors are provided where required. Residential Facilities -- battery-powered detector that sound a low battery signal (a chirping sound) should be reported to Residence Hall staff members.

Manually activated pull stations are located at the exit points in buildings that have a fire alarm system. If any sprinkler, heat detector, or pull station is activated, an alarm will sound throughout the building. Some smoke detectors will also activate the building alarm.

Elevator: DO NOT attempt to use the elevators to evacuate any building.

Emergency Lighting will activate automatically in a pwer failure and last for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Illuminated exit signs are provided throughout the buildings.

Hazardous Material Spill/Release


  1. Call 911.
  2. Secure the area.
  3. Assist the injured.
  4. Evacuate if necessary.

For spills, releases, or incidents requiring special training, procedures or equipment that is beyond the abilities of present personnel, take the following steps:

A. Call 911 to report the incident. Give the operator the following information:

  1. Your name, telephone number, and location.
  2. Time and type of incident.
  3. Name and quantity of the material, if known.
  4. Extent of injuries or damage, if any.

B. Immediately notify CIC (during office hours) or RD on duty (after hours) and evacuate the spill area. CIC will contact maintenance and Chemical Hygiene Officer. Pull the fire alarm if building evacuation is required.

C. If an evacuation alarm sounds, follow established building evacuation procedures (see BUILDING EVACUATION).

Note: Do not re-enter the area until directed by emergency personnel.

No effort to contain or clean up spills and or releases should be made unless you have been trained.

Secure in Place


  1. Stay inside a building.
  2. Seek inside shelter if outside.
  3. Secure all doors and windows as quickly as possible.
  4. Seal off openings to your room if possible, if chemicals are in the air.
  5. Barricade door with heavy objects if someone dangerous is outside the door.
  6. Remain in place until you are told that it is safe to leave.

What is Secure in Place?

A. Secure in Place simply means to secure yourself in the room that you are in. This course of action may need to be taken during an accidental release of toxic chemicals to the outside air or possibly a gunman somewhere on campus.

B. How would I be notified?

  1. You will receive an emergency text message telling you to stay Secure in Place.

C. Additional Actions:

  1. Immediately stop all activity.
  2. If possible, lock yourself in the room you are in.
  3. Place yourself in a position of least visibility.
  4. Turn off all lights or maintain minimal lighting.
  5. Turn off all radios or other devices that emit sound. Silence your cell phone.
  6. Make a list of the names of students and staff in the classroom.
  7. If gunshots are heard, quickly barricade the door with furniture or anything you can push against it (e.g. tables, filing cabinets). Lay on the floor behind heavy objects for shelter.
  8. Do not unlock door or attempt to leave until instructed to do so by the Police Department.

Medical Emergency


  1. Call 911.
  2. Do not Move the patient unless safety dictates.
  3. If trained: Use pressure to stop bleeding and provide basic life support as needed.
  4. Contact CIC or RD on Duty


During operational hours, students with minor illnesses or injuries may be referred to the Health Center.


Emergency treatment for job-related injury or medical illness may be obtained by calling 911 (on-campus).


Request emergency medical assistance by calling 911.


If you provide first aid, consider the following:

  1. Is immediate action needed in order to save a life?
  2. Will I place myself in harm or jeopardy?


Psychological Crisis


  1. Call 911 if you sense the situation is becoming violent or life threatening.
  2. Contact Student Life Office at ext. 218 if not immediate emergency and during business hours.
  3. Assist persons with disabilities or special needs.

A psychological crisis exists when an individual is threatening to harm him/herself, other people, or is agitated and disruptive.

In an unusual or potentially dangerous situation, remember the following:

  1. Never try to handle a situation that you feel might be dangerous. Call Sterling Police at 911.
  2. Notify Sterling Police and clearly state that you need immediate assistance. Give your name, location, and state the nature of the problem.
  3. Contact Student Life Office at ext. 218 during office hours and RD on duty phone at 620-278-6218 to report the situation.

If a psychological crisis occurs, but isn't an immediate crisis situation:

  1. Students, Faculty, and Staff: Contact the Student Life Office at ext. 218 during office hours.
  2. After hours, contact police at 911 if an emergency and RD on duty phone at 620-278-6218 if not an emergency but it can't wait until business hours.

Suspicious/Dangerous Person on Campus

Notification Procedures

In the event that an "active threat" becomes apparent in any campus location, the threat should be reported immediately (as soon as it is safe to do so) by calling 911.

Guidelines for Protection

The following guidelines are intended to provide information to individuals who have found shelter and/or found themselves engaged in an "active threat" situation. They are intended to improve both individual and group safety. "Active threat" situations are very dynamic and they evolve quickly. Individuals need to assess their situation and be prepared to make decisions in a matter of seconds. An "active threat" situation typically does not last for a long period of time unless it evolves into a hostage situation.

Individual / Group Safety

  1. Stay calm and assess the situation; determine the location of the threat, if possible.
  2. Call 911 as soon as it is safe to do so and call CIC or RD on Duty phone if after hours.
  3. Evacuate the area by a safe route if possible. If not, seek an area of safe refuge.
  4. If you seek a safe refuge, secure all doors and windows as quickly as possible and barricade as many items between you and the threat as possible (i.e. tablet arm chairs, tables, cabinets, etc.).
  5. Render first aid to injured persons that may be in your area. Do this as long as it is safe to do so. Simple first aid includes applying direct pressure to the wound and elevate if possible.
  6. Do not attempt to make contact (verbal or physical) with the individual responsible for the threat unless no other option is available.
  7. if you must have contact with the individual posing the threat, attempt to find some cover (solid objects) to place between you and the individual.
  8. Be prepared to combat the subject individual posing the threat if you r life is in imminent danger. Active resistance increases the chance of survival, but this is strictly a personal decision.
  9. If you are fortunate enough to be in a group, develop a plan as a group for how you will combat the attacker posing an imminent danger should he/she gain access to your area of refuge. Frequently it is possible to overwhelm an attacker if multiple people resist or attack from different locations at the same time. While this reduces the risk of numerous serious or fatal injuries to the group as a whole, the chances of someone being injured is still present. This is a risk that the group must accept with any plan.
  10. Once in a secure location, DO NOT open the door for anyone but the police. This includes other seeking refuge, as this may be a ploy by the attacker to gain access.
  11. DO NOT approach police officers as they attempt to locate and neutralize the threat. During this time, the officers are trained to seek out and respond to the threat, which could include the use of deadly force. They are not able to assist with evacuation or medical assistance to injured parties. Once the threat has been neutralize, the officers will return immediately to organizing the evacuation of the facility and obtaining or providing emergency medical procedures.
  12. IMPORTANT: During "active threat" situations the decision to resist the threat is an individual decision that no one person can make for anyone else. An aggressive resistance may assist with your personal safety, the safety of the group, and increase the chance of survival. There are NO guarantees when offering resistance that NO one will be injured.

Recommended Best Practices:

  1. Be prepared and aware of your environment! Anticipate the unexpected.
  2. Implement "active threat" preparedness into each building's emergency plan.
  3. Practice these plans once implemented so that each individual within a building will have a general guideline on how to react in a crisis.
  4. Monitor co-workers and others for signs of stress or severe depression. Report any concerns to your supervisor.
  5. Early detection of individuals having personal or family problems or demonstrating odd or threatening behavior is the best method for reducing the likelihood of "active threat" events.



  1. Avoid automobiles and open areas.
  2. Move to a designated area.
  3. Stay away from windows and doorways.
  4. Do not call 911 unless you require emergency assistance.

A. Before the Storm

  1. Acquaint yourself with the emergency plan for your building.
  2. Stay informed. We suggest signing up for emergency alerts through on days when severe weather is expected.
  3. Keep a good reliable flashlight in your office/work area.

B. During the Storm - Possible Indicators of a Tornado

  1. Dark, often greenish sky.
  2. Large hail.
  3. Loud roar, similar to a train.
  4. Cloud of debris (the tornado may not be visible).
  5. Wind becomes calm and still.
  6. Frequent lightning.
  7. Tornados generally occur near the trailing edge of a storm


A "Tornado Watch" is issued when atmospheric conditions are favorable for the formation of tornados in a given area. Under these conditions, keep informed by listening to radio or television.


A "Tornado Warning" indicates that a tornado has been sighted and poses a definite threat to a given area.


  • Outdoor sirens will sound and an SC emergency text message will be sent.
  • The ALL CLEAR signal will be given by the designated emergency official.


The National Weather Service issues severe thunderstorm watches and warnings. Remember that tornadoes are spawned from severe thunderstorms.


Utility Failure


  1. Call CIC concerning utility failures unless you have an emergency.
  2. Call 911 if you are injured or require emergency assistance.

The possibility exists for a utility system failure of some nature and magnitude. Do not attempt to correct the problem on your own.

A. Call CIC to report the incident. Give them the following information:

  1. Name and phone number
  2. Location
  3. Nature of the failure

Plumbing Failure/Flood/Water Leak

A. Cease using all electrical equipment.

B. Call CIC if you know the source of the leak or discover leaking water.

Natural Gas Leak

A. Cease all operations and exit the area immediately

B. Do not attempt to correct the problem yourself.

C. Do not use the light switches, cell phones, or anything else that could cause a spark. Do not use or tamper with the equipment.

Please do not call the police for information concerning a utility failure unless you have an emergency.

Appendix 1: Supplemental Evacuation Guidelines for People with Disabilities

The following guidelines have been adopted by Sterling College to assist in the planning for the evacuation of people with physical disabilities.

In all emergencies, after an evacuation has been ordered:

  1. Evacuate if possible.
  2. DO NOT use elevators, unless authorized to do so by emergency services personnel.
  3. If you have a physical disability and are unable to use stairways:
    1. Stay calm, and call CIC or RD on Duty.
    2. If there is a working phone, call 911 and tell the police dispatcher where you are or where you will be moving to.
  4. If you must move, we recommend the following:
    1. As soon as practical, move on to the stairway and await fire department personnel. If the situation is life threatening, call 911 from campus telephone.
    2. Request persons exiting by way of the stairway to notify the Fire Department of your location.
  • Check on people with special needs during an evacuation. A "buddy system", where people with disabilities arrange for volunteers (co-workers/neighbors) to alert them and assist them in an emergency, is recommended.
  • Only attempt an emergency evacuation if you have had emergency assistance training or the person is in an immediate danger and cannot wait for emergency services personnel.
  • ALWAYS ASK someone with a disability how you can help before attempting any emergency evacuation assistance. Ask how he/she can best be assisted or moved, and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.

Blindness or Visual Impairment

  • Provide verbal instructions to advise of the safest route or direction using simple directions, estimated distances, and directional terms.
  • DO NOT grasp a visually impaired person's arm. Ask if he/she would like to hold onto your arm as you exit, especially if there is debris or a crowd.
  • Give other verbal instructions or information (i.e. elevators cannot be used).

Deafness or Hearing Loss

  • Get the attention of the person with a hearing disability by touch or eye contact. Clearly state the problem. Gestures and pointing are helpful but be prepared to write a brief statement if the person does not seem to understand.
  • Offer visual instructions to advise of safest route or direction by pointing toward exits or evacuation maps.

Mobility Impairment

  • It may be necessary to help clear the exit routes of debris (if possible).
  • If people with mobility impairments cannot exit, they should move to a safer area (e.g. most enclosed stairwells or an office with the door shut which is a good distance from the hazard.)
  • Call 911 or notify police or fire personnel immediately about any people remaining in the building and their locations.
  • Police or fire personnel will decide whether people are safe where they are, and will evacuate them as necessary. The Fire Department may determine that it is safe to override the rule against using elevators.