An emergency situation can involve a variety of situations, including weather, hazardous materials, a potential intruder, violence or other high-risk activities in the vicinity of a campus. The nature of the situation dictates what safety measures will be put in place. The response may include the implementation of a lockdown.
When a lockdown is implemented, the facility will be locked to the outside and you will be notified via the MCC alert system, which may include announcements via the public address system, texts, emails or direct instruction from MCC police or administration.
How to respond to the following situations
In any emergency situation you should take personal responsibility for your safety in responding to situations.
- Take shelter in the most interior area of the space you are in; if possible behind solid walls, cabinets, desks or bookcases.
- If you are in the hallway, seek shelter in the nearest office, lock the door and stay away from windows and interior glass.
- Do not make noise or draw attention to yourself.
- Silence your cell phone.
- Be alert for developing threats, look, listen and be aware of your surroundings.
- Faculty, staff, students and visitors should not attempt to leave the building. Maintain your location until told by officials, unless you determine you are in more danger staying in the building than attempting to escape.
- If you exit/escape from the building/office, assess the situation and keep your hands in the air and listen for instructions from law enforcement and do exactly as you are instructed.
Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own safety.
If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises.Be sure to:
- Have an escape route and plan in mind
- Leave your belongings behind
- Keep your hands visible
- Hide in an area out of the view of the active shooter
- Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors
- Fight as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
- Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter
- Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter
- When law enforcement arrives
- Remain calm and follow the instructions of law enforcement officers
- Immediately raise hands and keep them visible
- Avoid making any quick moves
- Do not stop or engage in conversation just proceed as directed
- When calling 911
- Give the location of the active shooter and any victims
- Identify the number of shooters if known
- Provide a physical description of the shooter(s)
- Identify the type of weapons you have seen
- If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen
- Seek shelter inside the closest storm shelter until notified by campus officials that it is safe to leave. View MCC maps.
- Stay away from electrical lines and devices.
- If flooding occurs, seek higher ground and avoid walking or driving through standing or moving water.
- Activate the nearest fire alarm pull station.
- Leave immediately when a fire alarm is activated, even if there are no obvious signs of an emergency. DO NOT use the elevator! If possible, confine the fire by closing all doors as you leave.
- Then, call 1200 (or 816.604.1200 from a cell phone) to alert MCC police/public safety.
- From a campus phone, call 8911 (or simply 911 from a cell phone) to reach local emergency responders.
- Evacuate the building to a safe location away from the structure. Follow directions given by emergency personnel and do not reenter the building until authorized to do so.
- Report to assembly area designated on evacuation map to await further instructions.
If you smell gas . . .
- If you smell gas in any building, leave the building immediately and move a safe distance away.
- While exiting the building, do not use telephones, electrical switches or any device that might trigger an explosion.
- After exiting, call 1200 from a campus phone to alert MCC police/public safety.
- From a campus phone, all 1200 (or 816.604.1200 from a cell phone) to alert MCC police.
- Then, all 8911 (or simply 911 from a cell phone) to reach local emergency responders.
- Do not move the person unless it is necessary for safety reasons. Protect the person from unnecessary disturbance.
- Begin CPR and other first aid measures only if you are currently trained and certified.
- Stay with the person until advanced medical assistance arrives.
If you receive a bomb threat by phone or in written format, or if you discover a suspicious package get as much information as you can and call the MCC police department 816.604.1200, from a campus phone ext. 1200 and then call 911 as soon as possible.
Do not touch suspicious packages.
Any threat or use of an explosive device, a biological agent or a chemical agent as a weapon is a federal crime and will be investigated by the police and the FBI.
Recognize suspicious letters, packages and objects
Biological and chemical threats can be made by phone but typically arrive in the form of letters, some of which contain a powdery substance or an oily substance.
Others contain no substances at all. There is little risk of infection resulting from exposure to a dry form of these agents. However, prudent precautionary steps must be taken.
- If the item meets one or more of the following criteria, it may be dangerous:
- Letter feels rigid, appears uneven/lopsided
- Package or object feels heavier on one side than the other (avoid handling packages that look suspicious)
- Unusual odors
- Makes noise
- Oil stains or wet spots
- Excessive amount or no postage, non-canceled postage
- No return address, sender unknown
- Unusual restricted endorsements, personal," "private"
- Addressee normally does not receive personal mail at office
- Name/title of addressee not accurate/addressed to a title or position
- Address prepared to ensure anonymity of sender
- Hand delivered or dropped off for a friend
- Foreign mail, air mail, special delivery
- Foreign substance inside, powdery
- Move away from the item as soon as possible.
- Notify MCC police dispatch and provide as much information about the item as possible.
If a threat is made or a suspicious package is reported or discovered on campus, MCC police will implement their response procedure with other law enforcement agencies as needed. Their response is designed to maximize your safety.
Information will be distributed by utilizing the emergency alert notification system.
- The situation may be dynamic therefore follow the instructions provided to you via MCC Emergency Alert, law enforcement official or campus emergency coordinator.
- Stay where you are until specific instructions to evacuate are provided. Take all your belongings with you unless instructed differently.
Bomb threat by telephone
- Remain calm and listen closely to remember as much as possible.
- Take note of the telephone number from which the call was received.
- Keep the caller on the line as long as possible to gather information, such as when the bomb will explode, the bomb's location, the type of explosive device, what will cause the bomb to explode, is there a specific target, and the caller's name and address. If the message was left on voice mail, don't erase it.
- From a campus phone, call 1200 (or 816.604.1200 from a cell phone) to alert MCC police.
- Then, call 8911 (or simply 911 from a cell phone) to reach local emergency responders.
- MCC police will decide whether or not to evacuate a work area. Their decision will be communicated quickly to the college community.
- Check for, but do not disturb, unusual objects as you leave a classroom or an office. Report any unusual objects to MCC police.
- If evacuation is called for, do not use cell phones or radios within 300 feet of the area.
If you receive a bomb threat in writing
- Save all materials received.
- Do not handle unless absolutely necessary. Fingerprints are important to finding the perpetrator.
- If a suspicious object is included with the written threat, do not touch it.
- Contact MCC police dispatch as soon as possible.
If you receive a biological/chemical threat by telephone
- Remain calm.
- Keep the caller on the line as long as possible.
- Try to obtain as much information as possible and then contact MCC police dispatch:
- What type of chemical or bio agent was/will be used?
- What type of delivery system was/will be used?
- Has the agent already been released?
- When is it set to go off?
- Where is the device located?
- What does it look like?
- How will it be activated?
- Is there a specific target?
- Why did you pick this facility?
- Who placed the device?
- What is your name?
- Where are you calling from?
- What is your address?
- If the item meets one or more of the following criteria, it may be dangerous:
In the case of an earthquake and you are indoors, follow the simple formula of drop, cover and hold on. As the earthquake is occurring:
- DROP to the floor
- COVER yourself under a sturdy table or desk, or stand in a doorway or room corner. Cover your face and head with your arms
- HOLD ON to something sturdy until the shaking stops
Stay away from windows or any other glass objects that could shatter, avoid objects that could fall on you, do not use elevators and DO NOT attempt to run outside.
If driving, pull off the road, away from buildings and utility poles and stay in your car.
If outside, drop to the ground, away from buildings, utility poles, and other large objects which could fall on you and cover your face and head with your arms.
After the earthquake:
- Be prepared for and expect aftershocks
- Anticipate that electricity and campus telephone systems will be inoperable
- Call 911 if possible for injured persons requiring medical treatment
- Be alert to gas smells, hissing sounds, hazardous material spills and electrical hazards and report them via 911 and the MCC police department at 816.604.1200.
- Do not use anything electrical (light switch, phone, etc.) near potential gas leaks
- If possible, evacuate the building after the shaking stops being cognizant of the dangers of falling exterior walls.
At the onset of an obviously dangerous earthquake, classroom instructors will coach all students to follow the protocol of drop, cover and hold. Instructors should make every effort to assist those students needing special assistance.
MCC provides the following emergency evacuation suggestions to those members of the MCC community who have a disability or who may assist a disabled individual in the event of an emergency evacuation.
This information will help you determine your best response to certain emergency evacuation situations. Every emergency situation is unique and in all cases, all members of the MCC community should use their own best individual judgment in deciding actions.
- Become familiar with the standard MCC emergency evacuation procedures detailed in this document.
- Arrange a buddy system (and an alternate) with friends or co-workers – tell them how to best assist you in an evacuation situation.
- Persons who are deaf may wish to prepare a written card requesting non-verbal emergency assistance and guidance (in writing or gesture).
- Persons using a power wheelchair will find it prudent to schedule battery recharging on a regular basis before leaving home.
- Have contact information ready for accessible transportation services should personal vehicles be inaccessible.
- Persons who cannot speak loudly to call for help may choose to carry a whistle or other noisemaker.
- If you are blind or have low vision it is prudent to learn the location of the exits in advance.
In an emergency:
- Use the emergency buddy system you have set up ahead of time.
- Give clear requests for assistance (verbally or in writing) and explicit directions on how you want assistance.
- In the case of a power outage during daylight and you are on the second or a higher floor, you may choose to wait near a window where there is natural light and access to a working telephone. Be sure to inform others leaving the building of your decision and ask them to inform the MCC police department of your location.
- If there is a power outage and an evacuation has been ordered, or if the outage occurs at night, call MCC police at 1200 from a campus phone or 816.604.1200 to request evacuation assistance.
- If assistance is not immediately available and you cannot exit the building you should remain calm and move to the safest area possible such as an enclosed stairwell, the elevator lobby, or an office with the door shut which is a good distance from the hazard and away from falling debris. Rescue personnel will first check all exit corridors and stairwells for those trapped.
- Continue to call for help or use a whistle or noisemaker until rescued.
When evacuating persons with disabilities
- Always ask the person how you can help before attempting any rescue or assistance, for example, ask the person how they can best be moved and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.
- Notify police or fire personnel immediately about persons remaining in the building and their locations.
Evacuating persons with limited mobility:
- Attempt a rescue evacuation ONLY if you have had rescue training unless the situation is life threatening. Some persons may have such minimal mobility that lifting them may be dangerous.
- Help clear the exit route of debris so the floor is clear for wheelchairs or persons using other mobility aides.
- Be sure the person has crutches, canes, walkers or other mobility devices with them.
Evacuating persons who are non-ambulatory:
- When evacuating always ask what method of assistance the person prefers.
- Not all persons can be removed from their wheelchairs and carried safely.
- Person may have a physical condition that contraindicates lifting such as heart conditions or back problems or other severe physical complications.
- Non-ambulatory persons frequently have respiratory complications or rely on electric artificial respirators. They should be given priority assistance if there is smoke or fumes as their ability to breathe is seriously in danger.
- Persons with chronic pain, catheter leg bags, fragility or braces may not be able to extend or move extremities
Transferring a person out of a wheelchair:
- Check that the individual is not at risk when transferred or carried.
- Note the location of the wheelchair and upon exiting the building immediately inform the MCC police department of the location of the wheelchair so they can retrieve it. The wheelchair is essential to the person's mobility and safety.
- Use a two-person chair carry where the two assistants link arms to form a backrest and grip wrists to form a seat.
- A semi-ambulatory person may lean against an assistant's back while the assistant holds both person’s arms over the assistant's shoulders. The assistant leans forward slightly to take most of the person's weight.
- Two assistants can carry a person by extremities. One assistant stands behind and wraps arms around person's chest under person's arms. Second assistant stands facing away from the person between their legs and lifts person's legs under knees.
Moving a person in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs:
- If the person is to be moved in their wheelchair it is desirable to have a minimum of two assisting persons, with four assisting persons preferred for adults with heavy wheelchairs.
- Secure the wheelchair seatbelt.
- The wheelchair battery may have to be removed.
- The strongest person(s) should be placed at the back of the chair and will grip the chair handles.
- The other assisting person(s) will note what parts of the chair are removable such as wheels, arm rests, footplates so they do NOT lift the chair by those parts. They will grip the front seat frame or non-removable leg rests.
- Always keep the wheelchair facing away from the stairs
- ROLL the wheelchair up or down the stairs. Do NOT carry as this may cause back trouble for the assistant. Let the wheelchair carry the weight.
- Keep the wheelchair slightly tilted back to keep the wheelchair user secure. However, do not tilt too far as this could cause the assistant to lose balance and pitch forward.
Moving a person in a wheelchair over a curb or single step:
- Secure the wheelchair seatbelt.
- Just before reaching the edge of the curb or the step turn the wheelchair around so that it is facing away from the edge. You will back the wheelchair down.
- The assistant will hold tightly to the handles and slowly back the wheelchair so the rear wheels roll down the edge. The assistant will press a hip against the back of the chair as the rear wheels slowly roll off the edge.
- The assistant will press a foot on the anti-tipping bar as the chair is very slowly backed away from the curb. Then the front wheels are slowly lowered to the ground.
- Turn the wheelchair around being carefully to avoid the ankles of other people passing by.
Moving a person in a wheelchair over rough terrain:
- Secure the wheelchair seatbelt
- When approaching surfaces that may cause a problem for wheels such as grates, soft lawns, pitted floors or sand turn the wheelchair around and go backwards.
- Lift the front wheels up very slightly to put the weight of the chair on the rear wheels. Do not tilt the chair too far back.
Evacuating a person who is blind:
- Tell the person the nature of the emergency and offer to guide him/her by offering your left/right elbow (this is the preferred and standard method when acting as a sighted guide. Do not grab a visually impaired person's arm.
- Be sure the person brings with them all mobility aides such as white canes.
- The individual may have a guide dog that may be disoriented. Ask the advice of the person who is blind regarding your level of assistance.
- Give verbal directions to advise about the safest routes. Use compass directions, estimated distances and directional terms to orientate the person. As you walk describe where you are and advise of any obstacles such as overhanging objects, uneven pavements, curbs, or narrow passageways.
- When you have reached a safe location, orient the person to where she/he is and ask if any further assistance is needed.
Evacuating a person who is deaf or hard of hearing:
- Write a note stating what the emergency is and what the evacuation route is, e.g., FIRE: go out the rear door to the parking lot.
- Turn the room lights on and off to gain attention then indicate through hand gestures or writing on the blackboard what is happening and where to go.
- Offer visual instructions to advise of the safest route or direction by pointing toward exits.