Emergency Procedures

The college has established the following procedures to help prevent or minimize injury to BC students, employees and visitors in the event of a fire, medical emergency, earthquake, or other crises. Students and employees are encouraged to review and learn the steps for each emergency scenario, as well as familiarize themselves with the location of all first-aid stations, manual fire alarm boxes, and fire extinguishers.

Emergency maps are posted in classrooms, offices and stairwells point out the location of these items as well as the evacuation routes and assembly areas. Employees at college sites other than main campus should call 911 first and the BC Public Safety office second in any potentially life-threatening situation.

 

Weather Conditions

How BC Determines Campus Closures Due to Weather

Because closing campus seriously disrupts programs and services for our 20,000+ students, BC makes every effort to remain open, despite bad weather. Puget Sound weather is among the least predictable in the country—closure decisions are based partly on predictions but mostly on current conditions on the campus and the roads leading to it. Campus closure occurs only when:

  • Current local weather conditions severely restrict travel to and from campus; or
  • Campus roadways, parking lots, paths, and buildings cannot be maintained for public safety.

The Public Safety Department initiates the closure decision process when weather conditions begin to worsen. The Director of Campus Operations, the Vice President of Administrative Services, the Executive Dean, and the President are all involved in making a decision to close campus.

Four decisions are possible:

  • No closure—Classes will meet and offices will remain open as usual;
  • Delayed opening/early closure—Classes before or after a stated time will not be held but college offices will be open for regular business;
  • Partial closure—Classes will not meet but college offices will be open for business; or
  • Total closure—Classes will not meet and offices will be closed. Essential personnel may be asked to report to work if possible, but otherwise no faculty, staff, or students should be on campus.

Notification Procedures

  • Daytime: If severe conditions develop during regular business hours, the President’s Office or the Vice President of Administrative Services sends an e-mail to BC network users. Public Safety notifies instructors and students in classrooms. Off-campus notifications proceed as described below.
  • Evening: Public Safety notifies all faculty, staff, and students still on campus, by 2:00 p.m. if possible. Off-campus notifications proceed as described below.
  • Overnight: If severe conditions develop overnight (or continue from the previous day), the decision to close campus will be made by 5:15 a.m. if possible, and off-campus notifications will begin immediately.
  • Off-campus notifications: Radio and TV stations are contacted to broadcast messages. Recorded messages are put on the Emergency Information line, (425) 401-6680, and the campus switchboard line, (425) 564-1000. An emergency notice is posted on the BC home page.
  • Telephone Trees are activated to inform staff at home.

Where to Check for Closure Information

BC provides a number of distribution methods for getting this information to you. You are encouraged to use one or more of these services or tools to check for campus status.

  • Visit the BC home page. Any closure or change of campus status will be posted directly on the BC home page.
  • Call BC’s 24-hour recorded hotline at (425) 401-6680.
  • Receive alerts directly by email, phone or mobile device! Use BC’s emergency notification system, Rave Alert and receive emergency e-mail or text message alerts as soon as decisions are made to close the college. Go to www.bellevuecollege.edu/alerts/ to manage your preferences.
  • Use Schoolreport.org—BC also provides emergency information to this website during inclement weather-related closures. This resource also provides an e-mail notification service you may sign up for if you are not eligible to use BC’s Alert System. With Schoolreport.org you’ll get emergency information for Bellevue College as well as 125 other Puget Sound-area schools and school districts.

Earthquake

What to Do During an Earthquake:

  • Stay calm and stay where you are.
  • If you are indoors, stay indoors. Take shelter under a desk or table or along an inner wall. Move away from windows, glass walls, outside walls, or outside doors—these are danger areas.
  • If you are outdoors, stay outdoors. Move away from overhead electric wires, poles, or anything that may shake loose and fall.
  • Assist disabled or injured persons to find and stay in sheltered areas.
  • Remain in your sheltered area until the shaking stops, then evacuate the buildings if necessary (e.g. if there is power loss or serious damage).

What to Do After an Earthquake:

  • Be prepared for additional aftershocks, which may be as strong as the initial earthquake.
  • Evacuate the buildings if instructed to do so. After the “all clear”, be extremely careful when re-entering the buildings.
  • Do not use any open flames until advised that there are no gas leaks.
  • Stay away from fallen or damaged electric wires.
  • If there is a fire or serious injury, follow the instructions given elsewhere in these emergency procedure

Medical Emergency

What to Do in the Case of Injury or Other Medical Emergency:

  • Call Public Safety at ext. 2400 or 425-564-2400 from a main campus public pay phone (it will be a free call). State that medical aid is needed and describe:
    • Your location, including the building and room number if you know them;
    • The telephone number from which you are calling;
    • The location of the injured or sick person (if different from your location);
    • The person’s present condition (e.g. bleeding, breathing erratically, unconscious);
    • The nature of the injury or medical problem if the person has been able to tell you what is wrong.
  • Public Safety will call an aid car if required. A Public Safety officer will arrive at the scene as soon as possible.

What to Do While Waiting for Public Safety to Arrive on the Scene:

  • Return to the injured person; do not leave the scene or leave the injured person alone again.
  • Do not move the injured person.
  • Give first aid if you are qualified to do so.
  • If you are in doubt or are unable to reach public safety, call 911 from a main campus pay phone (it will be a free call) or 911 from a campus phone.

Power Failure

  • Shut off computers and other sensitive equipment.
  • Contact Public Safety at 425 564-2400 (ext. 2400)
  • If there is a fire or other emergency associated with the power failure, follow the appropriate procedures.

Fire

  • If you hear a fire alarm, leave the area immediately, following the evacuation procedures. Remain in your assembly location—usually a parking lot outside the main building complex—until you receive the “all clear” message.
  • What to do if you see or suspect a fire and no alarm is sounding yet:
  • Call Public Safety at ext. 2400 (or 564-2400 from a main campus public pay phone—it will be a free call). State that there is a fire and describe the following:
    • Your location, including the building letter and room number;
    • The telephone number from which you are calling;
    • The exact location of the fire;
    • The extent of the fire (small, large, etc.) and type of fire if you can identify it (wastepaper basket, electrical, chemical, etc.)
  • Public safety will call the fire department. A public safety officer will arrive at the scene as soon as possible.
  • If you are on the main campus, pull a manual fire alarm.(See the emergency map for the alarm boxes nearest your location.
  • You may attempt to extinguish the fire if you know how to do so (however, it is more important to avoid injuring yourself or others). See the emergency map for the closest fire extinguisher.
  • Evacuate the area (see evacuation instructions).
  • If you are in doubt or are unable to reach Public Safety, dial 911 from a main campus pay phone (it will be a free call) or 911 from a campus phone.

Evacuation Procedures

If Public Safety or other emergency personnel direct you to evacuate any college building:

  • Walk—do not run—to the nearest exit.
  • If you are on an upper floor, take the stairs. Do not use the elevators.
  • Evacuate to the outside of the building complex, toward the parking areas. (See the emergency map for the evacuation route and meeting location.) If you are on the main campus, do not evacuate into the central courtyards.
  • Assist disabled or injured persons who are not able to leave the area quickly by themselves.
  • Do not re-enter the buildings until you hear an “all clear” message or a Public Safety officer or other emergency personnel advise you that it is safe to do so.
  • Remain on campus until directed to leave.

Acts of Violence

If you see any violent or threatening behavior which you think is an immediate danger to people or property, follow these procedures:

  • Stay calm.
  • Secure your own safety and the safety of others around you. Remain where you are until it is clearly safe for you to leave the area.
  • Call Public Safety at ext. 2400 and 911 (or 564-2400 from a main campus pay phone; it will be a free call). Describe the following:
    • The location where the incident took place/is taking place;
    • The individual(s) involved in the violence (physical features, clothing, etc.); and
    • Any weapons involved.
  • Cooperate with public safety and with local law enforcement personnel when they have responded to the call and taken control of the situation.
  • If you are a witness, be prepared to make a statement describing what you saw, what happened when, etc.

Hazardous Substances

If you notice something out of place that you can’t readily identify—a suspicious object, odor, spilled or leaking liquid or powder, etc.—it’s best to treat it as a hazardous substance until proven otherwise.

  • In the case of a suspicious odor, open doors and windows, turn off any fans, then evacuate the area immediately.
  • In the case of a suspicious object, powder, or liquid
  • Do not disturb it, touch it, or sniff it
  • Do not smoke or strike a light near it, and extinguish any open flames nearby
  • Turn off electrical equipment near it (especially fans)
  • Secure or block off the area around it.
  • Call Public Safety at ext. 2400 or 425-564-2400. Note: If calling from a main campus public pay phone, it will be a free call).
  • Describe the hazardous substance and its location.
  • If you are in doubt or are unable to reach Public Safety, call 911 from a main campus pay phone (it will be a free call) or 911 from a campus phone.

Bomb Threats

What to Do if You See a Suspicious Object:

  • Stay calm.
  • Call Public Safety at ext. 2400 (or 564-2400 from a main campus public pay phone; it will be a free call).
  • Follow instructions to secure or evacuate the area.
  • Do not touch or disturb the suspicious object in any way.
  • Do not touch or operate electrical appliances or circuitry near it.
  • Do not operate radio communications equipment near it.
  • Do not smoke or strike a light near it and extinguish any open flames nearby.
  • A Public Safety officer will arrive at the scene as soon as possible. Public Safety will contact local law enforcement and emergency response agencies if necessary.
  • If you are in doubt or unable to reach Public Safety, call 911 from a main campus pay phone (it will be a free call) or 911 from a campus phone.

What to Do if You Receive a Call About a Bomb Threat:

  • Stay calm.
  • Keep the person on the line as long as possible. Gain as much information as you can about the bomb and the caller. Take notes if possible. Types of details to note:
    • Date and time the call was received
    • Exact words the caller said
    • Description of the caller’s voice
      • Male or female?
      • Young, middle-aged, old?
      • Any lisp or a regional or foreign accent?
    • When is the bomb going to explode?
    • Where is the bomb right now?
    • What kind of bomb is it? What is it made of?
    • What does it look like?
    • Why did you put it there?
    • What did you say your name was?
    • What is your address, sir (ma’am)?
  • If possible signal another person to call public safety while you are still on the phone with the caller.
  • After the call ends, call Public Safety at ext. 2400. Relay the information you gathered from the caller, especially the location of the bomb and time it is set to go off.

Weapons Use or Threats

Upon hearing gunshots, observing weapons or learning of the imminent threat of a weapon, your focus must be your personal safety and the safety of those around you.

  • Call 911 and/or Public Safety at (425) 564-2400 as quickly as it is safe to do so.
  • DO NOT ASSUME SOMEONE ELSE HAS CALLED!
  • If you are able to safely evacuate the area away from the threat do so at once.
  • Do not enter your vehicles as the ensuing congestion may cause delay in your leaving campus and delay police and other emergency responders from entering campus.
  • If you cannot leave the area attempt to locate a suitable room in which you can lock or barricade the door.
  • Do not go near windows (close the shades if you can) and stay out of sight until help arrives or it is safe for you to leave.

Additional Resources

Reasonable Efforts and Common Sense

If the college is staying open, faculty and staff are expected to make a reasonable effort to come to campus and maintain services for students as much as possible. On the other hand, BC does not expect people to endanger themselves to do so. If there is a weather emergency, use common sense, check traffic advisories and other information resources, and exercise your own judgment about your local conditions and circumstances. Be sure to follow your division or unit procedures for calling in absent if you are unable to make it to campus.