Bellevue College Plans and Procedures

A comprehensive emergency management plan (CEMP) is the “playbook” that provides the foundation for Bellevue College’s response to emergencies that may occur on campus.  Bellevue College is aware that an emergency may occur when we least expect it.  It is for this reason that  detailed plans outlining the decision-making process for the response, the action steps to be taken resulting from the decision, and manner in which a continuity of operations will be maintained allows for BC to maintain safety and security for all impacted in an emergency situation. 


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

The Bellevue College Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) addresses the Colleges planned response to emergencies associated with natural, technological, and human-caused incidents/disasters. This document provides the underlying framework for protection of health, safety, and property of the students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the Bellevue College Campus during incidents/disasters. It is intended to facilitate multiple units, department, agency, and jurisdiction coordination operating from the National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliant framework.

Disasters or emergencies can happen suddenly, creating a situation in which the normal support services for Bellevue College (BC) can become overwhelmed. During crises, BC requires programs to address the needs of emergency response operations and recovery management. To address such emergencies, BC has established a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP), which provides a guideline for the management of the immediate actions and operations required to respond to an emergency or disaster, including initial recovery activities and responsibilities.

The mission priorities of Bellevue College during a disaster are as follows:

1. Protection of life.

2. Protection of college property and the surrounding environment.

3. Minimizing the impacts on the campus community.

The overall objective is to respond to emergency conditions and manage the process of restoring Bellevue College business, academic and research programs, and services. This plan represents the whole Bellevue Campus Emergency Management Plan, which encompasses the facilities, services and the administration of the Bellevue College campus.

The comprehensive approach integrates the five mission areas of emergency management which include:

Prevention – capabilities necessary to avoid, prevent or stop a threatened or actual natural or man-caused event or act of terrorism.

Protection – activities devised by organizations, departments, individuals, to save lives and minimize damage from natural, technological, and human-caused, incidents/disasters.

Mitigation – sustained action to reduce or eliminate risk to people and property from hazards and their effects.

Response – immediate actions to save lives, protect property, and meet basic human needs.

Recovery – short- and long-term activities which begin after disaster impact has been stabilized and seek to restore lost functions.

1.1. Purpose

The purpose of the plan is to establish a comprehensive, all-hazards approach to incident management and to serve as a guide to organizational activities before, during, and after a disaster. It describes capabilities and resources in accordance with the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 38.52 and with guidance from both the University of Washington CEMP (January 2020) for addressing all five mission areas of emergency management: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery.

Bellevue College has established this plan to address the immediate requirements for a major incident/disaster in which normal operations are interrupted, and immediate actions must be taken to:

  • Save and protect the lives of students, employees, and the public.
  • Manage immediate communications and information regarding emergency response operations and campus safety.
  • Provide essential services and operations.
  • Provide and analyze information to support decision-making and action plans.
  • Manage campus resources effectively during an emergency response.

This plan does not replace or supersede any procedures for emergency response or safety already in place at the College. It supplements these procedures with crisis management structure for response operations.

1.2. Laws and Authorities

This plan is established, and receives its authorities, by the following laws and authorities for emergency management and business continuity:

Washington State Statutes (RCW)

  • RCW 38.52.070(1) (directs political subdivisions to establish, or be a member of, a local organization for emergency management).
  • RCW 38.52.070(1) (also requires that local comprehensive emergency management plans must specify the use of the incident command system for multi-agency / multi-jurisdiction operations).
  • Washington Governor’s Executive Order mandating NIMS signed 9/30/2004
  • RCW 38.52.030 (11) (each state agency is responsible for developing an organizational continuity of operations plan that is updated and exercised annually in compliance with the program for interagency coordination of continuity of operations planning).
  • Conduct Code, Chapter 478-124 WA Administrative Code (WAC)


  • Public Law 93-288, Federal Response Plan
  • Public Law 93-234, Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973
  • Public Law 100-707, The Stafford Act
  • Public Law 101-542, Student Right to Know
  • 34, Code of Federal Regulations 668.46 Clery Act
  • 29, Code of Federal Regulations
  • Homeland Security Directive 5, NIMS
  • Homeland Security Directive 8, National Preparedness
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • National Flood Insurance Program
  • National Response Framework
  • 44 Code of Federal Regulations, (CFR) address policy and guidance for Federal Government disaster response and recovery
  • Standing Orders of the Board of Regents, University Policy Directory, Chapter I, Section 2
  • FEMA Target Capabilities List
  • FEMA CPG 101, Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans
  • FEMA CPG 201, Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

1.3. Scope

The scope of this Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) does not cover the college programs and courses offered on sites not controlled by Bellevue College. Bellevue College employees working off-site should be aware of the emergency plans specific to their site.

Each building or division should create their own Continuity of Operations Plan to better respond and recover to emergencies on a department level. A template and general guidelines for this plan can be obtained from the Emergency Operations Officer.

This CEMP is an all-hazards document that evaluates and provides general response mechanisms for natural and man-made emergencies that may arise on the Bellevue College campuses. The flexibility of the CEMP allows for accommodation of emergency events of various types and severities.


  • Provides an overview of how to implement emergency management, and details responsibilities.
  • Uses federal guidance and supporting plans including the National Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Disaster Recovery Frameworks, as well as FEMA’s National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Comprehensive Planning Guide.
  • Describes functions and activities necessary to implement the phases of emergency management (mitigation, preparedness [including prevention and protection], response and recovery) in the Concept of Operations and Responsibilities sections.
  • Defines activation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the Concept of Operations section.

1.4. Situation Overview

1.4.1. Population

Bellevue College is an incredibly diverse campus with over 30 languages spoken by students and staff and students from over 60 countries. The Main Campus employs over 2,000 staff and faculty members with a total student body of over 23,000. However, a maximum of about 7,000-9,000 students are ever on campus simultaneously. The peak population of the employees and students are on campus during normal business hours between 8am and 5pm.

1.4.2. Facilities

The Main Campus is comprised of 18 buildings, one greenhouse, multiple houses, one parking garage, and on-campus student housing. Two buildings have science labs with gas connections and chemical substances. A third building houses surplus cleaning supplies and a HAZMAT shed. One building is an early learning center with approximately 100 children at peak times. The North Campus consists of a single, multistory building and the East Campus has not yet broken ground.

Please refer to the detailed maps in Appendix B for main campus.

1.4.3. Equipment

The Main Campus has one centrally located AED in each building. The AEDs are checked quarterly to ensure that all devices and accessories are fully operational. Fire extinguishers and First Aid kits are located in several locations on every floor of each building on both college campuses.

There are 15 crisis response boxes distributed evenly among the buildings of the Main Campus. Each box is painted blue and labeled “Crisis Response” and are intended to supply individuals during emergency events until emergency responders can begin rescue efforts.

Please refer to the Emergency Equipment maps in Appendix B.

1.4.4. Threats & Hazards Impacting Bellevue College

Bellevue College can experience a variety of incidents and disasters that may affect students, staff, infrastructure, or property directly and/or indirectly. Response procedures for various incidents and disasters are included on the Bellevue College Public Safety Emergency Management Website. A “Bomb Threat Procedures and Checklist” document is also available at each department reception area to assist when receiving a bomb threat phone call.

While not in priority order, the below listing is taken into account and planned for as a primary or cascading hazards throughout the campuses and region.


  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Severe Storms
  • Landslides
  • Volcano
  • Wildfires/Urban Interface
  • Avalanche
  • Tsunami/seiche
  • Tornado
  • Straight line winds
  • Hazardous Air Quality/Extreme Heat
  • Pandemic/Epidemic


  • Utility/Power Outage
  • Network Failure
  • Transportation Disruption
  • Major Traffic Accident
  • Hazardous Material Release
  • Internal Fire

Adversarial/ Human Caused

  • Active Threat
  • Research/Academic Sabotage
  • Cyber Attack
  • Bombing
  • Civil Disturbance/ Riots
  • Other Acts of Terrorism
  • Hostage Situation

Disaster Coordination in the State of Washington with Local, State and Federal Agencies

Bellevue College is an institution of higher education in the state of Washington. During a full scale, region-wide emergency, the BC will coordinate with local, county and state agencies. The process for reporting and emergency coordinating is shown below in Figure 1, Disaster Coordination with Local, County, and State Agencies.

1.5. Planning Assumptions

Emergency planning requires a commonly accepted set of assumed operational conditions that provide a foundation for establishing protocols and procedures. These assumptions are called planning assumptions.

The BC CEMP is based on the following planning assumptions and considerations:

  • A disaster may occur with little or no warning; may escalate far more rapidly than Bellevue College capabilities; and could require outside assistance from other public and private sector partners.
  • Critical lifeline utilities may be interrupted including water delivery, electrical power, natural gas, telephone communications, microwave and repeater-based radio systems, cellular telephones and information & network systems and internet systems.
  • The National Incident Management System and Incident Command System will be the foundation of all emergency response activities before, during, and after an incident and/or disaster.
  • Initial response by the Bellevue College Public Safety Department and all other partnering agencies will be to take actions that have the greatest lifesaving potential under the circumstances.
  • All emergencies begin at the lowest level of jurisdictional level. Therefore, most emergencies impacting BC will begin at the campus level.
  • Regional and local services may be limited in capabilities or not in service.
  • Proper implementation and understanding of these guidelines through training and exercising will reduce disaster-related losses.
  • BC administration must continue to function under all threats, emergencies, and disaster conditions.
  • Emergency responders may become casualties or victims of the disaster and experience damage to their homes and personal property.
  • The CEMP must be flexible and be able to function under a variety of unanticipated, complex, and unique circumstances.
  • Day-to-day functions that do not contribute directly to disaster operations may be suspended for the duration of the public emergency. The efforts that would normally be required for these functions will be redirected to accomplish disaster management and response tasks.
  • Effective disaster preparedness requires continual public awareness and community self-preparation, including students, staff, and faculty.
  • Unofficial groups of responders, the public, and outside resources may hinder the local effort. Impacts might include traffic congestion, unsolicited supplies and donations, and additional strain on degraded infrastructure.
  • Incidents may cause significant injuries, alterations, and damage to the environment resulting in numerous casualties and fatalities, displaced individuals, property loss, disruption of normal life support systems, disruption of essential public services, and damage to basic infrastructure.
  • Incidents pose a challenge for the whole community but specifically the access and functional needs population which includes children, individuals with disabilities, diverse communities, the elderly, homeless, and people with limited English proficiency. These groups may be lacking in resources such as food, shelter, and transportation.

1.6. Limitations

The plan or any of its appendices, implementing instructions, or procedures are not intended to deal with every potential scenario that may occur during times of emergency, but rather to identify the organization, the processes, and the responsibilities of the respective participants who may be involved. The possibility of local resources becoming overwhelmed is a reality; the partnering agencies can only make a reasonable effort to respond based on the situation(s), information and the resources available at the time of the disaster.

In the event of severe devastation throughout the Puget Sound Region, fundamental resources such as water, food, first aid supplies, utilities, fuel, shelter, sanitation supplies, and basic survival supplies may be needed. Bellevue College, City of Bellevue, and King County do not have sufficient supplies and equipment on hand for an extended response.

The arrival of state and/or federal assistance may be delayed for several days or even weeks after an incident. There is no guarantee implied by this plan that perfect mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery will be practical or possible.

The disaster response and relief activities of the Bellevue College may be limited by:

The inability of staff, faculty, students, and visitors to BC to be self-sufficient for more than 72 hours without additional supplies of water, food, shelter, and medical supplies.

  • Lack of public services, sewage treatment services, and regional transportation due to damage of facilities and equipment, and shortages of trained personnel. The impact of this shortage may be felt immediately because of increased need and necessity for 24-hour operation sustained over long periods of time.
  • Damage to essential lifelines such as roads, rail, utilities, and communication networks.
  • The shortage of critical supplies due to reduced emergency storage capacities.
  • There may be damage to responder communications due to equipment damage or overloading of landlines, cellular telephone lines, Satellite phone lines, and 911 centers.

1.7. Operational Priorities and Vulnerable Populations Planning

Certain portions of the population may have limited ability to be self-sufficient during an emergency or disaster situation. Populations with access and functional needs may include those members of the community who:

  • Have disabilities
  • Are elderly
  • Are children
  • Are from diverse cultures
  • Visitors with limited English proficiency or are non-English speaking
  • Are transportation disadvantaged
  • Community members who have service animals

2. Concept of Operations and Organization

2.1. Continuity of Operations

This plan provides the organized management system for Bellevue College to follow during and after emergencies. It is designed as a flexible system in which part or the entire plan may be activated, as appropriate to the situation. This plan addresses the entire spectrum of contingencies ranging from relatively minor incidents to large-scale disasters. Some emergencies will be preceded by a buildup or a warning period, providing sufficient time for appropriate officials and administration to warn the public and implement mitigation measures.

Other emergencies occur with little or no advanced warning and require immediate action and efficient and coordinated mobilization and deployment of resources. Bellevue College’s

Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan is considered a management tool, in that it provides an overall organization and general procedures for the management of information, activities, and operations during an emergency. The planning is based on the Incident Command System (ICS), the management structure adopted throughout the United States and internationally, State of Washington Emergency Management Division, and various US Department of Homeland Security Presidential Decision Directives and NIMS guidance.

This approach to emergency management is based on a five-section structure that contains functional positions for each critical operation of the Bellevue College during an emergency. It provides for a smooth transition from response to restoration of normal services and the implementation of programs for recovery.

2.2. Mission Areas of Emergency Management

2.2.1. Prevention –

Prevention actions are those taken to avoid an incident or to intervene to stop an incident from occurring or progressing. Prevention involves actions to protect lives and property. It involves applying intelligence and other information to a range of activities that may include such countermeasures as deterrence operations, heightened inspections, improved surveillance, and security operations. More specific prevention actions include investigations to determine the full nature and source of the threat and the use of specific law enforcement operations aimed at deterring, preempting, interdicting, or disrupting illegal activity and apprehending perpetrators.

2.2.2. Protection –

Protection consists of two components – planning and preparedness – and encompasses the full range of deliberate, critical tasks and activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the operational capability to prevent, protect against, response to and recover from emergencies/disasters. Preparedness, in the context of an actual or potential incident, involves actions to enhance readiness and minimize impacts.

Protection consists of almost any pre-disaster action that will improve the safety or effectiveness of disaster response including those activities that have the potential to save lives, lessen property damage, and increase individual and community control over the subsequent disaster response. Bellevue College will validate their level of emergency readiness through internal and external drills, participation in exercises.

Protection through preparedness actions develop operational capabilities in advance of an emergency or incident in order to mitigate or prevent an incident, and to protect visitors, students, staff, and faculty. Training and exercises are two critical activities of preparedness. Training activities range from familiarization of plans to practical application of systems and procedures. Exercises include discussion-based exercises (seminars, workshops, tabletops, and games) and operation-based exercises (drills, functional, and full-scale) in order to test the full spectrum of campus preparedn

Drills and Trainings include:


· Fire Drills

· Earthquake Drills

· Evacuation Drills


· CPR/First Aid/AED/Narcan

· Severe Bleeding Response

· Fire Safety

· Active Shooter/Dangerous Intruder

Our goal is to conduct bi-annual tabletops with IMT members to discuss various disaster and incident scenarios to clarify response roles and procedures. These will expand to tabletops and exercises as knowledge of the emergency response procedures is solidified and departmental Continuity of Operations Plans are completed.

Exercise outcomes will be documented and used in a continuous planning effort to improve BC’s emergency readiness. This continuous planning endeavor will culminate in revisions to this plan in the constant attempt to achieve a higher state of readiness for an emergency or disaster response.

Additional examples of protection activities include:

· Developing and maintain emergency plans and procedures

· Providing public education and awareness

· Use of risk assessment tools

· Development and implementation of continuity of operations plans

2.2.3. Mitigation –

Mitigation activities can occur during any phase of the disaster cycle. Mitigation planning requires BC to identify hazards that impact their respective communities and then to identify actions and activities to reduce any losses from those hazards. Mitigation activities reduce overall risks to the population and structures, while also reducing reliance on external funding from actual disaster declarations.

Key mitigation activities include the following:

· Ongoing public education and outreach activities designed to reduce loss of life and destruction of property

· Structural retrofitting to deter or lessen the impact of incidents and reduce loss of life, destruction of property and impact on the environment Code enforcement through such activities as zoning regulations, land management, and building codes

· Encouraging citizens to be prepared and self-sufficient for a minimum of 24 hours

Bellevue College’s mitigation efforts include, but are not limited to the following:

· Emergency shutoff utility valves

2.2.4. Response –

Emergency and disaster incident responses are designed to minimize suffering, loss of life, property damage, and environmental impact and to speed recovery. They include initial efforts to stabilize the incident, damage assessment, emergency and short-term medical care, and the return of vital life-support system to minimum operating conditions. When Bellevue College receives information about a potential emergency or disaster, they will notify participating departments and other organizations under this plan and will conduct an initial assessment to determine the need to alert faculty, staff, students, and visitors and set in motion appropriate actions to reduce risk and potential impacts.

Response activities may include:

· Emergency shelter, housing, food, water

· Search and rescue

· Public Information and Warning

· Emergency medical services

· Public health and safety

· Decontamination following a chemical, biological or radiological attack

· Removal of threats to the environment

· Emergency restoration of critical services (electric power, water, sewer, telephone)

· Private sector provision of needed goods and services through contracts or donations

· Securing of crime scenes, investigation and collection of evidence

Public Safety has established response strategies and actions to be taken before, during, and after an emergency occurs. The main campus evacuation map is listed as Appendix B. For responding to inclement weather, please refer to the Weather Emergency Procedures plan.

2.2.5. Recovery –

Recovery activities involve the restoration of services to the public and returning the affected area to pre-emergency conditions or improved conditions. These activities may involve both short-term and long-term plans to assist individuals and communities return to normal. Recovery programs are designed to restore Bellevue College to a point in which it can resume normal functionality.

There is no definite point at which response ends and recovery begins. Recovery efforts will occur after the initial response phase when emergency agencies have returned to pre-disaster operations and will be integrated with day-to-day functions. Recovery programs implement mitigation measures designed to prevent future occurrences of potential damage from future incidents.

Recovery actions may include:

· Debris cleanup and removal

· Temporary housing and other assistance for disaster survivors and their families

· Restoration of public services (electric power, water, sewer, internet, and telephone)

· Crisis counseling and mental health

· Repair and/or replacement of damaged BC facilities

· Planning and programs for long-term economic stabilization, community recovery and mitigation

A disaster may render certain buildings or facilities uninhabitable. The long-term closure, demolition, and reconstruction of impacted facilities should be coordinated through Bellevue College. Departments, classes, and activities in affected locations may be permanently moved. These closures will require specialized plans to be developed and executed.

The Incident Management Team will work directly with the Incident Commander to create a Recovery Plan and timetable which will be communicated to all involved parties. Recovery aims to re-establish business operations based on continuity plans.

Key goals should include:

· Safety of students, faculty, and staff

· Managing fiscal expenditures

· Essential records maintenance

· Staffing

· Damage assessment

· Utility coordination

· Reunification of personnel and students

2.3. Emergency Declaration Process

The Bellevue College President or designee has the authority to declare a college-wide State of Emergency. If an activation of the CEMP and/or EOC is required at Bellevue College, the President or designee will declare an emergency utilizing the Declaration of Emergency template in Appendix D.

The City of Bellevue will coordinate their emergency response effort to an emergency or disaster within their jurisdiction and should declare or proclaim a state of emergency in

accordance with local codes, charters, or ordinances. When the incident exceeds the capacity of the city, their emergency management agency will request assistance through county.

2.4. Emergency Operations Center, Training and Activation Levels

2.4.1. General Operations

Emergency Operations Centers are activated for a variety of incidents, threats and events. Some circumstances that might trigger center activation include:

· Multiple jurisdictions or agencies involved in an incident.

· The Incident Commander or Unified Command indicates an incident could expand rapidly, involve cascading effects or require additional resources.

· A similar incident in the past led to EOC activation.

· The EOC Director or an appointed or elected official directs EOC activation.

· An incident is imminent such as predicted earthquake, flooding, hazardous weather, or elevated threat levels.

· Threshold events described in an emergency operations plan occur.

· Significant impacts to the population are anticipated.

2.4.2. EOC Training & Exercise Programs

Bellevue College Emergency Management assists departments in building and improving the competencies and capabilities of the college to prepare for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from the potential impacts of emergencies. BC Emergency Management provides the Incident Management Team (IMT) with exercises intended to shape plans; assess and validate plans; and identify and address areas of improvement.

IMT members and any other personnel who will serve in any capacity within the EOC are recommended to complete courses: IS100, IS200, IS700, IS800, and IS363. Tabletop exercises are developed regular to allow for further opportunities to clarify roles during an emergency.

Exercises familiarize personnel with roles and responsibilities to strengthen communication throughout Bellevue College. The exercise program focuses on delivering tools to assist in exercise design, development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning. BC Emergency Management utilizes the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program to plan and deliver exercises throughout the year.

Bellevue College manages emergencies throughout all phases of the disaster cycle in a manner that will improve efforts amongst students, faculty, staff, and with infrastructure and resources. By following the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Bellevue College is prepared to

utilize the multiple operational systems that include the Incident Command system (ICS), Multiagency Coordination System (MCS), and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

2.4.3. EOC Activation Levels

Levels of Emergency Response

Consistent with our partnering agencies and jurisdictions in the City of Bellevue, King County, and Washington State EMD by utilizing the same hierarchy in our levels of activation for a response. As a guide, these levels are specified, as follows:

Level IV: Routine Operations

Emergency Operation Mode – Steady State

This is a day-to-day event or incident requiring minimal coordination and assistance. The situation may be such that it can be more efficiently and effectively supported without primary EOC activation or may require minimal coordination between college departments. There is no foreseen need to proclaim an emergency. Public Safety Duty Officer is available as needed.

Level III: Low Impact Incident

Emergency Operation Mode – Enhanced

Definition: A small incident or event that requires coordination with outside agencies, such as severe weather, interfacing with first responders, or escalating an incident.

This is slightly elevated beyond a day-to-day event or incident. This requires basic emergency management staff situational awareness monitoring and periodic updates to the EOC team. In this situation the EOC would not be activated, only emergency management personnel would be notified to monitor the situation and provide minimal coordination between college departments, the City of Bellevue, or another local agency. There is no foreseen need to proclaim an emergency.

Minimum Staffing of the ICS:

· Incident Commander

· Public Information Officer

· Liaison Officer

· Operations Section Chief


· The on-site lead/department will notify Public Safety and the Director of Public Safety or designee of the incident.

· The Incident Commander (VP of Administrative Services, Director of Public Safety, or Emergency Operations Manager) will monitor the situation and provide guidance on expanding or calling in more resources.

· The VP of Administrative Services, Director of Public Safety, or designee may choose to open the EOC.

· If the incident has the potential to grow, the Incident Commander will notify necessary EOC leadership and support staff.

· The Emergency Operations Manager or designee will serve as the EOC Director.

Level II: Medium Impact Incident

Emergency Operation Mode – Partial

Definition: A major scheduled event (conference or sporting event) or an emergency incident that is severe and causes damage to Bellevue College Campus and/or interruption to Bellevue College operations. Coordination of external resources and campus resources is needed to respond effectively. A partial activation of the Emergency Operations Center is needed.

This is any incident requiring more than routine coordination between college departments, the City of Bellevue/ other local agency, and basic emergency management staff situational awareness monitoring. This type of event or incident would generally involve multiple college departments, local agencies, county agencies, or jurisdictions. The Bellevue College EOC would be activated, and a potential for a proclamation of emergency.

Minimum Staffing Requirements of ICS:

· Incident Commander

· Public Information Officer

· Liaison Officer

· Section Chiefs (as needed)

· Partial activation of other EOC staff (as needed)


· The on-site lead/department will notify Public Safety and the Director of Public Safety or designee of the incident.

· The Incident Commander (VP of Administrative Services, Director of Public Safety, or Emergency Operations Manager) will monitor the situation and provide guidance on expanding or calling in more resources.

· Public Safety staff sets up the EOC and calls on support staff for assistance.

o Some operations and classes may be suspended.

o Public Safety will designate a Liaison to serve as a connection with the external agencies.

Level I: High Impact Incident

Emergency Operation Mode – Full Activation

Definition: The emergency situation is a disaster condition and Bellevue College must fully activate the Emergency Operations Center to address and immediately respond to the emergency. This includes a regional disaster, active shooter scenario, multiple agencies deployed to campus for support, potential extensive evacuations of the site, etc. In the case of a regional disaster, Bellevue College may request mutual assistance from the local police agencies, local fire agencies, the City of Bellevue, King County Zone 1, other higher education institutions, and/or other City/State agencies.

This is any large, complex, serious or long-duration event or incident requiring a high degree of coordination/support, and generally involving state and Federal assistance. In particularly complex situations with several organizations involved, or where there is a high degree of media or public interest. The college EOC will be activated, and a proclamation of emergency will be highly recommended.

Minimum Staffing Requirements of ICS:

· Incident Commander

· Public Information Officer

· Liaison Officer

· Section Chiefs (as needed)

· Full activation of other EOC staff (as needed)


· The on-site lead/department will notify Public Safety and the Director of Public Safety or designee of the incident.

· The Incident Commander (VP of Administrative Services, Director of Public Safety, or Emergency Operations Manager) will monitor the situation and provide guidance on expanding or calling in more resources.

· The Emergency Operations Plan and Center are fully activated. Normal operations are suspended.

· The Emergency Operations Center coordinates efforts with the City of Bellevue EM, King County Zone 1, King County EM and/or State as needed.

· Unified Command is used to manage incident response.

· Mutual aid agreements may be activated and aid is requested.

2.5. Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Organization

An Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is a centralized coordination center for support of incident response(s). EOC’s allow for key decision makers, response, recovery decisions, and coordination activities to occur. The EOC also allows for the coordination of resources for one

or multiple incidents. They are equipped with sufficient technology and communications to effectively support an incident, such as television, multiple types of communication, computers, plotters, geographic information systems, cameras, and supplies. The EOC is located in the K building.

EOC’s play a critical role in incident being locally executed. Although not part of the field response Incident Command System, an EOC is a crucial part of an effective Multi-Agency Coordination System (MACS). EOCs are staffed with subject-matter experts for supporting response and recovery efforts across the college. This staffing can include stakeholders from non-government organizations, non-BC affiliated staff, and liaisons for state and federal agencies.

Emergency Management often requires a multi-level, multi-function approach for strategies involving a multitude of functions. Bellevue College’s EOC is consistent with the International Emergency Management standards of the Incident Command System (ICS) as a base for organizing emergency response and planning. Below is a brief description of each section:

2.5.1. EOC Management

Provide overall leadership within the EOC. Includes the Incident Commander, Safety Officer, Public Information Officer, Section Chiefs, and/or EOC Director.

2.5.2. Operations Section

Overall direction, management and coordination for all operational functions. Establish Operational strategies and priorities for the response.

· Campus Infrastructure & Public Works

· Communications & Computing

· Hazardous Materials Response

· Mass Care, Housing & Human Services

· Medical Triage/First Aid

· Public Health & Medical Services

· Public Safety & Security

· Search & Rescue

2.5.3. Planning Section

Overall management and analysis of the disaster/incident. Assess information in order to create plans for every phase of the incident.

· Situation Status & Documentation

· Building Inspection/Damage & Needs Assessment

· Capital & Space Planning

2.5.4. Logistics and Resources Section

Ensures all field, support, and EOC units are able to perform response activities with adequate delivery and tracking of resources and personnel.

· Resources Support & Procurement

· Transportation & Vehicle Support Services

· Volunteer & Donations Management

2.5.5. Finance and Administration Section

Provide overall management of financial accounting and analysis for the emergency response. Keeps leadership advised of costs, losses, and overall financial impact of emergency operations.

· Emergency Accounting

· Payroll

· Insurance/Claims

· Legal Counsel

· Long Term Recovery

2.5.6. Liaisons

Individuals assigned to coordinate with other agencies, departments, and key staff to relay important information and/or receive status updates per EOC leadership request.

2.5.7. News and Information Section

Members of the Communication Team will work within this group to monitor media releases, media requests, and develop official messages for Bellevue College’s response efforts. This section coordinates directly with the PIO and follows protocols found within the Crisis Communications Plan.

3. Emergency Communications

In the event of an emergency, notifying the population on campus is a top priority. Bellevue College has multiple notification methods available to students, staff, and faculty. In the event of a Partial or Full Activation of the EOC, the Crisis Communication Team will convene to execute the Crisis Communication Plan and notify the appropriate media sources as well as update BC social media.

3.1. Monitoring, Detection, Alert & Warning

3.1.1. BC Alerts

BC Alerts is a communication tool that is used to send e-mails, text messages, and updates to Bellevue College’s homepage. BC Alerts is hosted offsite, so it is not impacted by network outage on campus. The communication system allows Public Safety to deliver notifications in an efficient manner to those who may be impacted by emergency incidents.

· Note that BC Alerts are Opt-In and does not automatically register new students/employees.

3.1.2. AppArmor

AppArmor is an application that is part of the BC Alerts notification tools. There will be a small AppArmor icon () on the task bar of all campus computers indicating the application has been installed by the ITS department. When a BC Alert is sent and the AppArmor feature is enabled, each campus computer will receive a visual and audio alert on the desktop, with the notification alert.

3.1.3. “Big Bird” Warning System

This public access system uses two large megaphones mounted on building rooftops facing inward, allowing Public Safety to transmit voice messages to the Campus that can be heard from miles away.

3.2. Communications Procedures

Bellevue College has multiple plans available to guide communications during hazardous weather conditions or an emergency incident. Below is a list of those plans with a brief description of each one’s use.

3.2.1. Crisis Communications Plan

The Crisis Communications Plan is used to provide a system for when an incident or hazard is threatening the safety and security of the college community. It details procedures for convening the Crisis Communications Team as well as guidelines for communications and media response during an incident.

3.2.2. Public Information Officer Procedures

Public Information Officer Procedures – For specific incident procedures and guidelines on PIO response, please refer to the Public Information Officer Emergency Procedures.

3.2.3. Weather Closure Communications

The Weather Closure Communications Procedure details the types of closures likely to occur, how to make a closure decision, and how to notify the appropriate parties of the closure.

3.2.4. Safety Lead Notification Procedures

Safety Lead Notification Procedures- Safety Leads are assigned to specific Campus buildings and will assist with building evacuations. Safety Leads are led by the Emergency Operations Manager. For specific incident procedures and guidelines regarding Safety Lead Response, please refer to the Safety Lead Notification procedures.

Appendix A: Hazard and Risk Assessment

Bellevue College Emergency Management Hazard and Vulnerability Assessment Tool

Appendix B: Main Campus Maps

BC Main Campus Parking Map
Bellevue College Evacuation Map 2023

Appendix D: Declaration of Emergency Template

At the recommendation of the Public Safety Emergency Management Team, when an incident requires a multi-day or multi-agency response, the Bellevue College President may declare a state of emergency:

“Because of [the incident] I am declaring a state of emergency for Bellevue College. I am also invoking the Campus Emergency Operations Plan, and activating the Emergency Management Team to start appropriate procedures necessary to meet the emergency response efforts, safeguard persons and property, and maintain the integrity of our campus facilities.

In the event of an on-campus incident or disaster site, only emergency first responders, and those faculty and staff who have been assigned specific emergency response or recovery duties will be allowed to enter the immediate disaster site. All media access and communications to the public will be managed by the Office of Communications and the Public Information Officer(s).

Any media desiring access to campus will report to the Communications Lead: [insert name and/or contact info].

Information flow to our College constituents will be via [insert media methods and/or person]. Please check the Bellevue College website for frequent updates on class scheduling and re-opening of the campus.

This declaration will last until further notice by the Office of the President.”[Inked signature and date]

1.0 Executive Summary

1.1 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide a system for when a disaster or hazard is threatening the safety and security of the college community. Natural or man-made hazards can affect Bellevue College and pose an actual or potential threat to the public. This Crisis Communications Plan provides guidelines for communicating within Bellevue College, as well as to media and the public, in the event of an emergency, crisis.

1.2 Scope

This plan details processes, roles, and responsibilities for Bellevue College’s Crisis Communications Team and may be used in conjunction with the Bellevue College Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP). This plan covers all Bellevue College campuses, including Main and North Campuses.

Priorities for all emergency response activities at Bellevue College are as follows:

  1. Protection of life: includes students, faculty, staff, and the general public.
  2. Stabilization of the event: includes isolating the incident and securing the area, then determining a course of action.
  3. Assessment of damages: includes evaluation of buildings and grounds.
  4. Protect college property and the surrounding environment: includes preventing further damage to Bellevue College property, assets, and the surrounding environment.
  5. Restoration of operations: includes establishing priorities and implementing continuity of operations plans to return to normal operations.

1.3 Training, Review, and Update of the Crisis Communications Plan

The Bellevue College Crisis Communications Plan will be evaluated annually to ensure personnel are aware of response actions and plan changes. Key staff will participate in exercises to improve skills, evaluate plans, and provide recommended changes for plan improvements. Following emergency events, After Action Reports will be developed to determine areas of necessary training and edits to the Crisis Communications Plan.

6/2018 2019 Plan – Format Changes Adrienne Chambers /Kristin Sanders

10/2023 2023 Plan – Content Changes Jason Koenig

2.0 Procedures

2.1 Assess

People who become aware of a potential crisis or emergency must contact the Campus Public Safety at 425-466-9365 (24/7). Public Safety may invoke this plan and convene the Bellevue College Emergency Notification Team for all incidents on campus that could have an impact to operations or safety. In the event of imminent threat of danger it is advised that 911 is called prior to Campus Public Safety.

2.2 Timeliness

Timeliness is essential in communicating crucial information to the College community and the news media. The Crisis Communications Team will be assembled as quickly as possible. Based on the timing, location, and severity of the incident(s) or event(s), this may occur either in person or virtually. Any member of the Crisis Communications Team may convene the group and should be lead by the highest ranking or most knowledgeable personnel.

2.3 Imminent Danger

In the event of an imminent threat to the campus community, the Crisis Communications Team activation may be skipped and a BC Alerts campus notification will be sent out to the campus community to provide emergency instructions or information. Once the message has been sent, the Crisis Communications Team will convene as soon as possible.

2.4 Campus Disruption

All incidents, emergencies, or crises that may cause disruption to normal campus operations or have a high level impact on Bellevue College shall engage the Crisis Communications Team and be documented appropriately.

2.5 Conferencing

A Microsoft TEAMS group will be established for all members of the Crisis Communications Team. Virtual meetings and document sharing will be accessible through this method. A briefing will be conducted to provide situational awareness of the incident and determine further action.

2.6 Authorization

The Crisis Communications Team will authorize the following activities:

  • Notifying Key Constituents: The core group will determine which additional personnel should be informed first. It is important to keep in mind that people will seek, and believe, other sources of information (e.g., news reports, rumors, word of mouth) in the absence of official communication. Effective communication will help to quell rumors, maintain morale, and ensure public safety. Please refer to Appendix A for a description of the communications tools, their possible applications in a crisis, and who is able to operate those tools.  Key constituents include:
    • Deans
    • Students
    • Faculty
    • Staff
    • Parents
    • Board of Trustees
    • Public Officials (Governor, legislators, Mayors)
    • Community Partners (Police, Fire, EMS, Metro)
    • Neighbors
    • General Public
    • News Media
  • Fact Sheet:  As soon as possible, after stabilization of the incident, a fact sheet may be prepared to supplement communication with key constituents and information provided to reporters by the designated spokesperson(s). It will be approved by the Vice President of Administrative Services or their designee and checked for accuracy by those with a direct knowledge of the crisis.
  • Alerting the Media: The Public Information Officer (PIO) or their designee should decide on the best way of reaching news media. In cases where a crisis is likely to be prolonged and/or particularly complex, the PIO may create a Joint Information Center and/or media briefing center to coordinate the information flow and ensure that the right people are involved in collecting and disseminating information. Consideration should be given to appropriate media staging locations that can accommodate vehicles such as satellite trucks.
    • Communication with media must occur frequently, as new information is known.
    • Information from news briefings may be captured in audio and video and posted to the internet along with fact sheets.
    • Efforts will be made to monitor news coverage and correct any significant inaccuracies, either in those media reports themselves or in material distributed by the college.
    • In general, the college will welcome reporters and allow them as much access as determined necessary by Public Safety and the Executive Board. PIOs will facilitate access to key individuals and respond quickly to requests, if possible.
    • Any media desiring access to campus will report to the PIO or their designee:

3.0 After Action Reports

The Crisis Communications Team may be called, along with other responding parties, to assist in the After Action Report or debrief. This will occur within 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, of the incident or crisis. The Bellevue College After Action Report template will be used, and the report will be sent to the Vice President of Administrative Services or designee upon completion to share with appropriate parties.

4.0 Appendices

4.1 Appendix A: Communication Tools

4.1.1 BC Alerts

BC Alerts is Bellevue College’s official emergency notification system used to communicate with students and employees during campus emergencies. BC Alerts is a licensed service Bellevue College pays for to offer the quickest and most reliable communications possible. This system is used only during campus emergencies that pose a safety concern for the community. This communication tool is used to send e-mails, text messages, RSS posts, and updates to the College’s homepage. The alert system is hosted offsite, so it is not impacted by a network or power outage on campus. This alert system requires individuals to sign-up for text and e-mail messaging. The communication system allows for Public Safety to deliver notifications in an efficient manner to those who may be impacted by emergency incidents. AppArmor

AppArmor is an application that is part of the BC Alerts notification tools. There will be a small AppArmor icon on the task bar of all campus computers indicating the application has been installed by the ITS department. When a BC Alert is sent and the AppArmor feature is enabled, each campus computer will receive a visual and audio alert on the desktop, with the notification alert.

4.1.2 “Big Bird” Warning System

This public access system uses two large megaphones mounted on building rooftops and facing inward, allowing Public Safety to transmit voice messages to the Campus.

4.1.3 “EM Talk” Radio Channel

Many departments at Bellevue College use radios to communicate among themselves for day-to-day operations. In the event of an incident, the “EM Talk” radio channel may be used to broadcast messages. This channel is used regularly by Bellevue College Safety Leads.

4.1.4 Social Media

BC Alerts will be posted to social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) by the PIO or a member of the Institutional Advancement team. Any messages provided via social media should be previously approved by the Incident Commander.


RCW 38.52.010 states that “continuity of operations planning means the internal effort of an organization to ensure that the capability exists to continue essential functions and services in response to a comprehensive array of potential emergencies or disasters” (House Bill 1047). It is required by law (RCW 38.52.030) for all state agencies to develop a continuity of operations plan that is updated and exercised annually. These plans will then be used to determine services that are necessary to maintaining critical functions.


Each department, unit, or division must prepare and complete its own continuity of operations plan. Once completed, the department should ensure the plan is updated and exercised at least once annually. Bellevue College will use the information in this plan to determine the support services and functions needed to maintain critical College functions. Completion of this plan should be done with input from the department’s staff and faculty to ensure accuracy. The template is designed to be expanded or shortened based on department specific needs. If your department contains sub-departments, it is essential that each sub-department completes a continuity of operations plan that will then contribute to the parent department’s overall continuity of operations plan. Once completed, the plan should be given to the Director or Dean of the department, and a copy should be submitted to Bellevue College’s Emergency Management Team.

Note: Mission-critical or essential operations of a unit are defined as those functions that must be maintained and protected due to their critical nature no matter the type of emergency is affecting the College.

Section 1 – Department Organization Information

Department Chain of Command

Note: In an emergency, the Dean or Director may delegate tasks to their employees to ensure essential department functions are sustained. It is recommended for the Dean or Director to maintain an updated list of employee contact information. Currently delegated employees may not be available following a disaster, so the Dean or Director may delegate tasks outside of an employee’s regular job description during these times.

Who will be responsible for updating your department’s personnel contact list? _______________________________

Section 2 – Department Essential Functions

Note: Department essential functions may change based on the amount of time the department is affected by the emergency. The department will be determined affected if they have not returned to fully operational. The tables below list the department essential functions when closed for particular periods of time.

Affected for one week to one month

Affected for one to two months

Affected for two or more months

Section 3 – Department Staffing

Use the table below to list department essential functions and who will be responsible for ensuring that they are accomplished.

Note: Delegation of Authority will later determine the person responsible if those listed in this table are unavailable at the time of the emergency. If absentee rates approach 50%, it may not be possible for a department to maintain those operations identified as first priority. Cross-training employees and restricting operations under these circumstances should be considered.

Identify measures the department will take to inform employees of the essential nature of their position and what unit expectations are regarding their duty to report to work during an emergency.

Identify measures your unit could take to assist essential employees in fulfilling their duties in other departments.

Section 4 – Department Resources

Use the table below to identify critical resources and what functions they are necessary for.
Note: it is important to consider items such as fax machines, copiers, scanners, computer programs, etc. that are critical to maintaining department functions.

If your department will require resources from other internal departments, list those resources and the department who will assist you in the table below.

Note: It is important that you contact other departments that you will need resources from to achieve your mission essential functions.

What buildings will need to remain open?

What critical equipment will your unit need to remain in service?

What critical equipment or materials would need to be moved to consolidate in another building if your offices cannot remain in their current location?

Are all hazardous materials safely and securely stored?

Ensure that hazardous materials are segregated by hazard class and that secondary containment is provided if needed.

List any essential documentation for your department. For example, Human Resources may determine personnel files to be essential documentation for the department.

List all contractors or vendors that your department relies on to provide services that are not provided by internal College departments.

Appendix A – Recovery

The table below should list all essential functions and what is needed to restore that function to full capacity. Once it is determined that the College is in the recovery stage of a disaster, departments will begin their restoration beginning with these pre-determined essential functions that are listed in priority order.

Note: All units should consider recovery procedures carefully. Resources and personnel may not be fully available immediately following a disaster. Depending on the specific needs of each unit, a detailed recovery plan may be recommended.

Appendix B – Table of Updates and Exercises


The winter season means the possibility of severe weather

The campus Public Safety Department will monitor the weather report for any storm systems over the next several months with potential to impact campus operations.  If it looks like the weather may impact operations, we will provide additional instruction via email and BC Alerts as soon as possible. In the meantime, please read on to familiarize yourself with our inclement weather procedures.

Emergency Closure Procedures provide details on our decision process, considerations for setting up voice mail greetings, and notification procedures should we have to close the campus due to weather (or any other emergency-related event). Student Housing will remain open unless otherwise announced.  

Employees are encouraged to sign up for “BC Alerts”, which is the College emergency notification system, to receive updates on our closure status.  To set up alerts, go to BC Alerts to add your personal email(s) and phone number(s) to receive instant notifications about status updates. You can also find easy updates on campus conditions by going to Bellevue College’s main website.  

Ways to Stay Informed

  1. BC Alerts, BC’s emergency notification systems.
    • Add your personal emails and phone numbers and receive instant notifications as soon as status    changes.
    • Go to to manage your settings.
  2. Visit the BC home page – Closure status will be posted.
  3. Call BC’s emergency hotline at (425) 401-6680

For Employees

The following updated Frequently Asked Questions Sheet (FAQs) was created to assist in answering common questions related to time and leave reporting during suspended operations due o inclement weather or other emergency. This is a non-comprehensive list and may change in accordance to policy or contractual changes.

UPDATED Inclement Weather _ Suspended Operations – FAQs

How We Decide When to Close

Because closing campus seriously disrupts programs and services for our students, BC makes every effort to remain open despite bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances such as earthquakes, fires or power outages. Puget Sound weather is among the least predictable in the country; for that reason, 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, walkways and buildings cannot be maintained for public safety

Weather Related Emergencies

Public Safety initiates the closure decision process as soon as the threat of snowstorms appears in forecasts. The Vice President of Administrative Services and the President are involved in making a decision to close campus. A decision on whether to close the campus will be made by 4:15 a.m. if possible, and student, employee and public notification of that decision will begin immediately.

Notification Procedures

These procedures will be followed in any sort of emergency that affects campus operations.

On-campus notifications (if a decision to close is made during the day)

The President or the Vice President of Administrative Services sends an email to all BC network users. Public Safety also immediately begins to notify instructors and students in classrooms.

Off-campus notifications (all times of day)

The college will make closure information available to people off-campus the following ways:

  • BC Alerts, BC’s emergency notification system – BC will send an e-mail and/or text message alert as soon as possible whenever the college closes due to weather or any other emergency. Sign up for this service at This system receives the highest priority among several channels the college uses to communicate emergency messages to students, faculty and staff.
  • BC’s emergency hotline message line – Call (425) 401-6680
  • BC’s home page -The College’s current status will be posted on the home page.

The college also highly encourages individual departments to use telephone trees to inform your staff.

Reasonable Efforts and Common Sense

If the college is staying open no messages will be sent/posted and faculty and staff are expected to make a reasonable effort to come to campus and maintain services for students as much as possible. At the same time, however, 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.

Bellevue College T206 Nuclear Medicine Hot Lab Emergency Procedures

Personnel pertinent to this Emergency Procedures Handbook:

  • Radiation Safety Officer
  • HSEWI Safety Officer
  • Program Manager, Nuclear Medicine Technology Program
  • Emergency Operations Officer
  • Public Safety 24-hour line: (425) 466-9365


Section 1: Procedures

  • Emergency procedures 3
  • Public Safety/Custodian emergency response 4
  • General rules for the hot lab 5
  • Decontamination procedures 6
  • RAM package ordering and delivery procedures 7
  • Instructions to radiation workers 8
  • Instructions to ancillary personnel 9-10

Section 2: WA State Radiation Emergency handbook 11-29

Section 3: Radioactive Materials Information

  • Sealed sources written description with photos 30
  • Mo-99/Tc-99m generator with photos 31-32
  • MSDS sodium pertechnetate 33-41
  • Tc-99m oxidronate (HDP) with photo 42
  • MSDS Tc-99m oxidronate 43-47
  • I-131 sodium iodide capsule with photo 48
  • MSDS I-131 sodium iodide solution 49-53
  • Sharps containers with photos 54
  • MSDS acetone 55-60



This room contains radioactive materials, mostly in small quantities and in sealed containers. It is unlikely that any emission of radioactive materials out of the room or into the environment would occur in any foreseeable emergency. Here are appropriate responses for each of the following situations:

1. Liquid coming under door of T206: notify Public Safety (425) 466-9365, and then the RSO. If the RSO is not available in T208, ask for the HSEWI Safety Officer. Public Safety will secure the area and have a hazmat-trained individual clean the spill.
2. Fire/smoke emanating from T206: call Public Safety (425) 466-9365 immediately; notify the RSO and the HSEWI Safety Officer next.
3. Broken window/unsecured door of T206: call Public Safety (425) 466-9365 and the RSO immediately. Public Safety will secure the area.
4. Earthquake/damaged building: follow building evacuation procedures. Release of the radioactive materials in this lab is highly unlikely and any released amount would be immediately diluted to the extent that it would be not harmful to anyone.
5. Radiation exposure or skin contamination from radioactive materials: notify the RSO.

Emergency contact phone numbers: Bellevue College Public Safety: (425) 466-9365



  1. Contact Jennifer Prekeges, the college Radiation Safety Officer at x2475 or room T308L on campus.  This includes nights and weekends.
  2. If unable to reach Jennifer quickly, call Nuclear Medicine Faculty.  This includes nights and weekends.
  3. If neither can be reached, contact Adrienne Chambers, Emergency Operations Officer, or other college faculty who have expertise with radioactive materials handling.
  4. Proceed to the second floor of the T building and cordon off the area to prevent bystanders from walking through the liquid.  Wait for one of the above-listed people to come deal with the problem.
  5. After the absence of any radioactive material has been confirmed, Custodial Services may be called to clean the area (e.g., mop up excess water).


Public Safety is listed as a first-line contact for any emergency involving the nuclear medicine hot lab, room T206.  As a reminder from your radiation safety inservice, most of our radioactive materials are sealed, such that there is virtually no possibility that they would ever get into the environment.  The only time this is not true is when we have one or two radionuclide generators on campus.  You would have been informed of this fact via an email distribution indicating that we have a generator in the hot lab for a week.

If liquid is emanating from T206, it is from one of two sources: the plumbing system (by far more likely) or radioactive Tc-99m in a liquid solution.  You won’t have any easy way to tell which it is, so you should make the prudent assumption that it is the latter.  Contacting the people listed above will bring someone who is able to determine if the material is radioactive and who is capable of cleaning the area in the case that it is radioactive.  Custodial services will become involved only after this determination is made and cleaning has been completed.

Tc-99m is a gamma-emitting radionuclide that is administered to thousands of people every day.  The amounts we are working with in the lab are roughly on the same order of magnitude as the highest amounts given to patients.  There is no potential for harm to you from ingestion, skin contamination, or radiation exposure from this material.

General Rules for Safe Use of Radioactive Material

  1. Wear laboratory coats or other protective clothing at all times in areas where dispersible radioactive materials are used.
  2. Wear personnel monitoring devices (body dosimeter) at all times while in areas where radioactive materials are used or stored. These devices should be worn at chest or waist level.
  3. Wear disposable gloves at all times while handling dispersible radioactive materials.
  4. Wear TLD finger badges when manipulating millicurie or greater quantities of radioactive materials.
  5. Monitor hands and clothing for contamination after each procedure or before leaving the area.
  6. Do not eat, drink, smoke, or apply cosmetics in any area where radioactive material is stored or used.
  7. Do not store food, drink, or personal effects with radioactive material (e.g., in refrigerator).
  8. Confine radioactive solutions in covered containers plainly identified and labeled with name of compound, radionuclide, date, activity, and radiation level, if applicable.
  9. Store radioactive materials in locked cabinets. Sealed sources are stored in drawers. Radioactive liquids (such as prepared kits) are stored in the drawer marked “Prepared kits”. I-131 diagnostic capsules are stored in the drawer marked “I-131 capsule”. The Mo-99/Tc-99m generator is stored in the fume hood; the locking mechanism must be engaged when the lab session is completed.
  10. Manipulate liquid radioactive materials behind an L-block shield. Prepare radiopharmaceutical kits and draw doses behind the L-block shield in the fume hood. Use syringe and vial shields for these activities.
  11. Store radioactive materials in clearly labeled containers. The label should indicate the name of the radionuclide (sealed sources) or the radiopharmaceutical (unsealed materials).
  12. Dispose of radioactive waste only in properly shielded receptacles. Tc-99m and I-131 waste will be stored for decay. All waste in syringes will be stored for decay in locked cupboards or sharps containers, with shielding as needed.
  13. Never pipette by mouth.
  14. Survey laboratory work area for contamination after each procedure, or at the end of the day. Decontaminate if necessary.
  15. Only sealed radioactive materials may be taken out of the hot lab.

I understand the importance of and agree to abide by all of the rules listed above.


Student Signature DATE


Print Name

Approved By: ___________________________________ Date: _________________________


Any contamination incident beyond contamination of gloves and absorbent paper coverings needs to be reported on a Contamination Incident Form.

Note: nothing in this lab is so radioactive as to pose an immediate hazard to human health.

Surface (counter/floor/object) decontamination:

  • Alert other persons by posting a note on the outside of the T206 door that there is a spill.
  • Don gloves and shoe covers (available at the T208 front desk as well as in T206).
  • Prevent the spread of contamination by containment with paper towels or other absorbent material.
  • Clean area with commercial decontaminating agent.
  • Check hands and clothing regularly for self-contamination.
  • Monitor progress with a Geiger counter and wipe tests using alcohol swabs.
  • Dispose of all waste materials into a marked garbage container, which will need to be stored for decay.

Decontamination of clothing:

  • Use a Geiger counter to identify the limits of the contamination.
  • If possible (e.g., lab coat contamination), remove the contaminated clothing item and store (e.g., in T208) for a period of time to allow for decay.
  • If a clothing item is contaminated and cannot be immediately removed, rinse the contaminated area with water and check with a Geiger counter to determine residual activity.  Remove the clothing item within 2-3 hours.  Store the item for a period of time to allow for decay.
  • After moving or removing the contaminated clothing item, use the Geiger counter to check for skin contamination.
  • After the appropriate time period has passed, use a Geiger counter to verify that radioactive contamination has decayed.

Decontamination of skin:

  • Use a Geiger counter to identify limits of the contaminated area.
  • Clean the area with hand soap or commercial decontaminating agent and plenty of warm water.
  • Cleaning should take at minimum 5 minutes and may require up to 90 minutes.
  • Use the Geiger counter and alcohol swabs intermittently to check for removable contamination.
  • Stop when one of these two conditions is met:
  • Geiger counter reading <0.1 mR/hr (5 times background)
  • No removable contamination on wipe test

Decontamination of eyes:

  • Use the portable eyewash station to rinse affected eye(s).  Continue washing until the eyewash tank is empty and the wash solution stops flowing.
  • Check eyes for contamination using a Geiger counter.
  • If the Geiger counter reading is more than 0.5 mR/hr (25 times background), go to the NDT lab (T319) and continue to wash with its eyewash station.


  1. Possession of any radioactive material (RAM) in an amount greater than the exempt quantity is allowed only as stated in the college’s radioactive materials license.  Ordering of RAMs must be done through the college’s Radiation Safety Officer (RSO).
  2. When a RAM is ordered and is to be shipped to the college, The RSO will notify Public Safety and Custodial, Grounds, and Facilities departments.
  3. If the RAM is an unsealed source, such as a Mo-99/Tc-99m generator, which will be stored in the fume hood, the notification to the Grounds and Facilities departments will alert staff to avoid the area of the fume hood exhaust for the duration of the source’s presence in the fume hood.
  4. The delivery driver must check in with Public Safety in Room K100.  Public Safety will escort the delivery person to the Health Sciences, Education and Wellness T208 front desk (HSEWI administrative offices).
  5. The RSO, HSEWI Office Manager, HSEWI Safety Officer, nuclear medicine faculty, and nuclear medicine program manager are authorized to receive RAMs.  The RAM package will be placed in Room T206 (the hot lab) and the RSO notified of its arrival.  RAM packages must not be left in an unsecured area.
  6. The person ordering the RAM package (usually a nuclear medicine faculty person) will open or supervise students in opening each package containing a RAM, including the performance of surface wipe testing, measurement of external radiation level, and entering the RAM into the college’s inventory.  The RSO may also open RAM packages.
  7. There are no standing orders for RAMs in this facility.


“Radiation workers” for the purposes of this document refers to students enrolled in the RATEC,

RADON, and NMTEC programs. The following describes how these radiation workers are trained and

informed about radiation safety and protection.

Nuclear Medicine Technology:

  1. Students are informed during orientation to the program about general rules for handling RAMs and basic radiation safety principles. They will sign off on these rules.
  2. At orientation they are also given body and ring dosimeters and are instructed on their use.  Dosimeters are exchanged monthly, and students are instructed to check their readings on a quarterly basis.
  3. Students receive didactic instruction on RAMs, radiation protection principles and applications, and safe handling of unsealed sources in the following courses (all part of the NMTEC curriculum):
  4. NMTEC 201, Basic Nuclear Medicine Science (first quarter of the program) – radioactive decay, radiation detection instruments, inverse square law, attenuation/shielding calculations and applications
  5. NMTEC 210, Radiopharmacy (second quarter of the program) – syringe and vial shielding, syringe and vial labeling, personal protective equipment
  6. NMTEC 240, Radiation Safety (third quarter of the program) – general rules for handling RAMs, posting and survey requirements, transportation requirements, receipt and opening procedures, waste disposal, storage of RAMs, occupational exposure limits, ALARA concepts, effective doses, risk estimates and comparisons, state licenses, and federal regulations
  7. NMTEC 241, Radiation Biology (third quarter of the program) – radiation biology, including chemical, molecular, cellular, tissue, and whole-body effects of radiation; also long-term deterministic and stochastic effects of radiation
  8. At multiple points in the course of the program, students will be performing laboratory exercises, always with observation by a faculty member.
  9. Students spend considerable time in the clinical setting after the first quarter of the program. During this time they are given on-the-job training in the safe handling of RAMs, including package receipt/opening, storage requirements, dose administration recordkeeping, radioactive waste disposal, and surveys and wipe tests for monitoring radiation levels. In the clinical setting, students are able to practice using various techniques to reduce radiation exposure, and their clinical instructors remind them to pay attention to this aspect of nuclear medicine practice.
  10. In the last (sixth) quarter of the program, each student will have a weeklong radiopharmacy lab. Again, this lab will be performed under the supervision of a faculty member. One goal of the lab exercise is to ensure that students have a good grasp of these techniques and procedures.
  11. In case of an emergency, students (like other personnel) will be directed to the “Emergency Procedures” document posted inside and outside T206 and asked to follow instructions.



  1. Area of radioactive materials (RAM) use/storage – T206
  1. Potential hazards
    1. Mo-99, Cs-137, Ba-133, Co-57 and Eu-152 are sealed and/or inaccessible.
    2. Tc-99m is in liquid form (less than 50 mL total volume).  It could be spilled if one were to drop the vial to the floor or step on it.  The amount of radioactivity contained in a vial is about the same as what would be used for an imaging study in the nuclear medicine department of a hospital.
    3. I-131 is in the form of a capsule.  Liquid I-131 as sodium iodide is added to a binder, which absorbs the liquid and chemically binds the sodium iodide.  The amount of radioactivity is small (similar to what would be given for a diagnostic medical procedure), but it has a long half-life and hence requires greater attention.  Additionally, if ingested or inhaled, the radioactive I-131 would be taken up in the thyroid gland.  The capsule should not be handled or ingested, and it could be broken open by dropping or stepping on it.
  2. Radiation safety procedures
    1. T208 front desk personnel
      1. Deliveries and pickups – the great majority of RAM deliveries will be from Cardinal Health’s Seattle radiopharmacy.  Cardinal’s delivery personnel have been instructed to check in with Public Safety before coming to the T building, so they should be escorted by a Public Safety Officer while on campus.  The following individuals have keycard access to T206 for the delivery or pickup:
        1. The Radiation Safety Officer
        2. Nuclear Medicine Technology faculty
        3. The Nuclear Medicine Technology program manager
        4. The HSEWI Safety Officer
        5. The HSEWI Officer Manager
          1. Packages should be placed/picked up from the area just to the left of the doorway inside T206.
            1. Spills/liquid coming from under doorway of T206 – follow directions on “Emergency Procedures” sheet (posted outside of T206).  There is an “emergency kit” in the top right-hand drawer behind the T208 front desk, consisting of gloves, shoe covers, a sign, and the T206 Emergency Procedures Handbook.  Should this situation occur, Public Safety will cordon off the area and will notify personnel who can check for the presence of radioactivity and clean the spill.  Custodial staff will only be asked to assist when there is no RAM present.
    2. Warehouse/mailroom personnel
      1. Deliveries – we expect delivery of RAM packages via the US Postal Service or commercial carriers to be rare.  In such a circumstance, the package should be delivered to the indicated recipient.  If the name is not a known Bellevue College person, notify the RSO as soon as possible.
    3. Custodial, building and grounds personnel
      1. Notification – custodial, facilities and grounds supervisors will be notified when a radioactive shipment is to be received, and how long it will be on campus.
      2. Room cleaning – provide cleaning service only when requested.  Custodial staff should have an escort (usually the RSO) during room cleaning.  The normal procedure for trash removal will be that the trash can will be placed outside the door for emptying after the contents have been checked to be sure that nothing is radioactive.
      3. Emanations from fume hood stack release – persons attending to the garden or the HVAC system on the roof of the T building will be notified of the potential for an inhalation hazard from the stack during those weeks.  Under most circumstances, no one will be allowed on the T building roof while this potential hazard exists.
    4. Public Safety
      1. Receipt/return of radioactive materials – Public Safety will be notified that a package delivery is planned.  The approximate time of delivery will be included.  The delivery person will call Public Safety on arrival, and will need to be escorted to the T building and up (in the elevator) to T208.  The delivery items are to be placed inside T206.  A similar protocol will be followed when the package is ready for pickup by the delivery person.
      2. Door – the T206 door should be locked at all times.  If the door is found unsecured or the window is broken, follow the directions on “Emergency Procedures” sheet (posted outside of T206).
      3. Fire/smoke/liquid emanating from T206 – follow directions on “Emergency Procedures” sheet (posted inside and outside T206).  The Emergency Operations manager also has a T206 Emergency Procedures Handbook.
  3. Pertinent state and federal regulations
    1. The use of radioactive materials under a specific license is governed by Washington Administrative Code Title 246, specifically Chapters 221 (Radiation Protection Standards), 235 (Radioactive Materials – Specific Licenses) and 240 (Radiation Protection – Medical Uses of Radioactive Materials).
    2. State regulations are based on federal regulations promulgated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and found in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 10, Parts 20 (Standards for Protection against Radiation) and 35 (Medical Use of Byproduct Material).
  4. Response to concerns
    1. If at any time you feel that a condition is or might be unsafe or might result in a violation of state regulations or license conditions, you should report that to the Radiation Safety Officer.

Radiation Safety Officer: Jennifer Prekeges

On campus: x2475 (425-564-2475)

  1. If you believe that any state regulations, the conditions of the license, or personnel exposure limits are being violated in any way, you have the right to request an inspection of the facility.  Contact information for the Office of Radiation Protection can be found on the yellow “Notice to Employees” placard posted in the hot lab and is copied here.

Washington State Office of Radiation Protection

Radioactive Materials: (360) 236-3220

X-ray Machines: (800) 229-9729

Last Updated October 24, 2023