Emergency Management Resources

Bellevue College Plans and Procedures

Plans

1. Introduction

Bellevue College is committed to ensuring a safe educational and work environment for employees, students, and visitors. The Public Safety department has prepared this Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan to ensure the most effective response possible for the protection of students, employees, and visitors during emergency events. The purpose of the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) is to determine roles and responsibilities for establishing emergency readiness and response to hazards that may affect Bellevue College.

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

1. Protection of life.

2. Protection of college property and the surrounding environment.

3. Minimizing the impacts on the campus community.

 

1.1. Purpose

The purpose of this plan is to establish a comprehensive, all-hazards approach to incident management, and to guide activities before, during and after a disaster. This CEMP describes capabilities, resources, establishes roles for emergency response in accordance with Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 38.52, and with guidance from both the University of Washington CEMP (February 2017) and the Washington State CEMP (June 2016) for addressing all five mission areas of emergency management: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery.

Bellevue College Public Safety has established this plan to address immediate requirements for major incident/disaster response, where normal operations are interrupted and 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.

The CEMP will be evaluated annually to ensure it reflects current regulations and campus needs. Following emergency events, After Action Reports will be developed to determine areas of necessary training and editing of the CEMP.

1.2. Laws and Authorities

This plan is established by the following laws and authorities 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).
  • Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act/Public Law 93-288, as amended (addresses the role of the Federal Government). Current applicable 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) address policy and guidance for Federal Government disaster response and recovery.
  • 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).
  • National Response Framework

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.

The CEMP:

  • 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. The North Campus employs over 80 staff and faculty members with a student body of over 500. The on-campus student housing consists of up to 400 students.

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 and Appendix C for North Campus.

1.4.3. Equipment

The Main Campus has one centrally located AED in each building. North campus has one in the reception area of the lobby. 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 and one located in the parking garage of the North Campus building. Each box is painted blue and labeled “Crisis Response” and are intended to supply individuals during emergency events such as earthquakes, floods, or snowstorms until emergency responders can begin rescue efforts. Each box contains flashlights, blankets, water, response kits, first aid supplies, flares, carry tarps, and personal protection equipment that should sustain Bellevue College for approximately 3 days. For all other emergency equipment and resources, please see the Emergency Management inventory list.

Please refer to the Emergency Equipment maps in Appendix B for main campus and Appendix C for North Campus.

1.4.4. Local Hazards

Natural hazards that could directly impact Bellevue College Campus include earthquakes, fires, floods, severe storms, and ash fall.

Human-caused hazards that could affect Bellevue College include; hazardous materials, chemical incidents, terrorism, and active shooter.

These hazards have the potential to cause extenuating issues such as power and other utility disruptions that can create further hazards.

1.4.5. Hazard and Vulnerability Assessment

Per the detailed hazard and vulnerability assessment for June 2018 in Appendix A, these are Bellevue College’s top hazards of concern on a scale from 7(min)-28(max):

  • Explosion- 19
  • Earthquake- 18
  • Bomb Threat- 17
  • Flood- 16
  • Active Shooter- 15
  • Infectious Disease Outbreak- 15
  • Hostage Situation- 15
  • Mass Casualty Incident- 15

These hazards were assessed based on a 1 (low) to 3 (high) scale for probability, human impact, property impact, and business impact, plus 1 (high) to 3 (low) scale for the campus’ preparedness planning, internal response capabilities, and external response capabilities. Added together these create our relative risk scale from 7(min) to 28(max).

1.5. Planning Assumptions

Public Safety is responsible for preparing and responding to emergencies and disasters on campus. They offer trainings, exercises, and handout materials to help students, staff, and faculty prepare for disasters.

Some emergencies or disasters will occur with enough warning that appropriate notification will be issued to ensure some level of preparation. Other emergencies or disasters will occur with no advanced warning. The extent of the challenges created by emergencies or disasters depends on factors such as time of occurrence, geographic area, severity of impact, weather conditions, area demographics, nature of building construction, and the status of communications and cyber systems operability. Collateral incidents such as fire, floods, hazardous materials releases, or mass cyber systems outages will occur and increase the impact on the community, multiply losses, and hinder immediate emergency response efforts.

  • A disaster may occur with little or no warning; may escalate rapidly, requiring outside assistance from other public and private sector partners.
  • Critical utilities may be interrupted including water delivery, electrical power, natural gas, telephone communications, microwave and radio systems, cellular telephones and information 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 Public Safety Officers and all other partnering agencies will be to take actions that have the greatest lifesaving potential under the circumstances.
  • Regional and local services may be limited in capabilities or not in service.
  • Bellevue College administration must continue to function under all threats, emergencies, and disaster conditions.
  • 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.
  • 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

This CEMP and the accompanying appendices are not meant to deal with every potential scenario that could occur during an emergency, but rather to create a flexible framework which can be used to organize and delegate responsibilities during a response. It is entirely possible that local resources will be overwhelmed in a major incident or disaster. Partnering agencies may have a limited ability to respond to the campus based on the situation and available resources at the time of the disaster.

In the event of severe devastation through the Puget Sound Region, fundamental survival resources may be needed. Bellevue College does not have sufficient supplies and equipment for an extended response.

The arrival of state and/or federal aid may be delayed for several days after an incident. There is no guarantee implied by this plan that perfect emergency management will be practical or possible.

2. Concept of Operations and Organization

2.1. Continuity of Operations

Executive staff will designate successors to ensure continuity of leadership and operations. Successors should be aware of their emergency responsibilities. It is advantageous for each department/division to create a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). These plans should clearly specify alternate operation locations, emergency response procedures, and alternate means of communication.

Administrative Services will follow protocols to preserve student records in the case of an emergency.

2.2. Emergency Declaration Process

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.

2.3. Emergency Operations Center, Training and Activation Levels

 
2.3.1. General Operations

Bellevue College’s EOC does not operate unless activated for an emergency. Public Safety employs security and dispatchers to respond to individual incidences and requests for assistance.

2.3.2. EOC Training & Exercise Programs

At this time, Bellevue College Campus Security cannot mandate EOC training to individuals. However, it is recommended that those who will serve in any capacity in the EOC take ICS 100, 200, 700 and 800 at a minimum. We are currently in the process of conducting tabletops to further clarify roles during an emergency and our recommended further trainings.

2.3.3. EOC Activation Levels

Level III: Emergency Operation Mode – Monitor

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

Minimum Staffing:

  • Incident Commander
  • VP of Administrative Services
  • Public Information Officer
  • Liaison Officer
  • Operations Section Chief

Actions:

  • The on-site lead/department will notify Public Safety and the Director of Public Safety or designee of the incident.
  • The Incident Commander (Director of Public Safety or designee) will monitor the situation and provide guidance on expanding or calling in more resources.
  • The 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.

Level II: Emergency Operation Mode – Partial

Definition: A major scheduled event (e.g. 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.

Minimum Staffing Requirements:

  • Incident Commander
  • VP of Administrative Services
  • Public Information Officer
  • Liaison Officer
  • Section Chiefs (as needed)
  • Partial activation of other EOC staff (as needed)

Actions:

  • The on-site lead/department will notify Public Safety and the Director of Public Safety or designee of the incident.
  • The Incident Commander (Director of Public Safety or designee) 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.
    • Some operations and classes may be suspended.
    • Unified command with local police, fire, or EMS personnel may be implemented.
    • Public Safety will designate a Liaison to serve as a connection to the external agencies.

Level I: 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, King County, other higher education institutions, and/or other City/State agencies.

Minimum Staffing Requirements:

  • Incident Commander
  • VP of Administrative Services
  • Public Information Officer
  • Liaison Officer
  • Section Chiefs (as needed)
  • Full activation of other EOC staff (as needed)

Actions:

  • The on-site lead/department will notify Public Safety and the Director of Public Safety or designee of the incident.
  • The Incident Commander (Director of Public Safety or designee) 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.
  • Staff vacations and planned leaves may be terminated.
  • The Emergency Operations Center coordinates efforts with the City 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.

2.4. Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Organization

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:

2.4.1. EOC Management

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

2.4.2. 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
2.4.3. 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
2.4.4. 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
2.4.5. 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
2.4.6. 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.

2.4.7. 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.

2.5. Mitigation Activities

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. This

also includes 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 72 hours.

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

  • Backup generators
  • Emergency shutoff utility valves
  • Radio tower for communications
  • Rooftop solar panels
  • Rooftop gardens
  • Green spaces and managed trails

2.6. Preparedness, Prevention and Protection Activities

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 preparedness.

Bellevue College conducts lockdown and evacuation drills throughout the year for dangerous intruder and/or natural hazards for different departments on campus. The Public Safety Department also offers an array of classes for personal and departmental preparedness.

Drills and Trainings include:

Drills

  • Fire Drills
  • Lockdown Drills
  • Active Shooter Drills
  • Earthquake Drills
  • Evacuation Drills

Trainings

  • CERT Class
  • CPR/First Aid
  • Stop the Bleed
  • Basic & Advanced Preparedness
  • Active Shooter/Dangerous Intruder

Our goal is to conduct bi-annual tabletops with Cabinet staff 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.

Bellevue College will have a campus-wide active shooter exercise in 2020.

2.7. Response Activities

Public Safety has established response strategies and actions to be taken before, during, and after an emergency occurs. Evacuation maps can be found in Appendix B for main campus and C for North Campus. Please refer to the BC Emergency Response Plan for specific situational procedures. For responding to inclement weather, please refer to the Weather Emergency Procedures plan.

2.8. Recovery Activities

Recovery planning starts concurrently with emergency response activities. The Executive Board 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, students o Please see the Family Reunification Plan for procedures

Bellevue College will conduct a post-disaster situation analysis and an after-action report to review and determine the effectiveness of established operating procedures, assigned tasks, and responsibilities.

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, 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, RSS posts, 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. AlertUs

BC Alerts includes an application that is capable of transmitting messages to all campus IT issued desktop computers that run on Windows 7. BC Alerts sent through this application are immediately visible on the screens of all computers capable of running the application. Campus IT issued Macintosh computers, laptops, and OS X or Windows 8 computers are not yet supported by AlertUs.

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

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

This document details how to notify Safety Lead members of an occurring incident via the Duty Phone located in the Public Safety Office.

Appendix A: Hazard and Risk Assessment

Bellevue College Emergency Management Hazard and Vulnerability Assessment Tool

Appendix B: Main Campus Maps

BC Parking Map Main Campus
Bellevue College Main Campus Emergency Map 2022
North Campus Emergency Equipment Map
North Campus Evacuation Map

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.

2.0 Procedures

2.1 Assess

People who become aware of a potential crisis or emergency must contact the Campus Public Safety at ex. 2400. Public Safety may invoke this plan and convene the Crisis Communications 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

In all employee OUTLOOK (mail), under HOME go to NEW ITEMS and SKYPE MEETING…there will find the phone number and your individual CODE. Once the Crisis Communications Team is on the call, 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:

  • Team Lead: The Team Lead will be designated by the core group of officials and is generally the highest-ranking official who has direct knowledge of the events, or the Director of Public Safety or designee. The individual selected to participate as the Team Lead will be based on the nature of the incident and have the highest credibility and understanding of the events surrounding the crisis. Other officials may fill in for these individuals if the crisis is prolonged, but they should not be the initial responders to the general public, the media, or the campus community.
  • 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. Fact sheets released publicly or posted to the internet must be approved and time stamped, as well as updated with information changes.
  • 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.
    • In the event of a large or complex crisis, the Bellevue College webpage (bellevuecollege.edu) may be replaced with an informational page related to the incident. All emergency alerts sent will also appear on the page.
    • Effort 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.

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

4.1.1.1 Alertus

BC Alerts includes an application that is capable of transmitting messages to all campus IT issued desktop computers that run on Windows 7. Alerts sent through this application are immediately visible on the screens of all computers capable of running the application. Campus IT issued Macintosh computers, laptops, and OS X or Windows 8 computers are not yet supported by Alertus.

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

Social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) will be updated accordingly 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.

Introduction

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.

Instructions

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

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 equipment, manual fire alarm boxes, and fire extinguishers.

The emergency maps 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. Campus closure decisions are based partly on predictions but mostly on current conditions on and around campus. Closures only occur 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 Vice President of Administrative Services and the President are 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 Methods and Procedures

BC provides a number of distribution methods for getting this information to you. It is highly encouraged that departments also use telephone trees to inform staff members of any closure or emergency. The following procedures and notification methods are used for campus closures:

  • On-campus notifications (if a decision to close is made during the day): The President’s Office or the Vice President of Administrative Services sends an e-mail to BC network users. Public Safety will immediately notify instructors and students in classrooms.
  • Off-campus notifications (at all times of the day): The college will make closure information available to people off-campus in the following ways:
    • Rave Alerts (BC’s emergency notification system) – BC will send an e-mail and/or text message as soon as possible when the college closes due to weather or any other emergency. Sign up for this service here. This system receives the highest priority among several channels the college uses to communicate emergency messages to students, faculty, and staff.
    • FlashAlert – BC (and many other Puget Sound area schools) posts emergency communications on the FlashAlert website. This is the source the media uses to get their closure information, and will be BC’s second priority in disseminating emergency messages. You may subscribe to FlashAlert’s email and text message service here. Most TV and radio stations broadcast these messages periodically. Please remember, TV and radio stations do not name schools that will be staying open. If BC is not mentioned, assume that classes will meet and offices are open.
    • BC’s emergency hotline message – Call (425)401-6680 for emergency information, including campus closure information.
    • BC’s home page – If campus is closed, the College’s website will provide information on the closure.

Reasonable Effort

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. However, the College does not expect people to put themselves in danger. If there is a weather emergency, use your best judgment to determine if you are able to make it to campus. Check traffic advisories and other information resources to make an informed decision based on your local conditions and circumstances. Ensure that proper department protocols are followed for calling in absent when you are unable to make it to campus.

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, cover your head and neck with one arm, and hold the leg of the desk or table with your other arm. If you cannot move under a desk or table, stand along an inner wall and cover your head and neck with your arms. If you are in a wheelchair or unable to stand along a wall or take shelter, move as close as you can to an inner wall and cover your head and neck with your arms. Move away from windows, glass walls, doors, and unsecured falling hazards.
  • If you are outdoors, stay outdoors. Move away from overhead electric wires, poles, buildings, or anything that may fall. Crouch down, if possible, and cover your head and neck with your arms.
  • Remain in your sheltered area until the shaking stops, then proceed to your nearest or safest evacuation zone. Avoid areas near gas mains. Assist others in need and provide aid if you are qualified to do so. Wait for further instruction before returning to buildings.

What to Do After an Earthquake:

  • Be prepared for additional aftershocks, which may be as strong as the initial earthquake. Sometimes, an initial earthquake may be a foreshock that is followed by a stronger earthquake.
  • When provided with the approval to return to buildings, be extremely careful and remain aware of your surroundings.
  • 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 for that hazard in these emergency procedures.

Medical Emergency

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

  • Call 911 if necessary. If not necessary or after dialing 911, call Public Safety at (425) 466-9365. 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.
  • If 911 has not been called and Public Safety deems it necessary, an Officer or dispatcher will call for aid. A Public Safety Officer will arrive at the scene as soon as possible.

What to Do While Waiting for Help to Arrive:

  • Do not leave the scene or leave the injured person alone.
  • Do not move the injured person.
  • Provide first aid if you are qualified to do so.

Power Failure

  • Shut off computers and other sensitive equipment.
  • Contact Public Safety at (425) 466-9365.
  • If there is no or little natural light in the area, evacuate to an area with natural light or your nearest and/or safest evacuation zone.
  • If there is a fire or other emergency associated with the power failure, follow the appropriate procedures.
  • Public Safety, the Vice President of Administrative Services, and other members of the President’s Cabinet will make a determination on closures or other arrangements for long-term power outages.

Fire

  • If you hear a fire alarm, leave the area immediately and follow the evacuation procedures to your nearest or safest evacuation zone. Remain in your evacuation zone until otherwise directed by Public Safety or Fire Department personnel.
  • Attempt to prevent others from entering the area.
  • Do not use elevators to evacuate. Assist others in need if possible.
  • Avoid locations close to the fire, especially if it is near a gas line.
  • If you suspect or witness a fire near or inside of a building with no alarm sounding:
  • Pull an evacuation alarm pull station for the building. Each building has multiple pull stations, which will activate the evacuation alarm. If the fire is outside and not near a building (bark or bush fire), avoid the area and try to prevent others from entering the area as well.
20160816_134701
Fire Pull Station

Call 911 and provide them with your location, the location of the fire (building and room), the telephone number you are calling from, and the size/type of the fire (example: large trash can fire or small electrical fire).Call Public Safety at (425) 466-9365 from a campus phone and provide them with the same information.If you are trained in the use of a fire extinguisher, you may attempt to extinguish the fire. Remember, your safety comes first. If extinguishing the fire puts yourself or others at risk, evacuate the area.Do not re-enter the building until you are authorized to do so by Public Safety or emergency personnel.

Evacuation Procedures

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

  • Remain calm. Walk to your nearest exit – do not run. Assist others in need if you are able.
  • If you are on an upper floor, take the stairs. Do not use the elevators. If you are unable to take the stairs, many buildings have emergency evacuation chairs available for use near the stairwells. Those who cannot use stairs should proceed to a stairwell or designated area of refuge for evacuation assistance.
    • If you are a student with access or functional needs, the Disability Resource Center is available to assist in emergency planning. You may contact them at any time at (425)564-2498 or ext. 2498.
    • If you are an employee with access or functional needs, Public Safety and Human Resources can assist in emergency planning. You may contact Public Safety at (425) 466-9365 or Human Resources at (425)564-2274 or ext. 2274.
  • Evacuate to the outside of the building, toward the parking areas. If you are on the main campus, do not evacuate into the central courtyards. Designated evacuation zones are available for use. It is important to note that your nearest evacuation zone may not be the safest depending on the circumstances. Use your best judgment to decide which zone to evacuate to.
  • Do not re-enter the buildings until you are directed by Public Safety, Law Enforcement, or the Fire Department.
  • Remain on campus until directed to leave.
  • If main campus is evacuated, please use a “right-turn only” method. Turning left at stop signs can prevent traffic flow. Continue right-turns until you reach an exit to prevent traffic congestion and allow for responders to enter campus easily.

Violent Intruder

If an armed or threatening intruder comes onto college property it is very important that you report it immediately and take protective actions. When a violent intruder incident occurs, your focus must be your personal safety and the safety of those around you. Remain calm and know your options for protecting yourself in violent intruder situations:

  • RUN: Have an escape route/plan in mind; leave belongings and vehicles behind; and keep your hands visible.
  • HIDE: If you cannot run, hide in an area out of the shooter’s view. Block entry to your hiding place, lock doors, and silence your electronic devices. Do not go near windows and close blinds if possible. Stay hidden until help arrives.
  • To lock certain doors on campus, use the key in the red box next to the door.
  • FIGHT: Attempt to incapacitate the intruder; act with physical aggression, and throw items at the intruder. This is a last resort.

Once you are in a safe location, call 911. Do not assume someone else has called. When there is a violent intruder on campus, it is extremely important that you follow the instructions of law enforcement personnel. They are there to help, but their goal is to neutralize the threat. Follow any and all instructions; keep your hands clearly visible; and avoid pointing and yelling. For more information on the “Run, Hide, Fight” method for violent intruders, click here.

Courtesy of DHS
Courtesy of DHS

Hazardous Material Release

In case of a hazardous material release or spill on campus, the first person on scene should:

  • Contact Public Safety at (425) 466-9365 and provide them with any information you have (type of substance, location, call back information, etc.).
  • Turn off any electrical equipment, especially fans.
  • If the material is indoors, open doors and windows.
  • Evacuate the area of the spill or release. Attempt to prevent others from entering the area until help arrives.
  • Do not touch, smell, or ignite flame near the substance.
  • If you are exposed to the material or have come in contact with it, let responders know.
  • If those exposed to the material exhibit any signs of illness or injury due to the substance, call 911 immediately.

In case of a hazardous material release or spill near campus, it may be necessary to shelter in place. Public Safety will notify students, faculty, and staff if this occurs and provide instruction. Follow any instructions from Public Safety or emergency personnel.

If you are asked to evacuate the building due to a hazardous materials spill or release, proceed to your nearest or safest evacuation zone. If you are asked to evacuate campus, please follow the campus evacuation procedures and use a “right-turn only” method.

Suspicious Person

If you notice a suspicious person, it is important to secure your own safety and the safety of others around you. Call Public Safety at (425) 466-9365 and provide as much information about the individual(s), including their location, physical description, and explanation of why they seem suspicious. Do not confront the person yourself. It is important to note, what makes one person feel as if someone is suspicious may seem normal to others. If you feel as if a person is suspicious in any way, you may notify Public Safety to investigate.

Suspicious Package

If you see a suspicious package, do not touch or disturb the object. Then:

  • Call Public Safety at (425) 466-9365. Provide any information you have about the package (location, type, physical description).
  • Do not operate any electrical equipment or use open flame around the package.
  • Prevent others from touching or disturbing the package.
  • Follow any instruction provided by Public Safety. If you are told to evacuate, move to your nearest and/or safest evacuation zone and await further instruction.

Bomb Threats

If you receive a bomb threat:

  • Stay calm.
  • If the person is on the phone, keep them on the line as long as possible. Gain as much information as you can about the bomb and the caller. Take notes and attempt to signal another person to call Public Safety, if possible. Some information you should attempt to collect includes:
    • Date and time the call was received
    • Exact words the caller said
    • Description of the caller’s voice
      • Male or female?
      • 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?
  • If you receive a bomb threat in any other way, collect as much information as possible to you at the time, call 911, and then notify Public Safety at (425) 466-9365. Relay the information you gathered from the caller or threat.
  • Follow any and all instructions by Public Safety and/or Law Enforcement personnel. Be prepared to evacuate the area. Remember that your safety always comes first and try to assist others in need.

External Emergency Management Resources

Bellevue College Public Safety Lock-down Procedures

  • Make sure you have your keys at all times.
  • A campus alert (text, email, or other) will notify you that we are going into lock-down.
  • When you receive the lock-down announcement, do not call for information. Do not allow students to use telephones or cell phones.
    • Instructors who have students on the athletic fields should gather all the students in the safest location possible and await further instructions from law enforcement officials.
  • Instructors should quickly check halls/common areas and usher students into classrooms – even if they aren’t in your class.
  • Secure your room: Lock all doors (interior and exterior) as possible, close blinds, turn off lights, and keep students down and away from the windows and door. Stay out of sight. 
    • Instructors may be issued a key that will allow them to lock the door to a classroom from the inside (occupants can still leave the room if needed).
    • The keys will work on all doors that have a red emergency key box mounted next to the door. Although not every door on campus is capable of having this installed, this does cover the majority of classrooms. If no instructor is present or the instructor does not have a key, occupants should locate the red emergency box near the door to obtain a key to lock the room.
    • To access the key, use the hammer to break the glass (pictured below). You will find the key to lock the classroom door and material to cover the glass panel on the door.
    • Lock door.
    • Cover all exposed windows (if possible).
  • During lock-down, common areas should remain clear except for Campus Security and Police.
    • Staff without students should remain in or find a secured room, or seek shelter in the nearest classroom.
  • Remain in lock-down until a uniformed officer provides instructions or an “all clear” code is sent via the campus alert system.
  • An email explanation will be sent to teachers as soon as possible after the lock-down.
Lock down key red box

FEMA Active Shooter Procedures

How to Prepare and Respond During and After an Active Shooter Incident

Recent national tragedies remind us that the risk is real. An active shooter incident can happen in any place, at any time. The best ways to make sure you and your loved ones stay safe are to prepare ahead of time and be ready. Taking a few steps now and mentally rehearsing what to do can help you react quickly when every second counts.

Take an Active Role in Your Own Safety

NOW- PREPARE

  • Sign up for active shooter training.
  • If you see something, say something:
    • If you see suspicious activity, let an authority know right away.
  • Know community response plans:
    • Many places like houses of worship, workplaces, and schools have plans in place to help you respond safely. If you participate in an active shooter drill, talk to your family about what you learn and how to apply it to other locations.
  • Identify the exits and good places to hide:
    • When you visit a building like a shopping mall or healthcare facility, take time to identify two nearby exits. Get in the habit of doing this.
    • Map out places to hide. Solid doors with locks, rooms without windows, and heavy furniture like large filing cabinets and desks make good hiding places.
  • Learn and practice first aid skills and use of tourniquets:
    • Sign up for first aid training and tourniquet training.

 

DURING- SURVIVE

  • Run:
    • Getting away from the shooter or shooters is the top priority. Leave your things behind and run away. If safe to do so, warn others nearby. Call 911 when you are safe. Describe each shooter, their locations and weapons.
  • Hide:
    • If you cannot get away safely, find a place to hide. Get out of the shooter’s view and stay very quiet. Silence your electronic devices and make sure they will not vibrate. Lock and block doors, close blinds and turn off lights.
  • Fight:
    • Your last resort when you are in immediate danger is to defend yourself. Commit to your actions and act aggressively to stop to the shooter. Ambushing the shooter together with makeshift weapons such as chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, and books can distract and disarm the shooter.
 
You may need to use more than one option.

AFTER- BE SAFE

  • Help law enforcement:
    • Keep hands visible and empty.
    • Know that law enforcement’s first task is to end the incident, and they may have to pass injured along the way.
    • Follow law enforcement instructions and evacuate in the direction they come from.
  • Seek out medical help.
  • Help others survive.
  • Seek help to cope with psychological trauma:
    • Consider seeking professional help for you and your family to cope with the log-term effects of the trauma.

To Download and Print: Active Shooter Procedures- FEMA

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 http://bellevuecollege.edu/alerts/ 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 http://bellevuecollege.edu/alerts. 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

T206 EMERGENCY PROCEDURES HANDBOOK

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

 

T206 HOT LAB EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

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

PUBLIC SAFETY AND CUSTODIAL SERVICES RESPONSES TO LIQUID EMANATING FROM ROOM T206 (NUCLEAR MEDICINE HOT LAB) 

Response:

  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).

BACKGROUND:

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: _________________________

DECONTAMINATION PROCEDURES

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.

ORDER AND DELIVERY OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS  PROCEDURES

  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.

INSTRUCTIONS TO RADIATION WORKERS

“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.

 

INSTRUCTIONS TO ANCILLARY PERSONNEL

  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

www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/rp

Last Updated December 3, 2022