Emergency Preparedness

Use the following links to learn about emergency preparedness, safety tips, and more.

Please click here to view the Emergency Operations Plan.


Emergency Alerts
How Emergency Notification Works

The HCC emergency notification system allows the college to rapidly communicate with students, faculty, and staff by sending voice, text, and email messages. Messages can go to land lines, cell phones, personal email addresses, and HCC email addresses. While the system is a terrific tool for instantly communicating with the HCC community, it only works when we have up-to-date contact information. Be sure to update your contact information when it changes!

How to Update Contact Information

It's easy. Just click here and you can update your info in seconds. Remember: your information is confidential and will not be shared.

Who to Call

Trained campus police officers are on duty 24 hours every day.

Emergencies

In case of fire or to call for an ambulance, dial 911 from any campus phone or cell phone. For all other emergencies, dial campus police at 2211 from any campus phone or 413.552.2211 from a cell phone or off-campus land line.

Emergency Guide charts are posted near the telephone in classrooms and throughout campus. These address a variety of emergency situations and provide guidance on how to respond to emergency or crisis situation. Following instructions in the order listed helps you prioritize the notification of emergency personnel during the initial impact of the emergency. Please familiarize yourself with the Emergency Guide locations and contents.

Emergency Phones & Call Boxes

Emergency phones are located in campus buildings, in hallways and in classrooms. Each has a yellow-striped cared affixed on top with instructions.

Emergency call boxes are located in parking lots D, K, M, O, and Q and are mounted on the following building exteriors:

  • Donahue Building, first floor, as "S" entrance
  • Frost Building, third floor entrance
  • Kittredge Building, first floor
Non Emergencies

For non-emergency calls, campus police can be reached by dialing 2400 from a campus phone or 413.552.2400 from a cell phone or off-campus land line.

Active Shooter Threat

While chances of encountering an active threat on campus are remote, we encourage members of the campus community to review these guidelines. In an emergency situation, your knowledge and awareness can make a critical difference. Working together we can provide a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff. In addition to reading the information below, please take a few minutes to watch Run, Hide, Fight.

What is an active threat?

An "active threat" is defined as any incident which creates an immediate threat or presents an imminent danger to the campus community. In addition to offenders armed with firearms (active shooters), other types of weapons or instruments may be used by those who want to cause harm. One or more assailants may be involved. They may be very near or far away, at one or several locations, targeting students, faculty/staff, or random victims. No two situations are exactly alike.

Trust your instincts!

If there is a shooter or assault, try to remain calm. Your actions will influence others. A survival mindset can help you and those around you avoid catastrophe. Cooperate in taking responsibility for your personal safety and security.

Are you able to evacuate?

  1. Try to stay calm and determine the location of the threat.
  2. Warn other faculty, staff, students and visitors to take immediate shelter.
  3. Call 2211 from a campus phone or call 413.552.2211 from a cell phone as soon as possible, although escaping should be your priority.
  4. If a safe exit does exists, take it as quickly as possible.
  5. Continue running until you are well cleared from the location of the threat. Find a safe location and call 911 to tell the police of your location.

If the only exit is through a window, consider the consequences of the fall:

  • How high are you from the ground?
  • Can you land in shrubs or grass to decrease the potential for serious injury?
  • Can you make an improvised rope out of clothing, belts, or other items?

If you cannot evacuate

  1. Try to stay calm and determine the location of the threat.
  2. Take shelter in the nearest office, classroom, closet or other area which can be secured. Barricade the door using desks, bookshelves, or other heavy objects. If the door opens outward, attach one end of a belt, scarf, rope to the door handle and the other end to a heavy object.
  3. If the door has a window, cover it.
  4. Turn off lights.
  5. Look for other possible escape routes, such as windows or other doors. Call 2211 from a campus phone or call 413.552.2211 from a cell phone. Speak quietly and then set your cell phone to vibrate or silent. If you can't speak, leave the line open so the dispatcher can listen to what is taking place.
  6. Stay low to the ground and remain as quiet as possible.
  7. Once in a secure location, do not open the door for anyone. Do not approach police officers as they attempt to locate and neutralize the threat. The police officers will return to assist you once the threat has been neutralized.
  8. When Campus Police arrive, obey all commands. You may be asked to keep your hands in the air, you may even be handcuffed until the police assess the situation. These steps are taken for safety reasons.

Is there an active shooter in your presence?

If you are in a crowded room and the threat is shooting, "play dead" or quietly crawl to safety. Do not attempt to make contact with the individual, unless no other option is available.

If you are with a group, as an action of last resort, you might choose to take the offense:

  • If the shooter is entering the room, position yourself in location that allows for an element of surprise.
  • Throw anything available at the threat. Aim for the face to distract him/her.
  • Attack as a group, swarming around the threat.
  • Grab the threat's arms, legs or head and take him/her to the ground. Use body weight to secure him/her.
  • "Fight dirty" – kick, bite, gouge eyes.
  • Have someone in the group call 2211 from a campus phone or call 413.552.2211 from a cell phone.
  • When Campus Police arrive, obey all commands. You may be asked to keep your hands in the air, you may even be handcuffed until the police assess the situation. These steps are taken for safety reasons.

Have you apprehended the offender?

  1. Make sure the suspect is secured (body weight, belts, etc.)
  2. Move any possible weapons away from the threat.
  3. Do not hold a weapon.
  4. Call 2211 from a campus phone or call 413.552.2211 from a cell phone and report that the threat/shooter is down.
  5. Provide your location and stay on the line if possible.
  6. When Campus Police arrive, obey all commands. You may be asked to keep your hands in the air, you may even be handcuffed until the police assess the situation. These steps are taken for safety reasons.

When law enforcement arrives:

  • Give the location of the shooter/offender(s).
  • Tell officers the number of shooter/offender(s).
  • Provide a physical description of the shooter/offender(s)
  • Describe the type and number of weapons.
  • DO NOT approach officers.
  • DO NOT point.
  • DO NOT scream or yell.
  • DO NOT pose a threat.
  • Remain quiet.
  • Follow directions.

Take a few minutes to view Run, Hide, Fight.

In Case of Fire
To report a fire/emergency:

If you smell the odor of smoke or burning materials, DIAL 911 IMMEDIATELY from any phone.

If you observe flames and/or large amounts of smoke: PULL THE NEAREST FIRE ALARM STATION

Evacuation procedure:
  1. Staff and faculty should direct students to leave the building quickly by following the red EXIT signs in corridors.
  2. When the classroom has been emptied, the staff/faculty member, where practical, should check to see that all windows and secondary exits are closed. Upon leaving the classroom, the door should be closed and unlocked. Follow the red EXIT signs in corridors.
  3. During an evacuation, each staff/faculty member is charged with the prompt and safe exit of students, visitors, and themselves.
  4. After evacuating the building, remain a safe distance from the building(s) to ensure personal safety and allow emergency vehicles and responders ready access to the area. DO NOT STAY IN COMMON AREAS BETWEEN BUILDINGS. Please remain a minimum of 500' (five hundred feet) away from the evacuated building.

DO NOT return for personal belongings.

DO NOT turn lights or any electrical device on or off.

DO NOT use elevators.

DO NOT re-enter buildings for any reason.

For students and staff with disabilities requiring assistance

Because certain areas of the campus do not offer immediate access to outside, seven locations have been designated as official evacuation stations for persons with disabilities. The stations are located at: Donahue 380, Donahue 416, Frost 387, "C" building 333, Marieb 318 and the fourth and fifth floor of the Kittredge Center. Under ADA regulations, it is appropriate for individuals using wheelchairs to go immediately to these evacuation stations in an emergency. These locations are equipped with evacuation chairs for individuals using wheelchairs and call buttons to alert appropriate personnel of the presence of persons needing assistance to evacuate the building.

Staff/faculty members should make themselves familiar with the location of evacuation stations and be able to direct persons with disabilities to the nearest evacuation station.

During an evacuation on any floor, evacuation team members are charged with the prompt and safe exit of persons with disabilities.

Evacuation team volunteers should report to their assigned stations and send one member to report to the flagpoles in front of Frost building and await further instruction.

Chemical Spills
EVACUATE & REPORT

In case of emergency, activate the building alarm and evacuate. Do not use elevators. Get to a safe place outside, away from hazardous fumes, and call 911 from any campus phone or cell phone. Any spill or release of a chemical, biological, or other dangerous material must also be reported immediately to the campus police by calling 2211 from campus phones or 413.552.2211 from cell phones.

When reporting a spill, be specific about the nature of the material, the location of contamination, and number of people injured, if any. Provide your full name, the telephone number from which you are calling, and your location, including building, floor, and room number. Campus Police will contact medical personnel and specialized authorities.

SECURE & PROTECT

If possible and safe, seal off the contaminated area. Don personal protective equipment appropriate for the hazard. Turn off laboratory gases and exhaust fans, and close all doors and windows before evacuating. Call 911 from any phone.

If the contamination involves volatile, flammable materials, turn off laboratory gases and sources of ignition and ventilate the area.

Consider the need for respiratory protection. The use of a respirator or self-contained breathing apparatus requires specialized training. If respiratory protection is needed and no trained personnel are available, call 911 from any phone.

Refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or other references for information.

FIRST AID

Attend to anyone who may be hurt or contaminated, if it is safe to do so. Remove contaminated clothing immediately and flush skin or affected area with water for no less than 15 minutes.

Seek medical treatment if you experience any symptoms of toxic poisoning: difficulty breathing; irritation of eyes, skin, throat and lungs; changes in skin color; headache or blurred vision; dizziness; loss of coordination and balance; cramps or diarrhea.

Anyone exposed to chemicals should avoid contact with other people and wait in a safe and secure area for Campus Police and emergency medical personnel to arrive.

EVACUATION PROCEDURES

When an audio or visual alarm is activated, exit the room and the building immediately. Do not stop to collect personal possessions. Do not use elevators. Use the nearest marked exit and posted evacuation route. Get to a safe area outside and away from toxic fumes and other hazards.

Faculty and college staff will direct students and visitors to safely evacuate. Faculty should help students with mobility issues get to the nearest stairwell landing where they should wait for the building's manual cart team.

Look out for persons requiring assistance. Notify emergency personnel of the exact location of anyone having difficulty evacuating.

Keep clear of emergency command posts unless you have official business with emergency personnel.

Keep streets, fire lanes, hydrant areas, and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and personnel.

If requested, assist emergency crews and follow the instructions of Campus Police and other emergency personnel.

Do not return to an evacuated building unless directed by college officials.

Safety Tips

While campus police are available around the clock, there are many things you can do to be safe, at HCC and elsewhere.

  • Familiarize yourself with emergency phone and call box locations.
  • Note the location of Emergency Guides, which give guidance on how to respond to emergency situations. These are located near emergency phones, in classrooms, and in offices throughout campus.
  • Securely lock bicycles in the bicycle racks provided around campus.
  • Park in assigned parking lots. Although the campus is well-lighted, any student or staff member may request an escort when returning to a vehicle after dark. Dial extension 0 from a campus phone or ask the switchboard operator in the main lobby of Frost Building for assistance.
  • Lock your vehicle and lock valuables in the trunk.
  • Report any suspicious-looking activity to the Campus Police immediately.
  • Obey the 20 m.p.h. posted speed limit. Campus grounds are frequented by walkers and joggers.

Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers.

  • Where is the phone?
  • Take note of the two nearest exits to your location.
  • Can you see the threat from your location?
  • Are you in immediate danger?

Have an escape route in mind.

  • Do not use the elevator in times of emergencies.
  • Take personal belongings with you only if time permits.
  • Shut office/class doors upon exiting if time permits.

Walk as quickly as possible, exiting to a safe location.

  • Never run unless an imminent threat requires running.
  • Remain calm but act quickly.
  • Listen for instructions over the alert system.
  • Exit the danger zone to a location safe from the threat.
  • Do not allow your actions while evacuating to endanger others.
  • Warn others in the immediate area.

Staff and faculty should direct students to leave the building quickly and safely

  • Be mindful that visitors may be present needing guidance and assistance evacuating.
  • When possible, help others evacuate, e.g., disabled.
  • After evacuating, remain a safe distance from the building(s) to ensure your personal safety and allow emergency vehicles /responders ready access to the area
  • DO NOT re-enter buildings for any reason once you have exited.

Always follow the orders of the police if they are present. Remember to keep your hands visible.