How to respond to an emergency on campus

Public Safety officers efforts are ongoing to plan for, respond to, and mitigate life-threatening emergencies.

Though educational institutions are some of the safest places in America, recent events have shown that there is no location in the country that is immune to severe weather, fire, crime and violence.

CCBC’s Department of Public Safety takes active steps, every hour of the day, to ensure your safety: 

  • Foot patrols of campus buildings and grounds, an extensive CCTV camera system, with 400 cameras on 6 campuses; 
  • Training of the officers in active threat response; 
  • Crisis Response Teams able to support first responders on campus during a crisis and  
  • An alerting system that is designed to inform you of a crisis via text, email,  siren and computer alert.

Safety Suggestions from the Department of Public Safety  

In a crisis, response by Public Safety and the County Police will be quick and sure, but the scene will be chaotic and ever-changing. What you do in advance, and what you do during the crisis may save your life. 

Consider the following as you think about your response to a tornado or severe thunderstorm warning. 

Severe weather emergency procedures

  • If possible, proceed to a ground level or underground level of the building. 
  • Do not use elevators. 
  • Stay in a “safe shelter location” like a central hallway, stay away from windows, mirrors, glass, and unsecured objects such as filing cabinets or book cases. 
  • Remain alert for falling objects. 
  • Carry your cellphone and class roster with you. 
  • Remain in the “safe shelter location” until the tornado/severe thunderstorm warning has expired. 
  • Report injuries to Public Safety at 443.840.1111 or call 911. 

If there is a disabled person in your vicinity on the second floor or above: 

    • Assist the individual to the nearest stairwell as the “area of refuge”. 
    • Immediately contact Public Safety at 443 840-1111 with the person's location. 
    • Stay with the person, if you can, until rescue personnel arrive. 

Consider the following as you think about your response for fire or explosion. 

Fire or explosion emergency procedures

If you discover a fire, explosion or smoke in a building: 

  • Activate the fire alarm system: Find a wall-mounted red pull station and pull down its lever. 
  • Call Public Safety at 443.840.1111. 
  • Provide your location and specify the type of incident (fire, explosion, smoke, burning odor, etc.) 

When a fire alarm sounds: 

  • Evacuate the building immediately.  
  • Remain approximately 100 feet from exterior building exits. 
  • Carry your cellphone and class roster with you. 
  • Notify authorities if anyone from your class or office area is missing. 

If there is a disabled person in your vicinity on the second floor or above: 

  • Assist the individual to the nearest stairwell as the “area of refuge”. 
  • Immediately contact 911 with the person's location. 
  • Stay with the person, if you can, until rescue personnel arrive. 

Do not use the elevators during a fire, explosion or smoke emergency. 

Do not re-enter the building until told to do so by on site authorities, or until you hear the alert tone and “All Clear” signal from the Whelan Alert System.

Consider the following as you think about your response to an active shooter.

Take a moment to view the "Surviving an Active Shooter" video

In every event, those persons who get away from the danger, or hide from the attacker, increase their chance of survival. Quite simply, if the attacker can’t get to you, or can’t see you, your risk is greatly reduced.

View the Ohio State University Surviving an Active Shooter video »

Plan your escape in advance

Before you hear a gunshot, or hear screaming, plan an exit strategy. Does your building have more than one stairway? Is there a loading dock or service entrance you can use? Do you have a closet, storeroom or conference room nearby in which to hide?

Are you prepared to leave quickly

Don’t turn off your computer, check the news or put your coat on. Grab your cell phone and get out of your office or building without delay. Take your fellow students and co-workers with you.

If Public Safety sends an alert, take it seriously and act quickly

There’s no benefit in walking to a window to see what’s going on, calling home or assuming it’s a false alarm. Follow the directions on your cell phone or computer, and do it immediately. You may be told to shelter-in-place (lock or barricade your door and turn off the lights), or evacuate the building. You may be told to avoid a certain location.

These alerts are not sent haphazardly. They are sent to provide you with the best information available at the time, as soon as the incident is confirmed by Public Safety. Alerts that might cause great fear or panic will not be sent until the incident is confirmed and clear directions (to evacuate or shelter) can be given with confidence.

Use the phone to call Public Safety (443.840.1111) or 911 as soon as you can

The Lynx panic alarms on a PC will tell Public Safety that someone needs help, but it can’t describe the situation, the number of suspects, weapons involved or who is injured. Call first if you can.

Talk to your fellow employees and students about the correct response to active-threat incidents

Encourage discussion in each class of these issues and best practices. During a crisis, work together to get everyone away from the threat and discuss the alternatives in advance. Discuss what it means to evacuate and shelter-in-place. Discuss how important it is to respond immediately, without hesitation or panic. Be prepared.

RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.® Surviving an Active Shooter Event - English 07.23.2012
Video by Ready Houston
Surviving an active shooter event. English version. Video Copyright © 2012 City of Houston.


If you can escape from a dangerous situation, do so without delay. Evacuate even if others refuse to follow, and do so as quickly and safely as possible. Leave personal property behind, and if you can, warn others to leave the area as you escape. Do not attempt to evacuate wounded people. Once you see police officers, follow their commands without hesitation.
  • Keep your hands visible, and place them in the air if ordered to do so.
  • Do not directly approach an officer or grab on to him or her.
  • Do not stop to ask for directions, or to provide voluntary information. (You will receive guidance as you get farther away from the site and be interviewed in short order for critical information.)


If you cannot escape, stay in your location, out of view, and secure the door. Be sure your location is out of the shooter’s view. If you can conceal yourself in a location that also protects you (such as a room with no windows and with a solid wood door), you will increase your security.


If you cannot escape and your life is in imminent danger, attack the active shooter and attempt to incapacitate him. Commit to taking aggressive action, such as by improvising a weapon or physically attacking the shooter.