Campus Emergency First Response Procedures 

How do I respond in an emergency situation?

It is difficult to predict all that might occur in a given emergency situation but you should be familiar with safety procedures that have been determined for specific emergencies. Always use your best judgment for the safety of yourself and those around you. The following list identifies several emergency situations followed by a course of action.

General procedure if you are the first person to arrive at the scene of an emergency:

  1. Sound any alarm that needs initiated
  2. Call for 911 if necessary
  3. Call Security 573-592-5555
  4. Take command and secure the area as much as possible until Security or first responders arrive
  5. Brief Security or first responders as to the situation
  6. Further assist as requested
  7. Step aside
Bomb Threat
  • If you receive a bomb threat phone call, ask questions to determine gender, background noise, tone, accent, or any other clue as to the caller's identity or location
  • Verbally warn the building occupants under the threat via phone or voice
  • Call 911 and Security 573-592-5555
  • Unless instructed otherwise, current occupants of the building are to evacuate to the building's Safe Zone, staying as close to buildings or other structures as possible while doing so
  • Report to your RA, professor, supervisor, or Building Contact, alerting them of your safety or any missing persons 
Chemical Spill
  • For a chemical release in your area, shut off nearby running equipment, evacuate the area and close the door behind you, giving a verbal warning to all in the area/building to evacuate
  • Call Environmental Health & Safety (573-220-4550) and Security 573-592-5555
  • Go to the Safe Zone for that building
  • Report to your professor, supervisor, or Building Contact, alerting them of your safety and the absence of any others you may know of
  • If you hear a verbal warning that there is a chemical release in your area/building, shut off nearby equipment and close the door behind you, evacuate to your building's Safe Zone and report as above
  • If there is a major release in the vicinity of the campus, the local emergency HazMat Team will inform our campus of the situation
  • You will be informed as to what to do, either verbally, by telephone intercom, via text messages, or through email.
Earthquake
  • At the first tremor, take cover under heavy furniture or in sturdy doorways
  • After the first tremor, evacuate the building and congregate in an open area with your Residential Advisor, supervisor, professor, or Building Contact
  • If outdoors remember campus power lines are above ground and may fall, campus gas lines are underground and may rupture, and do not touch metal in case of a downed power line.
  • If the campus sustains notable damage you will be directed by your Residential Advisor, Residential & Greek Life, or your Building Contact to a safe area where you will be advised of further actions

Fire

  • Initiate or respond to an alarm. Alarms may be: pull stations, automatic alarms, aerosol boat horns, smoke detectors or voice.
  • Proceed to designated Safe Zones.
  • Report to your RA, professor, supervisor, or Building Contact to let them know you have made it safely out of the building. Also, report any missing persons to the appropriate one of the above.
  • Remain in the Safe Zone until dismissed
Lockdown

The college will sound a warning siren (check web site under Emergency Response Plan for recording of siren sound) and sends text and email messages in the event of a shooter.

  • If a shot is heard in your area, call 911, and Security at 573-592-5555 when possible
  • At the sound of a shot or the campus siren, or the receipt of a text message or email warning of a shooter, take cover in your area and STAY PUT
  • Close the door to your area, locking and barricading it
  • Turn off the lights and cover windows
  • Keep a cell phone on vibrate for text information
  • Be aware of your surroundings and evaluate the situation constantly
  • Do not move from your area unless necessary and you are certain it is safe to do so
  • If you must move, have a specific destination and an alternate plan in mind before you do
  • Watch your environment while moving, especially tops of buildings and other high areas 
  • Never run toward police in a shooter situation and always keep your hands in plain view
  • Never pick up a weapon that is wrested from an attacker
  • Do not assume the situation is over until told so by administration or the police

Nuclear
  • Nuclear emergencies most likely come with fair warning 
  • The President or his designee will make evacuation announcements.
  • If evacuating campus, sign the Sign-Out sheets found at building exits. Leave a contact phone number on the sheet or with your RA, Residential & Greek Life, or Building Contact.
  • Lock and close your area, taking with you anything you will need or do not want to risk being stolen.
  • Community shelters can be found at Jason Gym on Lincoln's campus in Jefferson City and The Hearne Center on MU's campus in Columbia
  • Student Life will pair local families with students unable to go to their homes
  • Call backs will be via the campus web page or the contact phone number you left behind
Public Safety
  • The Wellness Center will alert the campus community as to any current or pending contagious illnesses
  • Westminster College will cooperate with County Health Officials during any high level epidemic or pandemic outbreak
  • Accommodations will be made on campus for small numbers needing quarantine or isolation
  • Large outbreaks may require college closure. The announcement will originate from the President of the College or his designee with instructions as to the closure procedure.
  • Sign out sheets will be placed at all exits in all buildings. Sign out leaving a contact phone number on the sheet or with your Residential Advisor, Residential & Greek Life, or your Building Contact.
  • Call backs will be via the web page or the contact phone number you left behind upon evacuation
Tornado
  • A Tornado Watch will be broadcast via NOAA weather radios, email messages, and local media
  • A Tornado Warning will be broadcast via city sirens, NOAA weather radios, text and email messages, and local media
  • Take cover following a Tornado Warning in the safe zone designated on your floor plans, or in the lowest part of the building in an area away from glass
  • If outside, go to the nearest depression (ditch or creek area) and crouch or lie flat, covering your head with your arms. If in a building without a basement, find shelter in lowest level bathrooms or under sturdy stairs away from glass.
  • If the campus sustains notable damage you will be directed by your Residential Advisor, Residential & Greek Life, or your Building Contact to a safe area where you will be advised of further actions
Violence
  • Violence may be range from a two-person scuffle to a hostage situation, a terrorist situation, or a demonstration involving many people
  • Always cooperate with instigators
  • Call 911 and/or 573-592-5555 for help and leave the scene only when safe to do so