Emergency preparedness

What to do | Who to call | How you’ll know

Emergency planning at Earlham College is looked upon as a continual, ongoing responsibility, and with that in mind, the below information is being provided for the campus community. This is intended to give users quick and easy access to basic information on recommended responses to a variety of potential emergency situations. Please recognize that no single set of instructions can anticipate all potential emergencies and that this information is provided only as a guide.

Emergency procedures

These emergency procedures have been designed to provide direction to the Earlham College community in the event of an emergency. Faculty and staff members should direct students and visitors should an emergency occur. These links will provide basic information and instructions for the following situations:

Remember no two incidents are identical, each must be evaluated independently, therefore the following response concepts could include:

If exiting the building or area is possible

  • Exit immediately
  • Try to warn others
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Notify 911 upon reaching a safe location

If exiting the building or area is not possible

  • Remain calm.
  • Immediately lock your office door or classroom door. If there are non-threatening students/faculty/staff members in the hallway, ask them to step into your room/office.
  • Direct others in room to move away from doors and windows. Do not open your door for any reason. Authorities will have keys.
  • Cover room/office windows as best as possible; close blinds and curtains and turn off lights.
  • Mute all cell phones or other devices that may alert of your presence (including vibrating modes).
  • DO NOT call emergency services or Public Safety after the incident has been reported unless you can provide useful information pertaining to the situation.
  • Take attendance of students/faculty/staff present and be prepared to provide it to authorities if needed.
  • If you hear what may be gunshots, direct those in the room to lie as flat on the floor as possible.
  • Remain in a lockdown until otherwise instructed by authorities or campus administration.

If an intruder is outside the building

  • Attempt to lock the building if this can safely be accomplished
  • Turn off lights to rooms and move away from windows
  • If the intruder gains entry to the building, attempt to evacuate through an alternate means, or follow actions listed above.

More information on how to respond to an active shooter >

A fire may include visible flames or strong odors of burning. The appropriate emergency action is for persons to evacuate the building quickly and safely and call 911 and Earlham Public Safety at 765-983-1400.

Immediate action

  • If you are the person who has discovered the fire, extinguish it ONLY if you can do so safely and quickly.
  • Use an appropriate fire extinguisher to control the fire only if you have had fire extinguisher training; and the fire is containable; and your personal safety is not placed in jeopardy.
  • If the fire is extinguished, notify Public Safety.

If the fire cannot be extinguished

  • Confine the fire by closing the door/s.
  • Pull the nearest FIRE ALARM while leaving the building
  • Alert others (while proceeding to evacuate the building).
  • Exit the building, assisting anyone who needs help in the evacuation.
  • CALL 911
  • Call Earlham Public Safety at 765-983-1400.
  • Meet the Fire Department when they arrive.

Evacuating a building

  • Close the doors to your immediate area.
  • Feel closed doors from top to bottom before opening. If it is hot, DO NOT proceed; go back.
  • If the door is cool, crouch low and open the door slowly. If smoke is present, quickly close the door to prevent inhalation.
  • If no smoke is present, exit the building via the nearest exit. Assist others in exiting the building. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.
  • Avoid smoke filled areas.
  • If exiting a smoke-filled area, stay low to the ground and crawl to the nearest exit.
  • If your clothing catches fire; do not run. Remember – STOP, DROP AND ROLL.

If a tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service, this means that a tornado or funnel cloud has been sighted in our area visually and/or on Doppler radar. The City of Richmond activates warning sirens when a tornado warning is issued.

Tornado warnings are also automatically issued through the campus Emergency Notification System.

What you should do

  • Remain calm-this will help you to think clearly.
  • Relay the warning to others in the area and people that you are responsible to notify and take attendance.
  • Be prepared for the possibility of a tornado.
  • Proceed to your areas designated shelter area within your building.
  • Crouch near the floor or under heavy, well-supported objects and protect your head and neck.
  • Monitor local weather information.
  • Remain sheltered until warnings have expired (no all clear signal is broadcast)

Please note: There is no guaranteed safe place during a tornado. However, it is important to seek shelter in the best location to help minimize your exposure.

Areas of safety

Designated shelter areas within your building (rooms and corridors in the lowest innermost part of the building and basements).

Areas to avoid

  • Stay clear of windows, corridors with windows, or large free-standing expanses.
  • DO NOT use elevators during a tornado warning.

In the event of a medical emergency, immediately call 911 for an ambulance. Provide the location of the medical emergency, including which room as well as the nature of the emergency.

What you should do

  • Notify Earlham Public Safety at 765-983-1400.
  • If someone else is available, have them meet the ambulance personnel outside the building (or location) to guide them to the scene.

DO NOT provide first aid assistance unless you are trained to do so and have permission from the individual (if they are able to provide it).

DO NOT move the person unless he/she is in immediate danger.

If the person is UNCONSCIOUS

  • DO NOT try and give fluids.
  • DO NOT attempt to awaken by shaking.
  • DO loosen tight clothing, especially around the neck if breathing is restricted.
  • DO begin giving CPR if the person is not breathing and you are trained to do so.

If the person is CONSCIOUS

  • Get as much information as possible (i.e. type of injury/sickness, age, medical conditions, medications, allergies etc.).
  • Reassure the person that help is on the way.
  • DO NOT let the person drive home or to a hospital.

If the person is having a seizure, DO NOT restrain him or her. Move any objects or desks away to prevent the person from being injured.

If you receive a bomb threat (typically received via telephone):

  • Obtain as much detail as possible about the bomb and its location.
  • The exact location of the bomb.
  • The time set for detonation.
  • What the bomb looks like.
  • What type of explosive the bomb contains.
  • Why bomb was placed?

IMMEDIATELY notify Earlham Public Safety 765-983-1400 and provide as much information as possible.

What you should do

  • Be alert for suspicious items or packages. Visually inspect areas of your room or office. If you note anything suspicious report them to authorities, DO NOT touch the item/s.
  • If the threat is received by letter, do not handle it after it has been opened; preserve for authorities.
  • Be prepared to evacuate the area if you are ordered to do so.
  • If ordered to evacuate, students, faculty & staff shall assist with an orderly exit from the building. People evacuated should be moved at least 500 feet from the evacuated facility.
  • Doors to all evacuated areas of the building shall be left open on exiting the area.
  • Wait for further instructions, DO NOT call Campus Public Safety or authorities (after reporting the incident) unless you have information related to the situation or a life-threatening emergency.

Call Earlham Public Safety at 765-983-1400 to report releases or spills of hazardous materials inside of buildings.

What you should do

  • Evacuate the immediate area and close and lock the doors, if possible, when a spill or release of a hazardous material occurs.
  • Call Earlham Public Safety from a safe location outside of the release area, and then call your supervisor. Provide information such as what was spilled or released, where and how much was released, and any information known about the toxicity or hazards of the substance.
  • Campus Public Safety will assess occupant safety based upon the information provided and contact Maintenance or Richmond Fire Department for assistance.
  • If the release involves a small quantity of low-hazard material, evacuate the area affected. Wait for assistance at a safe location outside of the room or area.
  • Record the names of all individuals who were in the area at the time of the release in case they need to be contacted for a health-related follow-up later.
  • Public Safety may provide instructions to start a building evacuation if the spill or release involves:
    • An unknown substance or a solid, liquid or gaseous material that is poisonous, flammable, or reactive. (Examples include formalin, compressed gases, acetone)
    • Any spill that is spreading rapidly. Even a low-hazard water spill can cause structural damage, injuries to others or damage equipment.
    • Supervisors and individuals involved in the spill should immediately report to the Public Safety personnel when he/she arrives at the scene

If the building is to be evacuated, follow the Fire Evacuation Procedures, and

  • Keep people together at an assembly point upwind from the spill.
  • Inquire about injuries and symptoms of exposure. Provide this information immediately to emergency responders.
  • Begin a sign-in sheet at the assembly point so individuals can be contacted for exposure-related follow up after the evacuation.
  • Only small, low-hazard spills may be cleaned up by the spillers, and only after the spill has been reported to Public Safety and assistance is on site.
  • Never attempt to clean up any spill unassisted.

All appropriate safety measures must be in use during the cleanup.

If you smell natural gas and suspect a large/significant gas leak, evacuate the area and call 911. Provide the location and extent of the gas leak. Additionally notify Earlham Public Safety at 765-983-1400.

For suspected minor leaks notify Earlham Public Safety at 765-983-1400.

What you should do

  • Evacuate the area; do not use the fire alarm, use room-to-room communication.
  • Do not switch any lights or electrical equipment on or off.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Evacuate the building through the nearest exit. If persons with disabilities cannot safely evacuate the building on their own, please assist them out of the building or to a safe zone away from the emergency area and alert emergency personnel of their location.
  • Move to a point outside at least 1000 ft. from the building. Keep all walkways clear for emergency crews.
  • Emergency communications will be sent to the campus community concerning incidents or evacuations through Earlham Emergency Notification System.
  • Do not return to an evacuated area until given the all clear by authorized by emergency personnel.

Who to call

College Phone Numbers

765.983.1400 Department of Public Safety (24/7)
765.983.1432Counseling Services*
765.983.1328Health Services*
765.983.1317Office of Residence Life*
765.983.1311Office of Student Life*
765.983.1315Facilities*
* These offices can be reached after-hours by contacting Public Safety.     

Important Local Numbers

765-983-7247Richmond Police (non-emergency)
765-983-9393Wayne County Sheriff (non-emergency)
765-983-7266Richmond Fire Department (non-emergency)
765-983-3000Reid Hospital
800-777-2060Vectron Natural Gas
765-983-7200Richmond Power & Light (RP&L)
800-222-1222Poison Control

Emergency communications

Communication is the key to managing any crisis or emergency situation. To this end, Earlham College utilizes several means of communication to provide vital information to the campus communication should this type of event occur.

Emergency Notification System

The Earlham College Emergency Notification System (ENS) communicates through email, phone calls and text messaging*. These communications inform you of an emergency situation and/or direct you to take certain action. These alerts are usually in the earliest moments of a crisis or emergency, and may contain very brief concise information and directions.

To ensure this type of vital information can be communicated, it is important that Earlham College have up to date emergency contact information on all students and employees.

Learn how to check and update your emergency contact information.

* This is a free service provided by the College, however normal text message fees may apply. To receive notifications your cell phone must have text messaging capabilities. Notifications are dependent upon external providers (i.e. wireless carrier, e-mail service, etc.).

Campus webpage

While initial emergency communication may be sent through the Earlham ENS, most follow-up information will be provided through the College’s homepage.

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