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Important Emergency Terms

Understanding some basic terms can help you respond to an on-campus emergency in a way that protects your own safety and that of others around you.

  • Shelter in Place

    • Examples: Tornado or other severe weather, nuclear alert, hazardous materials spill.

      Move to the designated sheltering area in the building you are in.  If no sheltering area is indicated, choose an interior room or one with as few doors and windows as possible. Remain there until the danger has passed.
      The longest you should expect to stay inside is about 12 hours, usually less. A few simple items can make it easier and more comfortable should you ever need to shelter in place on campus.

      The following items would be good to keep in the place where you spend the most time-your residence hall room or office-to support your personal comfort:

      • Extra prescription medicine (if you need to take it during the period of shelter in place or in case local pharmacies don’t open immediately following the incident.
      • First aid supplies.
      • Non-perishable food and bottled water (Most bottled water is good for about six months. If the bottle does not have an expiration date on, mark the date of purchase.)
      • Flashlight
      • Battery-operated radio
      • Extra batteries
      • A telephone
  • Seek Secure Shelter

    • Examples: Active shooter or dangerous person immediately threatening the campus.
      Get into a lockable space, like an office or classroom, and remain there. Lock and barricade doors, turn off lights, and turn cell phones to silent or vibrate mode. Get under a desk or other surface to hide. Wait for further instruction from law enforcement. If the threat is in your building and you can safely flee, then do so.

  • Evacuate

    • Examples: Fire, smoke.
      Immediately leave the building that you are in, exiting through the nearest and safest exit. If the fire alarm has not been activated, do so.

  • Avoid Area, Warn Others

    • Examples: Hazardous materials spill, flooded roads, aircraft accident, bomb threat, civil disturbance, fire, gas leak, or power lines down.
      In these types of incidents, the emergency is localized on campus. College officials do not want anyone near the area and want you to alert others of the emergency.

  • Immediate Threat Notification

    • Upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation, a notification will be sent to the Richard Bland Community via RBC Alert System.
      The College Police Department will also use some or all of the systems described below to communicate the threat to the community or an appropriate segment of the community, if the threat is limited to a particular building or segment of the population.
      During an emergency, RBC will distribute information to the campus community via:Police car siren and PA system

      • E-mail: Blast e-mail to all “@rbc.edu” accounts
      • Text/voice messages: RBC Alert text messages and/or voice messages to registered users (cell and home). Faculty, staff and students register through RBC Alert System
      • Campus phones: Telephone messages to campus telephones
      • Public Television and Radio
      • Resident assistants
      • Building Fire Alarm Systems: Evacuation
      • Sirens on campus
      • Alertus Boxes


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