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Emergency Response Reference Guide

This reference guide is intended as a quick, hands-on list of procedures to be followed in specific emergency situations.

The purpose of this reference guide is to provide guidelines to assist persons in dealing with specific emergencies on campus. The guidelines are intended to better enable the university community in protecting life and property and minimizing the damage caused by emergency situations, as well as to promote awareness in responding to emergencies. This guide complements the Armstrong Emergency Operations Plan and the Armstrong Emergency Response Procedures Handbook for Faculty and Staff. The guidelines also apply to the Armstrong Center and Armstrong departments in the Savannah Mall.

Every student should familiarize themselves with the emergency procedures and evacuation routes in buildings they live in or use frequently. Students must be prepared to assess situations quickly but thoroughly, and use common sense in determining a course of action. They should evacuate assembly areas in an orderly manner when an alarm sounds or when directed to do so by emergency personnel.

Faculty and Staff
Every member of the faculty and staff should read and understand the university emergency plans and familiarize themselves with their emergency procedures and evacuation routes. Employees must be prepared to assess situations quickly but thoroughly, and use common sense in determining a course of action. They should follow emergency plan procedures to report fire or other emergencies that require immediate attention, and evacuate in an orderly manner. Faculty members are seen as leaders by students and should be prepared to direct their students to evacuate campus buildings in the event of an emergency when necessary.

Building Coordinator
Each building coordinator may be responsible for developing a building emergency plan. In the event of an emergency, the building coordinator may be asked to assist in coordinating a safe evacuation. The building coordinator may act as the liaison to the EOC.

Armstrong has in place BLAST, an emergency communication system designed to send vital messages to individuals' designated emergency phone numbers and e-mail addresses in the event of a disruption of normal campus operations or in the case of an emergency. The Armstrong University Police Department is responsible for BLAST and for testing and evaluating this emergency system.

Instructions to Update Your BLAST Information.


Power Outage
A major power outage is defined as power not being available to more than one building on campus. A minor power outage is defined as when a building or a part of a building has lost power. If you notice a power outage, report that outage to university police by calling 43333 or 912.344.3333.

If you find a fire, pull the nearest fire alarm and call 43333 or 911. Use fire extinguishers only if the fire is small (waste basket size), and you feel comfortable using the extinguisher.
To use the extinguisher:

Fire Emergency Response
In the event of fire alarm activation, all university personnel will immediately evacuate the building unless otherwise directed by authorized personnel. DO NOT use elevators in the event of fire.

Hurricane Response Plan (abbreviated)
NOTE: The university will close when Chatham Emergency Management Agency announces "Voluntary Evacuation of the Islands." When the university is closing, all personnel should take time to record on their voice mails the following message:
"The university is closed due to Hurricane ______.
For information concerning Armstrong's reopening, please check Savannah broadcast media or call 912.344.2500." Students: Please check the student affairs web page for information on hurricane preparedness and evacuation.

Hurricane Watch— Conditions are favorable for some form of severe weather or other natural disaster to occur. Precautionary measures should be taken at this time.

Hurricane Warning — Severe weather or other forms of natural disasters actually pose an immediate threat to the area. Quick action to protect oneself is essential.

Tornado Response Plan
Tornado Watch— is issued when weather conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms that are capable of producing tornadoes. A tornado watch therefore implies that it is also a severe thunderstorm watch. A tornado watch must not be confused with a tornado warning.

Tornado Warning— is an alert issued by government weather services to warn an area that a tornado may be imminent. It can be issued after either a tornado or funnel cloud has already been spotted, or if there are radar indications that a tornado may be possible.

Tornado Emergency — is issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) when a large, violent tornado is expected to impact a populated area. Since information about the tornado and its exact path is often ascertained after the initial tornado warning is issued, this designation is usually added to the Severe Weather Statement (SVS) that is used to follow-up a tornado warning.

Tornado: Classroom Response
When the Tornado Emergency is received, if there is sufficient time to take shelter:

Flood Emergency Response
In the event that students and staff are unable to leave campus because of flash flooding or rising water, all personnel should move to the second floors of classroom buildings.

Natural Gas Leaks
Natural gas leaks are rare occurrences but nevertheless are extremely dangerous. Natural gas leaks are identified by the smell of rotten eggs or a hissing sound.
In the event of a natural gas leak:

Hazardous Materials
Any spillage of a hazardous chemical or radioactive material will be reported to University Police immediately, 912.344.3333.

Violent or Criminal Behavior

Note: The University Police Department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is a state police agency with the same arrest powers as any other state agency or city and county police agency. Its jurisdiction is Board of Regents property and 500 yards beyond BOR property.

Workplace Violence Prevention

Hostage Situation
If taken hostage, or if you witness another person being taken hostage:

Bomb Threat Emergency Response

If you are the person receiving a bomb threat via telephone, remain calm and talk to the person as long as you can.

All receptionists, administrative assistants and other personnel who typically answer telephones at Armstrong should keep a "bomb threat notification card" in their desks. (See the Armstrong Emergency Response Procedures Handbook for Faculty and Staff for more detail.) Wave the bomb threat notification card in the air to get the attention of someone in the area. Give the card to the first person to respond to you. The card gives a complete description of what is taking place and the procedures to follow. The Armstrong Emergency Response Procedures Handbook for Faculty and Staff covers this issue in detail. The person receiving the call should try to obtain as much information as possible. Listen to what the caller is saying and do not interrupt. Take down the entire message. If possible, try to keep the caller on the line and try to gather further information.
If you receive a bomb threat, CONTACT UNIVERSITY POLICE AT 43333 FROM ANY CAMPUS PHONE OR 912.344.3333.

Suspicious Packages/Mail

All staff and faculty are required to immediately report any suspicious packages or objects found on campus to the University Police, 912.344.3333. Possible warning signs:

In the event of a suspicious package/mail:

Serious Health Concerns

A growing concern among students and faculty alike is the increase in infectious diseases such as meningitis. Common symptoms are: stiff neck, severe headache, high fever, sensitivity to light, sleepiness, confusion and seizures. Blood infections may cause fever and rash. For immediate concerns regarding serious health issues, call the Armstrong Student Health Center, 912.961.5726; or the Chatham County Health Department and Immunization Clinic, 912.356.2441.

For questions or concerns regarding students with disabilities, call Disability Services, 912.344.2744.

Civil Disturbance

Most campus demonstrations are peaceful and people not involved should attempt to carry on business as usual. Avoid provoking or obstructing demonstrators. Should a disturbance occur, call the University Police at 43333 or 912.344.3333.

If a disturbance seems to threaten the occupants of the building, report it immediately to the University Police and take the following actions:

Possession of Firearms or Other Weapons

The Georgia Criminal Code, Section 16-11-127.1, makes it a felony to possess a weapon in, on or within 1,000 feet of the campus. "Weapon" means and includes all firearms, switchblade knives and all knives having a blade of two or more inches, martial arts devices, clubs or other bludgeon-type instruments, stun guns or tasers. This policy excludes classroom work authorized by the teacher and does not apply to sports equipment, law enforcement training courses or military training programs. The provisions of this code do not apply to duly authorized personnel.