Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures

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Emergency Response Procedures

Procedures for immediate notification of the seminary community include the seminary’s phone system, seminary email, walkie talkies for select employees, and, in the future, text messaging. 

  1. Once a possible emergency situation comes to the attention of one of the Campus Security Authority (CSA) or other Westminster authority, he/she will seek to confirm the report either by personally viewing the circumstances or calling Physical Plant personnel to confirm it.  If an emergency exists, 911 will be dialed immediately to bring local authorities on campus or to the Bookstore.

  2. If the nature of the emergency is a fire, the alarm for the affected building will be pulled and occupants directed to areas away from the building to allow fire personnel to respond appropriately on arrival.

  3. If the nature of the emergency requires notification of either a segment(s) of or the entire community, the appropriate authority will communicate to the affected portion of the community without delay in any of multiple methods deemed appropriate, including using walkie talkies to communicate between campus buildings to staff, direct/intrusive email message to administration and staff through the seminary’s computer system, and text messaging to all student cell phones as per a pre-established list of numbers.

  4. If any portion or the entirety of the community is to be notified, the individuals responsible, in consultation with the Dean of Student Development and Alumni Support or the Vice President for Academic Affairs, for (1) determining appropriate segments of the community and the content of the notification and (2) initiating the notification system of the message are the Coordinator for Student Development or the Executive Assistant to the President. Availability at the time of the emergency will determine which of the individuals will proceed to notify the community.

Under the auspices of Physical Plant and Information Technology, Westminster will test its emergency response system at least once per calendar year. The test will contain a scheduled drill (activity that tests a single procedural operation) and exercise (test involving coordination of efforts). Measureable goals will be set for the test and the test evaluated by those goals. The test will be documented and filed. Documentation will include a description of the test, its date and time, and whether it was unannounced or announced. The seminary’s emergency response and evacuation procedures will be publicized (outside of the seminary website) once per calendar year, in concert with the test, to the seminary community. 

Emergency Lockdown Procedures

If you receive a message in text, email or voice to lockdown at the campus, and you are on campus, remain calm and use the following guidelines. If you receive a message in text, email or voice to lockdown at the Bookstore, and you are at the Bookstore, remain calm and use the following guidelines. 

  • Go to the nearest room or office. Lock or block the doors.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Keep down and quiet.
  • Put cell phones on vibrate.
  • DO NOT open the door.
  • Evacuation is NOT recommended.
  • If possible, call 911 and stay on the line until the dispatcher tells you otherwise.

If you receive a message in text, email or voice, to lockdown from the campus, and you are NOT on campus, do NOT come to campus. If you receive a message in text, email or voice, to lockdown from the Bookstore, and you are NOT at the Bookstore, do NOT come to the Bookstore.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

If you receive a message in text, email or voice to evacuate, remain calm and use the following guidelines:

  • Exit the building immediately.
  • Use the nearest available exit.
  • Move quickly, quietly and calmly. Do not run.
  • If you are in Machen or Van Til Halls, assemble on the lawn behind Van Til or on the lawn in front of library.
  • If you are in the Library or Student Center, assemble on the grass between the Library and the lower parking lot or on the grassy areas between Machen and the Carriage House.
  • If you are at the Bookstore, assemble in the grassy area along Gibraltar Road.
  • Keep away from all buildings and cars.
  • Do not attempt to drive your vehicle.
  • Be aware of any arriving fire and emergency vehicles.
  • Do not re-enter the building until instructed to do so by your supervisor or a fire/rescue worker.

In the case of campus evacuation, instructions will be given, by building, via the emergency notification system. In case of Bookstore evacuation, instructions will be given by on-site employees.