Sarah Lawrence College’s Emergency Response Plan includes information about its crisis management team, emergency command post, priority objectives during a crisis and responsibilities of team members. Also included in the plan are guidelines to follow in the following emergencies: fire emergencies, evacuations, bomb threats, chemical spills, medical emergencies, hostile intruders, utility failures, explosions and chemical/biological/nuclear attacks. View Sarah Lawrence College’s Emergency Response Plan.
As per new federal guidelines, the college will test its emergency response and evacuation procedures on at least an annual basis and will publicize its procedures in conjunction with this test. The College will also document a description of the exercise as well as the date and time of the exercise and whether it was announced or unannounced.
On December 4, 2011, at 9 a.m., an unannounced mass evacuation drill of all campus buildings in the Slonim Woods section of campus was conducted. The scenario assumed there was a major fire in Slonim Woods. All individuals in the Slonim Woods buildings left their buildings and followed the evacuation route into the Campbell Sports Center. Security personnel were present in strategic areas to ensure the evacuation went well.
On December 5, 2010, at 2:30 p.m., a previously announced mass evacuation drill of all inner campus buildings (i.e., Westlands, Dudley Lawrence, Titsworth, Gilbert, Rothschild, Garrison and Taylor) was conducted. The scenario assumed there was a major fire on inner campus. All individuals in the inner campus buildings were asked to leave their buildings upon hearing the fire alarm and to follow the evacuation route. Security personnel were present in strategic areas to ensure the evacuation went well. Prior to the drill, an informational e-mail was sent out reminding people of campus building evacuation procedures. The College also tests its emergency notification system several times a year.
On December 8, 2009, at 7 p.m., a previously announced campus wide lock down drill was conducted at the College. The drill involved an active shooter scenario. All staff, faculty, and students on campus were asked to go into lock down. Members of the Yonkers Police Dept. assisted the College in conducting the drill. Prior to the drill, informational e-mails giving detailed instructions on what to do during a lockdown were sent to all members of the College community. In addition, one day each summer, members of the Yonkers Swat Team conduct scenarios/training in Sarah Lawrence College Buildings. Lastly, the College tests its emergency notification system several times a year.
If an incident occurs and the buildings or areas around you become unstable, or if the air outdoors becomes dangerous due to toxic or irritating substances, it is usually safer to stay indoors, because leaving the area may expose you to that danger. Thus, to “shelter-in-place” means to make a shelter of the building that you are in, and with a few adjustments this location can be made even safer and more comfortable until it is safe to go outside.
Basic “Shelter-in-Place” Guidance
If an incident occurs and the building you are in is not damaged, stay inside in an interior room until you are told it is safe to come out. If your building is damaged, take your personal belongings (purse, wallet) and follow the evacuation procedures for your building (close your door, proceed to the nearest exit, and use the stairs instead of the elevators). Once you have evacuated, seek shelter at the nearest campus building quickly. If police or fire department personnel are on the scene, follow their directions.
How You Will Know to “Shelter-in-Place”
A shelter-in-place notification may come from several sources, including security personnel, Student Life staff, and other College employees, utilizing the College’s emergency communications tools.
How to “Shelter–in-Place”
No matter where you are, the basic steps of shelter-in-place will generally remain the same. Should the need ever arise, follow these steps, unless instructed otherwise by local emergency personnel:
- If you are inside, stay where you are. Collect any emergency shelter-in-place supplies and a telephone to be used in case of emergency. If you are outdoors, proceed into the closest building quickly or follow instructions from emergency personnel on the scene.
- Locate a room to shelter inside. It should be: an interior room; above ground level; and without windows or with the least number of windows. If there is a large group of people inside a particular building, several rooms maybe necessary.
- Shut and lock all windows (tighter seal) and close exterior doors.
- Turn off air conditioners, heaters, and fans.
- Close vents to ventilation systems as you are able. (College staff will turn off the ventilation as quickly as possible.)
- Turn on a radio or TV and listen for further instructions.