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EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES HANDBOOK INTRODUCTION

This handbook is intended by use by administrators, staff members, and students at NACEE and has been designed for quick reference during emergency conditions at NACEE site(s), including Huntsville, Decatur, Cullman, Scottsboro, and Athens.

Recipients of the handbook should become familiar with its contents and all new employees should be made familiar with these procedures during orientation.

Informational blanks have been provided in several sections and should be filled in immediately. Once the blanks are filled in and procedures reviewed, the handbook should be kept in a readily accessible location, preferably near the telephone. Users should strive to keep this handbook up to date by periodically checking the information to insure it is current.

In instances where emergency procedures for the Police Department differ from those in this handbook, such procedures will supersede the instructions in the handbook for personnel at various sites.


 

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS

The following numbers are for use at NACEE. The use of these numbers will assist in a prompt response to any emergency at NACEE .

Police + Fire + EMS + Hazardous Materials Incidents – Call 911 – 372-4600

Other emergency numbers or numbers of interest are:

Huntsville Police Department 722-7100
Madison County Sheriff ’s Office 722-7181
Alabama State Troopers 533-4202
Crestwood Medical Center 882-3100
Huntsville Hospital Main 265-1000
Huntsville Hospital East 265-1000
Decatur Police Department 341-4600
Cullman Athens Police Department 735-2400
Athens Police Department 232-0111
Scottsboro Police Department 574-4468
Jackson County Sheriff ’s Office 574-2610
Limestone County Sheriff ’s Office 232-0111
Cullman County Sheriff ’s Office 734-0342
Morgan County Sheriff ’s Office 351-4800

 

CRIMINAL ACTIVITY

If you observe a crime in progress or behavior which you suspect is criminal, immediately notify The Executive Director’s Office, then Huntsville Police Department. Report as much information as possible including what the person(s) is/are doing; where it is happening; physical and clothing description of those involved; are weapons involved, if so what type; vehicle description and license number if appropriate ; direction of travel when last seen.

DO NOT APPROACH OR ATTEMPT TO APPREHEND THE PERSON(S) INVOLVED. Stay on the telephone with the police dispatcher and provide information as changes with the station occurs until the first police officer arrives at your location.

UTILITY FAILURE

In case of utility failure immediately call your Executive Director’s Office at 256-372-4600

Be prepared to give:

  • Building name
  • Nature of problem
  • Floor
  • Person to contact and extension
  • Room number

During power failures, areas that do not have enough natural light to clearly see exit stairs or exit doors should be evacuated while emergency lights are on. Entry to the building should not be made until power is restored. Emergency lighting is temporary and is not provided to continue building operations.

If flooding occurs, stop using electrical equipment until repairs are accomplished and the area is dry.


 

BOMB THREATS

Most bomb threats are received by telephone. The person receiving the telephone call should remain calm and obtain as much information as possible by using the attached checklist. Immediately call The Executive Director’s Office. Then one must notify the police (911) andinform them of the situation with as much information as is available, specifically the location and time of possible denotation. Inform your immediate supervisor, after informing the police.

The Police will probably ask those working in the area to assist with the search as they will be more familiar with what does and does not belong. If a suspicious package or device is found, immediately notify the police. DO NOT TOUCH OR HANDLE the suspicious item. DO NOT USE radios or cellular telephones.

A supervisor/coordinator will be responsible for ordering the evacuation of the building after consultation with the Police Supervising officer.

If the bomb threat is received by written, electronic or recorded communication, immediately notify The Executive Director’s Office. Shortly after, the Police Department (911) should be notified. Do not handle the communication any more than is absolutely necessary and surrender this document to the Police upon their arrival.


 

BOMB THREAT CALL CHECKLIST

1. Exact wording of the threat

2. Questions to ask the person making the threat

  • Record Response and repeat in sequence.
  • Where is the bomb?
  • What floor is it on?
  • Who are you?
  • Can we help you?

3. Caller’s voice and manner description:

Caller’s Voice:

  • calm
  • laughing
  • raspy
  • angry
  • sobbing
  • deep
  • excited
  • distinct
  • cracking
  • slow
  • slurred
  • accent
  • rapid
  • nasal
  • disguished
  • soft
  • stutter
  • male
  • loud
  • lisp
  • female
  • profane
  • incoherent
  • familiar*

4. *If the caller’s voice is familiar, who did the caller sound like?

5. Date and time the call received

6. Name of person who received the call


 

CHEMICAL SPILLS (IMMEDIATE DANGER)

If a chemical spill takes place which in the opinion of the person or persons responsible for such material poses a threat to themselves or other building occupants, the following steps should be taken:

1. Sound the building fire alarm. If you have body contact with the spilled material remove any contaminated clothing immediately and flush all areas of bodily contact with copious amounts of water.

2. Call the Executive Director’s Office and the Police Department at 911 and provide the following:

  • Chemical Substance Involved
  • Building
  • Floor
  • Room Number
  • Type of Incident

Notify your Supervisor’s Office.

3. Evacuate the building to an assembly area and leave a clear access for arriving emergency personnel. Do not return to the building until instructed to do so by the Police or Fire Department.

4. Obtain assistance for those injured or exposed (safety shower, medical attention, etc). Bodily contact areas should be rinsed for 15 minutes with copious amounts of water.


 

CHEMICAL SPILLS (NOT IMMEDIATELY DANGEROUS TO LIFE OR HEALTH)

Chemical spill which do not pose a threat should be handles by:

1. Attempt to confine the spill as much as possible, if you have been trained to confine spills and are thoroughly familiar with the hazards of the spilled chemical. If you have contact with the spilled material, remove any contaminated clothing immediately and flush all areas of bodily contact with copious amounts of water.

2. Notify the Exective Director, then the Police (911) and give them:

  • Chemical Substance Involved
  • Building
  • Floor
  • Room Number
  • Type of Incident

Police will then notify the appropriate response departments to assist in the proper cleanup of involved materials.

3. Continue to rinse body contact areas with copious amounts of water for 15 minutes.


 

PSYCHOLOGICAL CRISIS

A psychological crisis exists when an individual is threatening harm to themselves of others, or is delusional and out of touch with reality.

This crisis may be manifested as:

  • Paranoia
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Complete withdrawal
  • Uncontrolled behavior (anger, yelling)
  • Self injury

Students: If a student is experiencing a severe psychological crisis, contact the Executive Director’s Office and the Police Department (911). The Police can ensure physical safety of all individuals involved and arrange for transportation of the student to the nearest hospital emergency room. Call student’s parents or guardians.

Staff: A staff member experiencing a psychological crisis should be directed to the nearest hospital emergency room or call their family member. If a staff member is experiencing a severe psychological crisis, contact the Police and family member for assessment and transport to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Procedures
Should you come into contact with someone experience a psychological crisis, DO NOT attempt to handle the potentially dangerous situation alone. Notify the Police at 911. All suicide attempts should be immediately reported to Police. The safety of the person in crisis and those around him should be of first concern. The Police will work closely the counseling professionals when necessary.


 

HAZARDOUS GAS LEAKS (FLAMMABLE, TOXIC, CORROSIVE, OXYGEN, CRYOGENIC)

If a gas cylinder or gas piping begin leaking and if in the judgment of the person or persons responsible for such materials it presents any danger to themselves or the other building components, the following steps should be taken:
1. If possible, close the valve.

2. Confine the fumes or fire as much as possible to limit the impact to the leak area.

3. Sound the building fire alarm so evacuation can begin.

4. Notify Police at 911 and provide the following

  • Chemical Substance Involved
  • Building
  • Floor
  • Room Number
  • Type of Incident

5.  Evacuate the building to an assembly area leaving access for emergency personnel. Do not return to the building until instructed to do so by the Police or Fire Departments.

6. Suspected gas leaks or suspicious odors should also be reported to the Executive Director/Police at 911 so that appropriate departments can be notified and the source of the odor investigated.


 

EARTHQUAKE

During a major earthquake, you may experience a shaking that is gentle at first and within a second or two grows violent and knocks you off your feet OR you may be jarred first by a violent jolt, as though your building was hit by a truck. A second or two later you’ll feel the shaking and, as in the first example, you’ll find it very difficult (if not impossible) to move from one room to another.

DURING THE QUAKE
1. If you are indoors, stay there. Get under a desk or table or stand in the doorway or corner. Stay clear of windows, bookcases, mirrors, and fire places. If possible, extinguish any open flames or sources of ignition immediately.

2. If you are outside, get into an open area away from trees, buildings, walls and power lines.

3. If you are a high rise building, stay there. Stay away from windows and outside walls. Get under a desk or table. Do not use elevators.

4. If you are in a crowded public place, do not rush for the doors. Move away from display shelves containing objects that could fall.

5. If you are driving, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses and power lines. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over. If the earthquake has been severe, do not attempt to cross damaged bridges, damaged overpasses, or damage sections of road.

AFTER THE QUAKE
1. Check for injuries to yourself and others. Apply first aid. Do not move seriously injured individuals unless they are in immediate danger. Help people who are trapped by furniture or other items that do not require heavy tools to move. Rescue and emergency medical crews may not be readily available.

2. Do not use the telephone immediately unless there is a serious injury, fire, or gas leak.

3. If you suspect or know that someone is trapped in a building, contact the Police at 911 or in person. Have someone pose a message in the front of the building noting the time, date, number of victims, and their last known location in the building.

4. Check for gas and water leaks, broken electrical wiring, and broken sewage lines. Check the building for cracks and damage. If there is gas leaking, extinguish all sources of ignition and do not turn on or off any electrical switches in the area. Call the supervisor for assistance immediately. Report any damage to the Police. Attempt to block off damaged areas to keep people away from the hazard until additional help can arrive.

5. Do not touch downed power lines or damaged building equipment.

6. Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline, or other chemicals. If a spill is significant, utilize the Chemical Spills Emergency Procedure as outlined in this handbook.

7. If a building is damaged, evacuate and attempt to secure the building against entry. Notify the Police at 911 of the damage and evacuation. Do not reenter damaged building. Notify your Supervisor.

8. If you have to evacuate, post a message in clear view stating where you can be found. List reunion locations so that others looking for you later can find you. If you have a company pager, radio, or cellular phone, take them with you along with batteries and chargers, if available. This may be your only method of communication for several hours.

9. Turn on a battery powered radio for damage reports and information.

10. Do not use you vehicle unless there is an emergency. Keep the streets clear for emergency vehicles.

11. Be prepared for aftershocks. Aftershocks are usually smaller than the main quake but may be large enough to do additional damage to structures weakened during the main shock.


 

FIRE

1. Remain calm.

2. Activate the fire alarm system upon discovering a fire, explosion, or smoke in the building.

After sounding the alarm, contact the Exective Director’s Office, who will then proceed to call the Huntsville/Decatur/Scottsboro/Athens Police Department at 911nd provide the following:

  • Building name
  • Floor
  • Room Number
  • Type of accident

3. Contain the fire by closing doors and windows.

4. After sounding the alarm, attempt to contain a “SMALL FIRE” utitlizing available fire extinguishers *If TRAINED TO DO SO*. If fire is beyond control or involved potentially explosive materials, evacuate the building.

5. Evacuate when a fire alarm sounds. A complete evacuation is required. Walk, do not run, to the nearest stairway exit and proceed to ground level. The alarm may not sound continuously. If the alarm stops, continue the evacuation and warn others who may attempt to stay or enter the building after the alarm stops.

6. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS DURING A FIRE EMERGENCY.

7. Leave the building and move towards an assembly area, leaving walkways and drives open for arriving firefighters. Do not return to the building until directed to do so by the police or fire offers.

8. Someone familiar with the situation who knows the area involved should meet the Fire Department.

9. Everyone must follow the orders of the Fire and Police Departments when they arrive.

10. Notify firefighters on the scene if you suspect someone may be trapped inside the building or if mobility impaired persons are waiting for assistance in the stairwells.

11. Report potential hazards or address fire prevention questions to Environmental Health & Safety.


 

TORNADOES/SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH
Continue normal activities, but have someone monitor the situation.

TORNADO WATCH
Continue normal activities, but have someone monitor the situation. (Listen to The National Weather Services for updates on the weather on the radio and television stations.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
Be prepared to move to a place of shelter if threatening weather approaches.
1. Keep people indoors and away from windows until the severe storm passes. If large hail begins to fall, seek shelter.

2. Report injures and damage to the Police at 911.

TORNADO WARNING
An actual tornado has been identified in the area by spotters and/or radar.

1. If you are in the warning area, seek shelter immediately.

2. If you are in a vehicle, get out and seek shelter in a sturdy building. If a building is not available, a depression such as a ditch or ravine offers some protection.

3. Do not open windows. This can actually increase damage to the building. Stay away from windows and exterior doors.

4. Basements, interior hallways on the lower floors, and small interior rooms on the lower floors offer the best shelter.

5. Report injuries and damage to the Police at 911. Notify the Executive Director’s Office.

6. After the “all clear” signal, leave badly damaged buildings and do not attempt to return to the building unless directed to do so by the Police Department. Do not attempt to turn utilities or equipment on or off.


 

SEVERE WEATHER NOTIFICATION

In the event that the Center closes because of severe weather or other conditions that are hazardous for safe operation, the Executive Director will contact coordinators, administrative assistants, and satellite offices regarding the severe weather conditions. News Media will be notified by 6:30 a.m. unless extreme conditions occur during the regular work day hours. Radio Station WJAB 90.9 and television stations 19, 31, and 48 news channels will be the media notified. Local school closings (include Alabama A & M University) do not preclude the Center’s being open.

When the Center remains open and an employee has an extreme problem in reporting to work (such as a road closing or icy road conditions), that employee may request administrative leave. Such a request will be considered on an individual basis. However, the policy is to allow the employee to use their own good judgment in assessing road conditions in reporting to work at a reasonable hour. Otherwise, employees who do not report to work will be charged with annual leave.


 

BUILDING EVACUATION

1. When you evacuate
The following will result in the evacuation of a building:

  • • Audio alarm
  • • Power failure
  • • Natural disaster
  • • Man-made disaster
  • • Mechanical problems that are deemed a danger to the occupants
  • • Hazardous Chemical spill or gas leak
  • • Order of the Police Department or other Public Safety Officials

2. General Evacuation procedures and guidelines:

General Procedures

  • • Stay calm.
  • • Staff should attempt assisting others in the evacuation of their areas. In the event you are not familiar with the evacuation route of your area, please follow the nearest “EXIT” sign.
  • • Do not use elevators.
  • • Reenter the building only when directed by a fire department official or the police department.
  • • Staff should only perform those evacuation duties that they are comfortable with.
  • • Occupants should be strongly encouraged to evacuate the building; however, if an occupant refuses to leave, the building emergency supervisor/staff should inform the occupant of the danger of staying in the building. The building emergency supervisor/staff should then continue notifying the remainder of occupants in his/her area.

General Guidelines when evacuating the building

  • Evacuate the building in a top down fashion. Do not go upstairs to evacuate activity spaces; the
  • Building Emergency Supervisor or Support Staff will notify occupants in those areas.
  • Follow the “Exit” signs posted throughout the building.
  • Evacuate away from the affected area.
  • Clear the activity area that you are closest to during the alarm.
  • Make you way to the next activity area if there is no sign of smoke or fire.

 

EVACUATION PROCEDURES

PROCEDURE
Executive Director and Coordinator(s) shall meet with new employees immediately upon hiring to discuss emergency procedures. If the person requests assistance in an emergency, plans are to be made upon hiring and discussed with the individual. Emergency supervisors, alternate, and support staff are to be made aware of the request only upon permission of the person making the request.

Building emergency supervisors who have mobility restricted individuals under their direction must make arrangements to notify police and fire authorities of the location of these people within the involved building. This should be done in person outside of the building. This is critical to the procedure and the safety of these individual.

If a person with a mobility impairment is able to exit the building without the use of the elevator, the evacuation should follow the appropriate route out of the building. If exit from the building
is only possible by use of the stairwells, follow these procedures:

  • • The mobility impaired person should proceed to the nearest enclose stairwell of “area of safe refuge” and stay there.
  • • In case of fire, enclosed building stairwells are “safe refuge area,” and have a higher fire resistive rating. If possible a co-worker, supervisor, instructor, or building emergency supervisor should be notified. Make sure the door to the stairwell is closed. Open doors will violate the safe refuge area and will allow smoke, and possibly fire, into the stairwell.
  • • Once outside the co-worker, supervisor, instructor, or building emergency supervisor must notify the Huntsville Fire Department or the Huntville/Cullman/Decatur/Athens Scottsboro Police Department that there is a mobility impaired person in the stairwell, which floor the person is on and the location of the stairwell or refuge area. 19

 

SUSPICIOUS PACKAGES AND LETTERS

Biological Threats targeting individuals can frequently be controlled by screening of materials and by following the procedures listed below. Responding Public Safety agencies have plans and promote the highest level of safety while minimizing the disruption association with these incidents.
1. Mail and package delivery should be screened for suspicious letters and/or packages. Common features of threat letters/packages are:

  • • No return address
  • • Handwritten or poorly typed address
  • • Misspelled of common words
  • • Restrictive marking such as “Confidential”, “Personal,” etc.
  • • Excessive weight and/or feel of powdery or foreign substance

2. Suspicious letters and packaged should not be opened and should not be handled any more than is absolutely necessary. If there is nothing leaking from the suspicious item, leave it alone and notify the Executive Director’s Office. Then one should contact the Police Department (911).

3. If you open a letter/package that claims to have contaminated you; but there is no substance seen or felt in the envelope or on the letter, chances are that you have not been contaminated. Call the Huntsville/Cullman/Decatur/Scottsboro/Athens Police Department at 911and tell them exactly what you have done and what information you have in regard to the threatening letter. They will dispatch the appropriate personnel to your location to follow-up on your possible exposure and to document what has taken place. Do not handle the suspicious item anymore and do NOT let anyone else handle the item.

4. If you open a letter/package that claims to have contaminated you and there is some sort of foreign substance in the envelope or package, place the letter back into the envelope/package, close it back up, and place it in a plastic bag and deal it. The person that opened the envelope/package; and, anyone who came in contact with the envelope/package or its contents after it was opened, should immediately wash their hands with soap and water. If you are covered with a significant amount of the substance, stay in the room and emergency responders will bring you some clean clothing to change into and place the contaminated clothing in a plastic trash bag. Then wash your hands with soap and water. Call the Huntsville/Cullman/Decatur/Scottsboro/Athens Police Department at 911 to report the letter/package and tell the dispatcher you have opened the letter/package and tell the dispatcher you have opened the letter/package, there is a substance inside, and what you have done up to that point.


 

ARMED ASSAILANTS & SHOOTING INCIDENTS

If the situation should arise that someone has entered a NACEE office and started shooting, the following list of actions is recommended. Please note, that these situations are highly unpredictable and that the following guidelines are based on past experience and best practices. Altering response may be necessary, depending on the situation.

If you hear shots, or a lockdown warning or notice is received, do the following:
1. Go to the nearest room, office or closet.

2. Close, lock, and barricade doors.

3. Turn off radio, computer monitors and silence cell phones.

4. If possible, cover the door or windows.

5. Stay quiet and stay out of view. Take adequate cover/protection (concrete walls, thick desks, filing cabinets, etc.)

6. DO NOT answer the door

7. Notify the Executive Director’s Office and Huntsville/Decatur/Cullman/Athens/Scottsboro Police Department at 911 or 722-7100 if it is reasonably safe to do so.

8. Give the dispatcher the following information

  1. a. Your name
  2. b. Location of incident (as specific as possible)
  3. c. Injuries (number and type)
  4. d. Number of known shooters.
  5. e. Identifications or description of the shooter(s)
  6. f. Type of weapon (handgun, title, etc.)
  7. g. You current location
  8. h. Location of known victims

9. Place signs on the exterior windows to identify the location of injured persons.

10. Wait for police, fire, and/or emergency workers to assist you out of the building


POLICE RESPONSE

Police are trained to respond to an active shooting incident by entering the building as soon as possible and proceeding to the area of the assailant. Early in the incident it may be impossible to deliver medical treatment to victims, because the main goal is neutralizing the assailant. Try to remain as calm as possible so as not to interfere with police operations. Once the area has been secured, rescue teams will arrive to provide assistance.


 

AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATOR (AEDS)

In the event of a suspected cardiac emergency, contact or have someone contact the Police at 911.
a. Inform the dispatcher of the situation and the building and room number.

b. The Police will immediately be dispatched to the location.

  • • The police officer will bring an AED to the location or will use the one already available at the site.
  • • The dispatcher will notify Huntsville/Decatur/Cullman/Athens/Scottsboro Fire Department and Huntsville/Decatur/Cullman/Athens/Scottsboro Emergency Medical Provider Service, Inc. and the secure their response.
  • • A Police Officer or a designated employee will direct the Emergency Medical Provider to the victim.

Any person providing assistance to the victim must:

1. Assess scene safety

2. Use personal protective equipment.

3. Assess responsiveness. Tap the victim’s shoulder and shout “Are you okay?”

4. If the victim is not responsive make sure emergency response has been activated and 911 called.

5. Check ABC’s

  • • Assess Airway. Head tilt, chin lift to open airway or slide the lid to the Zoll AED unit under the victim’s shoulders. The thcker portion should be under the shoulders with the thin part on the back. This props up the shoulders tilting the head back to open the airway.
  • • Asses Breathing. Look, listen, and feel. This props up the shoulders titling the head back to open the airway.
  • • Assess Circulation. Check pulse. If absent, begin chest compressions and continue CPR.

Using the AED
NOTE: CPR must be used with AED

1. Turn the defibrillator on as soon as it arrives.

2. Connect the AED to the victim immediately. If the victim has excessive hair, shave it. If the victim is wet, dry the chest. The AED will provide audible instructions for CPR and analyze heart rhythm.

3. Follow the AED prompts.

4. Allow AED to analyze. Do not touch the victim during the analysis.

5. If indicated, push the bottom to administer a shock. Be sure nobody touches the victim while the charge is administered.


 

MEDICAL EMERGENCIES/ABULANCE

1. Do not move a seriously injured person unless they are in a life threatening situation.
2. If trained personnel are not available in your area or if an ambulance is needed call 911. Give as much information as possible regarding the nature of the illness or injury. Particularly important information includes

  • Age
  • Bleeding
  • Sex
  • Conscious or Unconscious

3. Persons in your area who are trained in first aid or CPR should be listed below

4. A first aid kit is located at

5. An automated External Defibrillator is located