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In a campus emergency, what should you do? How can you stay informed?

Palm Beach State College uses Blackboard Connect to communicate with students and employees in an emergency. All employees and students will automatically receive emergency messages via:

  • text messages on mobile devices
  • audio messages on cell phones and/or home phones the College has on file
  • emails

You will remain in this system unless you opt out.

STUDENTS:
We strongly encourage you to log in to PantherWeb to ensure that the contact information on file for you is correct. Please also ensure that the phone numbers on file correspond with the phone number type, i.e., put the cell phone in the cell phone box. After login, click on profile on the top right and click on change contact info.

EMPLOYEES:
We strongly encourage you to go to the Employee Web to ensure that the contact information on file for you is correct. Please also ensure that the phone numbers on file correspond with the phone number type, i.e., put the cell phone in the cell phone box. After you log in, on the left side of the page under quick links, click on change contact info.


Q&A

What do I need to do?
When you get the first message from Blackboard Connect, do nothing to stay subscribed or type STOP to opt out.

How do I opt out of text messages?
You may opt out at any time by texting “STOP PBSTATE” to 63079 or 23177.

What if I opted out but later decide I would like to opt in again?
You can text “SUBSCRIBE PBSTATE” to 63079 or 23177.

From what number will these text messages originate?
All confirmation text messages and subsequent alerts will come from 23177 or 63079. These are text message phone numbers owned by Blackboard Connect.

Updated information will also be available on our social media sites and the College homepage.

 

Emergency Response Guides:

Emergencies can occur at any time, without warning. Careful planning, with an emphasis on safety, can enable members of the Palm Beach State College community to respond appropriately to crises and emergencies and may prevent injury and save lives.

WHO DO YOU CALL FOR CAMPUS EMERGENCIES?

Medical Emergencies – Call 911 with a follow-up call to the campus Security Office.

Crime/Suspicious Person/Accident Reporting – Call the campus Security Office.

Security Office telephone numbers:

  • Lake Worth – (561) 868-3600

  • Palm Beach Gardens – (561) 207-5600

  • Boca Raton – (561) 862-4600

  • Belle Glade – (561) 993-1120

A medical emergency includes any serious injury or illness that requires immediate medical attention.  If a major medical emergency/illness occurs:

  • CALL 911 for paramedic/ambulance assistance and, if possible, contact Palm Beach State College Security.

  • STAY, or have someone else stay, with the patient until help arrives.

  • DO NOT move the patient; keep the patient still and comfortable.

  • PROTECT the patient from injury by removing any potential safety threat, if possible.

  • PROVIDE first aid until help arrives, if you have appropriate training and equipment and it is safe to do so.

  • SEND someone outside to escort Emergency Responders to the appropriate location, if possible.

  • STAY out of the way unless assistance is requested once help arrives.

  • INFORM Emergency Responders of the following information:
    • Building or location where assistance is needed.
    • Specific location within the building.
    • Type of problem, individual's condition.
    • Medical history, if known.
    • Sequence of events.

If a minor injury/illness occurs:

  • Assess the need for medical attention. If immediate medical attention or medical transport is required, then follow the procedures outlined above.

  • Provide first aid as appropriate. Each College department should have a first aid kit in accordance with the College's First Aid Kit Program.

A report must be made as soon as possible to Palm Beach State College Security for all injuries/illnesses that occur to employees, students and visitors.


For employees, work-related injuries and illnesses must be reported as specified on the Workers' Compensation web site. When reporting them, you should also remember that Board Policy 6Hx-18-5.84, "Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace," requires employees of the College to be drug-tested following an accident or injury.

Evacuation RoutesA fire can strike quickly and without warning. When the fire alarm sounds, YOU MUST EXIT THE BUILDING! All faculty, staff, and students must evacuate during an emergency. When you hear a fire alarm, get out!

In the event of a fire alarm and/or reported fire, faculty and staff members should use the following guidelines to ensure the safety of all students, faculty and staff.

All fires must be reported to Security immediately.

IF YOU SEE A FIRE, ACTIVATE THE BUILDING FIRE ALARM SYSTEM BY PULLING THE HANDLE ON A LOCAL FIRE ALARM BOX LOCATED ALONG THE EXIT ROUTES. This will automatically alert Security and get help on the way. It will also sound the fire alarm bells to evacuate the building and shut down the air handling units to prevent the spread of smoke. You should then exit the alarmed area. If possible, follow up with a call to 911 and Security from a safe location to provide more details.

THE NEXT STEP IS EVACUATION

  • Alert people in the immediate area of the fire and evacuate the room. All others, upon hearing the alarm or announcement, MUST leave the building immediately.
  • Take your belongings (if feasible).
  • Confine the fire by closing doors behind you as you leave the room, ensuring that everyone is out of the room.
  • FOLLOW YOUR EVACUATION ROUTE and leave the building through the nearest safe exit.
  • Walk, do not run.
  • DO NOT USE ELEVATORS! Should the fire involve the control panel of the elevator or the electrical system of the building, power in the building may be cut and you could be trapped between floors. Also, the elevator shaft can become a flue, lending itself to the passage and accumulation of hot gases and smoke generated by the fire and they may stall in the event of a power failure or deliver you to the floor where the fire is actually located.
  • Faculty must direct students to evacuate the building and proceed to the nearest Safe Assembly Area as indicated on the classroom evacuation map.
  • A faculty or staff member or the Building Coordinator should position themselves at the Safe Assembly Area to conduct a headcount.
  • Safe Assembly imageIf no other option but to proceed in a direction towards the fire or obvious danger exists, persons should crawl on their hands and knees past or under dangerous conditions, e.g., smoke.
  • If you encounter smoke on your way out, stay low and crawl if necessary. You are more likely to find breathable air close to the floor. Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth, if possible. If the hallway or stairway is filled with smoke, you may have to evacuate horizontally or use a secondary stairway.
  • If possible, a faculty/staff member or the Building Coordinator should check restrooms to ensure everyone is aware of the evacuation.
  • Faculty and staff or the Building Coordinator should position themselves at intersections of the building to direct pedestrian traffic to Safe Assembly Areas.
  • Assist any person in immediate danger, if it can be accomplished without risk to you.

Once outside, you must go directly to the Safe Assembly Area, stay there and await instructions. Give Emergency Responders any information they may need, e.g., location, size and nature of the fire, persons remaining behind and their locations. Do not reenter buildings until Emergency Responders advise that it is safe to do so.

While at the Safe Assembly Area, watch out for moving vehicles, both the fire-rescue vehicles coming on to the campus and the employee and student vehicles attempting to leave. Remain at the Safe Assembly Area until all personnel have been accounted for and the all-clear signal has been given.

In a building evacuation, persons in wheelchairs on a second floor or higher should be moved to a stair well. One or two other persons should remain with the person in the wheelchair if it is safe to do so. Other persons exiting the building must inform Security or Fire-Rescue personnel of the person in the wheelchair and its location. Fire-Rescue personnel will remove the person in the wheelchair. If Fire-Rescue has not arrived, and it becomes unsafe to remain, the person(s) left with the individual will have to attempt removal.

Report any power failure you may experience to campus Facilities and campus Security immediately.

Loss of power to fume hoods may require the evacuation of laboratories and surrounding areas.

Any building experiencing a power outage must be considered for an evacuation, per Code requirements. Even if a building has the capability to receive power from an associated emergency generator, the generator may not be capable of supplying the building's entire needs, and its ability to provide power for any extended period of time may be limited. In the absence of offsite power, the emergency lighting and life safety systems in the building will have limited duration. Without offsite power, the HVAC systems will be inoperable, and the environmental conditions within the building will deteriorate to a point where the building may become intolerable for occupancy. A power outage may be accompanied by a power surge, which can cause lighting ballasts to burn out and other electrically-powered equipment to become inoperable. Accordingly, depending on the extent and anticipated duration of the power outage, it may be necessary to evacuate the building or even close the entire campus. In light of the emergency equipment limitations and in consideration of the impact of a power outage on staff, faculty and students, the process to arrive at this decision will be completed as soon as possible, but in any case will not go beyond approximately 30 minutes.

If the building's fire alarm system should happen to be triggered because of the power surge or smoke from burnt-out lighting ballasts or other equipment, evacuation of the building is MANDATORY. Otherwise, the decision to evacuate a building and/or close the campus because of a power outage will follow a deliberate process and will be made as follows:

  • The campus Provost and the campus Facilities Manager must be notified of the power outage immediately by whoever first becomes aware of it or receives the report of it (other Facilities personnel or Security).

  • The campus Provost will notify the College President or his designee.

  • The campus Facilities Manager will notify the District Maintenance Supervisor, who will notify the Director of Facilities, who will notify the Vice President of Administration & Business Services. In the absence of any party in this notification tree, the next higher party must be notified.

  • The campus Facilities Manager will contact the utility company serving the affected campus (i.e., FPL or Lake Worth Utilities) to obtain as much information as possible concerning the cause and extent of the outage and the anticipated time of restoration of service. Communication with utility representatives must be continuous throughout the decision-making process and as necessary until power is restored.

  • Following consultation among these parties, the decision to evacuate the affected building(s) and/or close the campus will be made by the College President or his designee, based on information from Facilities and the local utility company regarding the extent and likely duration of the power outage.

If so directed, building occupants will evacuate to the building's Safe Assembly Area(s) to await instructions to return to classrooms or offices or notification of campus closure.

Campus Security Officers will deploy to the area(s) affected by the outage to direct personnel to the Safe Assembly Area(s) and assist as necessary.

If you become trapped in an elevator during a power outage, use the emergency phone in the elevator to contact Security.  Wait for assistance.  Do not panic.  Help will be on its way.

If your building is evacuated or the campus is closed, do not reenter the building or remain on the campus until an official announcement from the College is issued. Closing of the campus will require everyone to leave with the exception of key staff (Facilities and Security).

An Active Shooter emergency involves one or more persons with a firearm engaged in a random or systematic shooting spree. Once an Active Shooter event begins, a Lockdown would be ordered, but persons in the vicinity of the Active Shooter will need to undertake actions to protect themselves if shooting starts. These actions can be summarized as one of the following: Run, Hide, Fight. A link to a video illustrating these responses is found at the bottom of this page.

The measures described below reflect Run-Hide-Fight and are guidelines only—what you do will depend on the actual circumstances and what your judgment tells you to do based on what you see and hear.

If you are outside and you hear shots elsewhere:

  • You can either:
    • Leave the area, or the campus, away from the direction of the shots, if, in your judgment, it is safe to do so.
    • Move away as quickly as possible.
    • Call 911 as soon as it is safe to do so to report the location of the shooting and any other information you know or that is requested by the 911 operator.
    • Watch out for vehicles trying to leave the campus and for law enforcement personnel coming onto the campus.
  • OR
    • Enter the nearest building and proceed to take shelter in the nearest classroom, office or other area that can be secured.
    • Allow the person with the Lockdown key to lock the door.
    • Follow the guidelines for Lockdown, which are as follows:
      • If outdoors, go into the nearest building and/or proceed to an area that can be secured.
      • If inside a building, enter the nearest classroom, office or secure space with locking capabilities.
      • Faculty/staff should look outside their classroom/office to direct any students or staff in the hallway into the room immediately.
      • Anyone in a hallway, restroom, gym or cafeteria should move to the nearest classroom or other secure area immediately.
      • Use Lockdown keys to lock doors to classrooms and offices from the inside.
      • Secure and lock windows of classrooms and offices and close window coverings.
      • Turn off lights and computer monitors. Silence cell phones; if used, text only.
      • Everyone seek concealment and keep quiet.
      • Do not open doors during a Lockdown, even in the event of a fire alarm.
      • Stay in secured areas until directed by Security, law enforcement or a College Official.

If you are inside a building when shots elsewhere occur and you can safely evacuate the building:

  • You can either:
    • Leave the area, or the campus, away from the direction of the shots, if, in your judgment, it is safe to do so.
    • Move away as quickly as possible.
    • Call 911 as soon as it is safe to do so to report the location of the shooting and any other information you know or that is requested by the 911 operator.
    • Watch out for vehicles trying to leave the campus and for law enforcement personnel coming onto the campus.
  • OR
    • Remain in the building and proceed to take shelter in the nearest classroom, office or other area that can be secured.
    • Allow the person with the Lockdown key to lock the door.
    • Follow the guidelines for Lockdown described above.

If you are unable to evacuate the building:

  • Proceed to take shelter in the nearest classroom, office or other area that can be secured.
  • Allow the person with the Lockdown key to lock the door.
  • Follow the guidelines for Lockdown described above.

If the door to the space you take shelter in cannot be locked:

  • If the door opens inward, barricade it with anything you have available (desks, chairs, bookcases, etc.).
  • If the door opens outward, tie it down, if possible, by using a belt attached to the door handle.
  • Follow the guidelines for Lockdown described above.

If the shooter is attempting to break down the door or get past the barricade:

  • Try to escape through a window or another door, and run away as fast as you can.
  • If escape is not possible, position yourself in the room in a location that will allow for the element of surprise if the shooter enters.
  • Plan to survive—obtain anything that will serve as a weapon and be prepared to attack as the shooter enters the room.

If the shooter gains access to your room:

  • Consider these options:
    • Try to escape through a window, another door, or past the shooter if his/her attention is directed elsewhere. Run away as fast as you can.
    • Attack the shooter
      • Throw anything available at the shooter, aiming at the face to distract his/her aim.
      • Attack in a group (swarm).
      • Use all available weapons to attack and disarm the shooter.
      • Grab the shooter's extremities (arms, legs and head) and take him/her to the ground using body weight to secure him/her.
      • "Fight dirty" to survive—bite, kick, gouge eyes, etc.
      • Continue to fight until the shooter is no longer a threat.

If you have incapacitated the shooter:

  • Call 911 and advise law enforcement personnel that the shooter is down.
  • Provide your location and stay on the telephone, if possible.
  • Secure the shooter (belts, body weight, etc.).
  • Move any weapons away from the shooter, but DO NOT HOLD A WEAPON. At this point, law enforcement personnel are likely unable to distinguish you from a shooter.
  • DO NOT RUN from the room.  Help will be there very soon, and you do not want to have law enforcement personnel think you are a shooter trying to escape.
  • RAISE YOUR HANDS and DROP TO YOUR KNEES.  Do not appear threatening to responding law enforcement officers.
  • Provide first aid to others in the room, as needed.

What to expect from responding law enforcement personnel:

The objectives of responding law enforcement personnel are:

  • Immediately engage or contain the Active Shooter to stop life-threatening behavior.
  • Identify threats such as improvised explosive devices.
  • Identify victims to facilitate medical care, interviews and counseling.
  • Investigate.

Police officers responding to an Active Shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard in order to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. The first responding officers may be in teams. They may be dressed in civilian clothing or normal patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing external ballistic vests and SWAT Team-type gear. They may be armed with various weapons. Be prepared for "dynamic entry"—the police will enter areas with weapons drawn and at the ready in order to be prepared to shoot if a threat is present. Regardless of how the police appear or sound, do not be afraid of them.

  • Do exactly as the officers instruct.
  • Put down any bags or packages you may be carrying and keep your hands visible at all times.
  • If instructed to lie down, do so.
  • If you know where the shooter is, tell the officers.

The first responding officers to arrive will not stop to aid injured people. They will be focused on stopping the Active Shooter and creating a safe environment for medical assistance to be brought in to aid the injured after the area is secured. Keep in mind that even if you have escaped to a safer location, the entire area is still a crime scene.

Keeping Updated

If an Active Shooter situation develops, the College will implement its Emergency Operations Plan and will work with law enforcement personnel to support their efforts to manage the incident. Updates on the situation may be obtained through:

  • Text messages through the multi-modal alerting system.
  • Updates on the Palm Beach State College web page.
  • Your supervisor, department/College administrator or Building Coordinator.
  • Campus' URL.
  • Emergency hotline.
  • Other means of notification available.

The RUN-HIDE-FIGHT video illustrates these responses to an Active Shooter.

Shelter in Place is an emergency response measure in which persons on the campus are instructed to seek shelter inside a building due to extreme weather outdoors or some other phenomenon that poses risk to persons outside. The basic concept behind sheltering-in-place is to use a building to put a barrier between yourself and the phenomenon posing danger. An extreme weather event, such as a tornado approaching the campus, may require you to Shelter in Place until the weather threat has passed. You may be able to increase your chances for survival by relocating from your normal work area to a space that has no windows or to a lower floor. Upon receiving notification via multi-modal alerting system or VALCOM of Shelter in Place, it is recommended that you:

  • Go inside as quickly as possible.

  • In the case of a tornado warning, avoid seeking refuge in auditoriums, gymnasiums and other buildings with large roof spans.  Occupants of such structures should move into adjacent or nearby offices.

  • Move to an interior room with no windows on the lowest floor possible of the building. Because of possible electrical failures, use the stairs, not the elevator.

  • Move to an interior stairwell or a hallway not directly connected to the outside if all rooms have windows. Otherwise stay away from windows and other glass.

  • Close and lock all windows if you are in a room with windows.

  • Close window coverings (e.g., blinds, drapes, shades) if present and if there is time.

  • Close doors and lock them if so advised.

  • Stay in the center of the room away from doors and windows.

  • Use the phone only for emergencies.

  • Stay in place and only come out when you are told that it is safe by Security or law enforcement personnel or a College official.

 

 

 

 

 

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