Emergency Procedures


Southwestern Community College District is committed to a safe educational and work environment for all students and staff, as well as the community. Emergencies can occur and it is the District’s policy to provide timely notification of dangers to students, faculty, and staff members.

An emergency is an immediate threat to the health and safety of students or employees. In the event of an emergency, the Southwestern Community College District will immediately initiate appropriate emergency communications to protect the safety of students and employees, in order to notify them, to provide them with sufficient time to take appropriate safety measures.

The District has various systems in place for communicating information quickly. The District’s emergency communication response plan is comprised of the following communication components in which any or all may be utilized:

  • Telephone calls to home and cellular telephones
  • Text messaging to cellular telephones
  • Email to all students and employees
  • Telephone paging to employee work stations
  • Messaging posting on District, colleges and Continuing Education websites and other social media sites
  • Posting on campus/site message boards
  • Classroom announcements
  • Press releases
  • Face to face communication may also be used as a method of communicating immediate/emergency notifications.

The District encourages students to provide their cell phone numbers to in order to communicate with them in the event of an emergency. To provide this important information students can log on to the District’s student portal on WebAdvisor.

Additionally, information about emergencies and college closures can be found at the District’s website.

Southwestern Community College District maintains an Emergency Response Plan that outlines responsibilities of campus personnel during emergencies. This plan outlines incident priorities, campus organization, and specific responsibilities of particular units or positions. College units are responsible for developing emergency response and continuity of operations plans for their areas and staff. Campus emergency management provides resources and guidance for the development of these plans. Southwestern College also has a FEMA - approved Hazard Mitigation Plan in the event of a natural disaster.

The District Emergency Operations Plan can be accessed at: https://www.swccd.edu/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=20447

General Evacuation Procedures

Evacuation of buildings will be undertaken in response fire incidents, natural disasters or active threat situations. When instructed to evacuate either by verbal warning, direction, incident or fire alarm; leave your work or classroom area immediately and proceed to the nearest exit, and leave the building. If you are the first to recognize a fire situation, activate the alarm, evacuate to a safe location using the nearest exit, and notify College Police Emergency 619-216-6691, *91 from a college phone, 6691 from a college extension or dial 911.


  • Remain calm.
  • Do NOT use elevators; use the stairs.
  • Assist the physically impaired. If he/she is unable to exit without using an elevator, secure a safe location near a stairwell, and immediately inform College Police or the responding Fire Department of the individual's location.
  • Proceed to a clear area at least 150 feet from the building.
  • Keep all walkways clear for emergency vehicles.
  • Make sure all personnel are out of the building.
  • Do not re-enter the building.

Shelter-in-Place Procedures

What is Shelter in Place? Shelter-in-Place is a response to a dangerous, unstable event or situation occurring outside of a building or location. Such events could include active threat incidents or contaminated air.

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.

A shelter-in-place notification may come from several sources to include College Police, staff or faculty members, local law enforcement or fire departments or other authorities utilizing the college’s emergency communications tools.


  • Remain calm.
  • Lock and secure doors.
  • Close windows and blinds.
  • Silence phones.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Turn off air conditioners and close vents.
  • Remain quiet and concealed.
  • Open doors when notified by College Police, emergency personnel or college authorities.
  • Evacuate as directed.