Emergency Procedures


The 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/or safety of students and 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.
  • Audible alarm from Blue Poles

The District's primary means of providing a Timely Warning Notice is through the Regroup Mass Notification System. The Regroup System will dessiminate an email, text, and phone call to each student and staff member. The system relies upon email and phone information provided by the student or staff member. The District encourages students and staff member to provide their up to date 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.

Emergency Management Terminology

In the event of an emergency, the District will seek to inform students and staff members on the nature of the emergency and how best to respond. The District will utilize key terminology to direct students and staff members:

Secure Campus: Initiated when a potential threatening or hazardous situation exists. Circumstances may be unclear. Persons should seek shelter in the closest building. Staff members should secure all exterior doors and allow people outside to enter only if it is safe to do so.

Shelter-in-Place: Initiated when a external hazardous situation exists, such as unhealthful air from a nearby fire. Persons should seek shelter in the closest building. Staff members should shut off all air conditioning and close vents. All exterior doors should be secured and staff members should allow people outside to enter only if it is safe to do so.

Lock-Down: Dire, imminent threat of violence exists. Persons should seek shelter in the closest building. Staff members should secure all exterior doors and allow people outside to enter only if it is safe to do so. After securing the exterior doors, staff members should secure interior doors, shut off light, silence cell phones, and barricade entrances.

Evacuation: Potentially dangerous situation exists on campus or in impacted buildings. Staff members and students should leave structures through exits in a calm and orderly manner to a safe place. An evacuation will not be ordered if any threat is still present. 

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

The 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 members. 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

Secure Campus Procedures

Staff members should move to secure and lock all exterior doors of the building. Allow entry of others if it is safe to do so. Move away from glass doors and windows.

Shelter-in-Place Procedures

Lock and secure exterior doors, close windows and blinds. Allow entry of others if it is safe to do so. 


Lock and secure exterior doors, close windows and blinds, and allow entry of others if it is safe to do so. Move to interior offices and spaces. Lock and secure doors, barricade entrances. Remain quiet and concealed. Silence cell phones. Exit only when when notified by College Police, emergency personnel or other college authorities. Verify the identity of those providing notification.

General Evacuation Procedures

Evacuation of buildings will be undertaken in response fire incidents or natural disasters. 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.