Emergency protocols: how prepared are we?

With the recent health crisis, and the approach of winter, many at SPSCC wonder about the protocols the college has in place for emergencies. Is SPSCC at risk of a viral outbreak? SPSCC emergency manager and risk analyst Rob Shailor says that as far as he knows, the college is at no such risk.

At the beginning of the 2014-15 school year, the Department of Security at SPSCC contacted the Thurston County Department of Public Health, referencing emails and voicemails they received in reply in order to determine whether or not ebola presented a risk to the college. The SPSCC security office is mandated by Thurston County, State, and Federal guidelines to inform the entire college of all possible emergencies.

The University of Washington has also taken steps to avoid an ebola virus outbreak by sending out an email with attachments to all students and faculty, says Shailor.

While ebola may not present a threat to SPSCC, other emergencies can and do occur. Fires, active shooters, hazardous chemical leaks, earthquakes, etc. Events such as these are unfortunately part of life at any large institution, and information for what to do if and when these emergencies occur can be found on the SPSCC website on the security page, under “Emergency Information.”

One of the most important things SPSCC can do to lessen the impact of emergencies is “to periodically test [emergency] alert systems and the college’s reaction to these systems,” says Shailor. Students have all experienced these tests, in the form of fire, live shooter, and earthquake drills. Also, the security office spreads information about emergencies through videos, such as the one every class was made to watch the first day of Fall quarter.

As SPSCC nears winter, emergency protocols will not change. However, those students signed up for E2Campus will be alerted of class cancellation due to rain or snow before they need to go to school. E2Campus is an app available on cellphones or computers which alerts students to any events on campus, from schedule changes due to severe weather to alerts of earthquake drills.

Any questions regarding campus security or emergencies can be directed to the SPSCC security office. Their phone number is 360-596-5299.

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