How to prepare

In the event of an emergency, such as those listed below, please be familiar with Connecticut College’s policies and procedures – this knowledge can help keep you safe.

Bomb Threats and Suspicious Packages
Fire and Explosions
Hazardous Material Spills
Hostile Intruders/Violent Individuals
Off-Campus Nuclear Emergencies
On-Campus Radiological Emergencies
Severe Weather and Natural Disasters
Utility Failure

Bomb Threats and Suspicious Packages

Infectious, toxic or explosive letters or packages may be sent to members of the campus community.  Suspicious letters or packages may have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Return address or name is unfamiliar
  • Addressed to someone no longer with the College, or are otherwise outdated.
  • Have no return address, or have one that cannot be verified as legitimate
  • Are of unusual weight, given their size, or are lopsided or oddly shaped.
  • Are marked with restrictive endorsements, such as "Personal" or "Confidential"
  • Have protruding wires, strange odors or stains
  • Excessive non-metered (stamps) postage
  • Show a city or state in the postmark that doesn't match the return address

If a suspicious letter or package is received at Connecticut College, the following procedures should be followed:

  • Do not attempt to open the parcel. Do not shake, sniff or empty the contents.
  • Isolate the parcel. Place it in a plastic trash bag or other type of container to prevent leakage of contents.
  • Leave the room, close and lock the door to prevent others from entering. Inform others to stay out of the secured room.
  • Wash your hands with warm soap and water to prevent spreading any contamination to your face, the telephone or others.
  • After washing, contact Campus Safety at extension 111 or 2222.

Campus Safety will notify the appropriate civil authorities and ensure that the scene is secured pending their arrival.

If suspicious object is found at Connecticut College:

  • Do not handle the object! Clear the area and immediately call the Campus Safety Office at extension 111 or 2222.

If you receive a phone call bomb threat, stay calm and ask the caller:

  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • Where is the bomb located?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What does it look like?
  • Why did you place the bomb?

Keep talking to the caller as long as possible and record the following:

  • Time of call
  • Age and sex of caller
  • Speech pattern, accent, possible nationality, etc.
  • Emotional state of the caller
  • Background noise

After the caller hangs up, immediately call extension 111 or 2222.  The Campus Safety Director or Shift Supervisor will contact the appropriate personnel to conduct a detailed bomb search.

Connecticut College employees are requested to make a cursory inspection of their area for suspicious objects. If a suspicious object is found, DO NOT TOUCH IT! If an emergency exists, activate the building alarm and report the emergency by phone. When the building evacuation alarm in sounded, proceed to the Designated Assembly Area.

Fire or Explosion


In the event of a fire, the first priority is to immediately warn others and to begin the evacuation process. Before doing anything else, pull the nearest fire alarm to notify building occupants and Campus Safety. Campus Safety will summon assistance from the New London Fire Department.

  • Evacuate the building, alerting others and shutting doors as you exit.
  • Once outside, proceed to the “Designated Assembly Area."  Keep roadways, fire lanes, hydrants and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and crews. Provide Campus Safety and/or the New London Fire Department with the exact location and details of the fire.
  • You should attempt to fight the fire only if ALL of the following are true:
    • The fire is small and is relatively contained, such as in a wastebasket.
    • You have been trained how to use a fire extinguisher.
    • You have the proper extinguisher for the type of fire you are fighting. For example, DO NOT use water on an electrical fire.
    • You can fight the fire without risk to yourself, and have a route of escape to your rear.
  • Cooking fires can usually be suffocated by covering the pot or pan with the lid or a wet dish towel. NEVER THROW WATER ON A COOKING OIL FIRE!
  • If your clothing catches fire, drop to the floor and roll to smother the fire. (STOP, DROP and ROLL.)
  • Shut down any equipment that may add fuel to the fire, if it can be done safely.
  • If the fire is in a laboratory, do not turn off or close the fume hood(s), as it will help keep the room free of smoke. If the fire is inside the fume hood, do close the sash.
  • If you become trapped during a fire and cannot evacuate the building, take refuge in room with an exterior window. Place an article of clothing (shirt, coat, etc.) outside the window as a marker for rescue crews. Keep smoke and toxic fumes out of the room by stuffing clothing under the door. Call 911 and provide your location.
  • If there is smoke and fumes in the room, stay near the floor where the air will be less toxic.


  • Immediately take cover under tables, desks and other objects, which will give protection against falling glass or debris.
  • As soon as possible after the immediate effects of the explosion, evacuate the building or vicinity. Follow Campus Safety instructions to gather at an appropriate assembly point for the purpose of taking attendance.
  • Do not return to an evacuated building unless told to do so by the Fire Department Incident Commander.

Hazardous Material Spill

IMMEDIATELY notify the Director of Environmental Health and Safety at ext. 860-439-2252 of all oil and chemical spills, regardless of quantity.

After hours, call Campus Safety at ext. 860-439-2222.

The Director of EH&S will determine what spills can be cleaned up by College employees using the following criteria:

  • The physical and health hazards of the spilled material are known
  • Employee(s) have the training or expertise necessary to proceed safely
  • The necessary spill response supplies and equipment are available
  • The necessary safety/personal protective equipment are available

If the answer to one or more of these questions is no, the area will be evacuated, and assistance from the New London Fire Department and/or a Spill Response Contractor will be requested.

See specific spill response procedures for asbestos, hazardous chemicals, mercury and oil and petroleum products.

Hostile Intruders/Violent Individuals

Warning Signs

Although it is extremely difficult to prepare for an armed/hostile intruder, it should be stressed that persons who have violent tendencies, or who are mentally unbalanced may exhibit certain signs or behaviors. If you have contact with, or knowledge of, ANY individual who displays one or more of the following characteristics, you should immediately notify Campus Safety:

  • Threatens harm, or talks about killing other students, faculty or staff.
  • Possesses weapons (firearms or edged weapons) or has a preoccupation with them.
  • Suicidal thoughts or comments.
  • Loud confrontational language, or physically violent behavior. Constantly starts or participates in fights.
  • Becomes frustrated easily and converts frustration into uncontrollable physical violence.
  • Withdrawal or signs of depression.
  • Disorientation, agitation or hyperactivity.
  • Bullies or intimidates. Uses verbal or written threats.
  • Exhibits bizarre or paranoid behavior.
  • Rambling or disconnected speech.
  • Harassing or stalking behavior.
  • Excessive alcohol or drug use.
  • Possesses or draws artwork that depicts graphic images of death or violence.

Connecticut College Intervention

If an individual is identified as being a potential threat, and is a member of the Campus Community, the College will convene a multi-disciplinary threat assessment team to intervene with the individual, and will take whatever action necessary to prevent acts of aggression and/or violence. For cases involving students, this team will consist of the Dean of Student Life, Dean of the Faculty, Director of Campus Safety, and the Director of Counseling Services. The Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Professional Development and the Vice President for Administration will be added for cases involving faculty or staff. If the situation warrants, the New London Police Department may also be included.

Campus Safety Response

Upon receipt of a report of a violent individual or intruder, Campus Safety will:

  • Immediately notify the New London Police Department, relaying as much information as possible. (Number of intruders, last known location, weapons used, number and types of injuries, etc.) Senior Administrators and Emergency Response Team members shall be alerted as soon as time allows. The emergency alert system may be activated if necessary.
  • Campus Safety Officer(s) will be dispatched to the location where the hostile intruder has been reported, but should not enter the building if weapons are involved. The Campus Safety Officer should assist and direct persons evacuating the building. Campus Safety officers should approach outside incident locations with extreme caution.
  • The Campus Safety officer should try to take cover in a location that will not be in the path or in the direct line of sight of the hostile intruder(s).
  • The dispatch officer in the Gatehouse must maintain contact with responding New London police officers, relaying updated information as it becomes available.
  • Do not sound the fire alarm to evacuate building. Persons may be placed in harm’s way as they attempt to evacuate the building. Be aware that persons may be locking themselves in dormitory rooms, classrooms or offices.
  • If possible, without exposing his/herself to the intruder, the campus safety officer should render assistance to the injured, pending arrival of the New London police, and emergency medical personnel.

Hostile Intruders in an Academic, Administrative or Residential Building

When a hostile person(s) is actively causing death or serious bodily injury or the threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury to person(s) within a campus building, the following measures should be taken:

  • Faculty and supervisors should immediately lock and/or barricade the doors. If possible, cover any windows or openings that have a direct line of sight into the hallway. Occupants of residential buildings should lock themselves in their room. Keep the door locked and stay put until instructed to do otherwise by the police.
  • Using any available phone, call 911. Campus Safety can be reached at (860) 439-2222. From a campus phone, dial 111 or 2222.
  • Do not sound the fire alarm. A fire alarm would signal the occupants to evacuate the building and thus place them in potential harm as they attempt to exit.
  • Lock the windows and close blinds or curtains. Stay away from the windows.
  • Turn off lights and all audio equipment.
  • Turn cell phones to “silent” or “vibrate,” but do not turn your phone off.
  • Try to remain as calm as possible.
  • Keep everyone together.
  • Stay out of open areas and be as quiet as possible.
  • If for some reason you are caught in an open area such as a hallway or lounge, you must decide what you are going to do. This is a very crucial time and it can possibly mean life or death. You can try to hide, but make sure it is a well-hidden space or you may be found as the intruder moves through the building looking for victims.
  • If you think you can safely make it out of the building by running, then do so. If you decide to run, do not run in a straight line. Attempt to keep objects such as, desks, cabinets, fixtures, etc. between you and the hostile person(s). Once outside, do not run in a straight line. Use trees, vehicles and other objects to block you from the view of intruders. When away from the immediate area of danger, summon help any way you can and warn others.
  • If the person(s) is causing death or serious physical injury to others, and you are unable to run or hide you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you.
  • Your last option if you are caught in an open area in a building may be to fight back. This is dangerous, but depending on your situation, this could be your last option.
  • If you are caught by the intruder and are not going to fight back, obey all commands and do not look the intruder in the eyes.

Hostile Intruder(s) on the College Grounds

When a hostile person(s) is actively causing death or serious physical injury, or the threat of imminent death or serious physical injury to person(s) on the Connecticut College campus, the following procedures should be followed:

  • Run away from the threat if you can, as fast as you can. Do not run in a straight line. Keep vehicles, bushes, trees and anything that could possibly block your view from the hostile person(s) while you are running.
  • If you can get away from the immediate area of danger, summon help and warn others.
  • If you decide to hide, take into consideration the area in which you are hiding. Will I be found here? Is this really a good spot to remain hidden?
  • If the person(s) are causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to run or hide you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you.
  • The last option you have if caught in an open area outside may be to fight back. This is dangerous, but depending on your situation, this could be your last option.
  • If the intruder catches you, and you are not going to fight back, do not look the intruder in the eyes and obey all commands.

New London Police Response

Officers from the New London Police Department will automatically assume control of the scene upon their arrival. In these situations, time may be of the essence, and it is very important that faculty, staff and students obey all orders and instructions immediately. The police response may include handcuffing or otherwise securing everyone until the situation is clarified and the perpetrator is identified. This is standard procedure and is done for safety reasons. Do not resist or argue.

Off-Campus Nuclear Emergencies

Connecticut College is located within 5 miles of the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant, and within 2 miles of the Groton Naval Submarine Base. Although highly unlikely, a serious nuclear power plant emergency could result in the release of radioactive material.

Emergency sirens are located throughout the approximate 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone. These sirens are designed to alert the public of a nuclear power plant emergency, natural disaster, or other major emergency. When necessary, these sirens will be activated by emergency officials of the city of New London City. The sirens are maintained and routinely tested by Millstone Station personnel. (There is a siren on Route 32 (Mohegan Avenue), adjacent to the college.)

The sirens have the ability to emit several different tones. Each tone serves a different emergency function:

  • A steady tone for three minutes (that may be repeated) signals a natural or commercial disaster such as severe weather, chemical spills, floods, or a nuclear plant emergency.
  • A long wavering tone signals an enemy attack.
  • A short wavering tone signals a fire.

A public address loudspeaker can transmit announcements over a limited distance from the community’s emergency operations center. Remember, if you hear a steady siren tone for three minutes or more, tune in to the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on radio or television. EAS stations are listed below.

What Should You Do In A Nuclear Power Plant Emergency

  • If you hear a steady siren tone for 3 minutes or more, turn on your radio or television and tune in to a local Emergency Alert System (EAS) station for information.
  • Stay calm, and remember that a nuclear power plant emergency would most likely take hours to develop into a situation that could affect public health and safety.
  • State and local officials are required to notify the public within 15 minutes of an event that may require the public taking protective actions. Campus constituencies will be kept informed by the administration, of local and State directives as long as the emergency is in effect.

The sirens are NOT signals to evacuate; they are intended to alert you to tune in to an EAS station for more information or instructions. Follow all instructions given by the EAS messages. You may be instructed to:

  • Just remain alert and ready to respond, if necessary (the College may not be directly affected by the emergency).
  • Stay indoors and take shelter (See Shelter-in-Place above).
  • Evacuate to a host community reception center that is at least 15 miles from the nuclear plant. (Connecticut College’s host community center is at Windham High School, in Windham, CT. (See “Campus Evacuation” procedures, above.)
  • Do not use the telephone unless it is absolutely necessary. Telephone lines are needed by local officials to respond to the emergency. Do not call local authorities unless you need special assistance.

Potassium iodide (KI) tablets

Potassium iodide, also known by its chemical name KI, is distributed to faculty, staff and students of Connecticut College. New employees of Connecticut College receive their KI tablet during employee orientation from the Manager of Wellness & Occupational Health. The Director of Student Health Services maintains a supply of tablets to be issued to students in the event of a radiological emergency.

The Manager of Wellness & Occupational Health stocks extra tablets for members of the College community who may need them. The State of Connecticut has issued tablets to members of the public living within the 10 mile EPZ.

Keep in mind that KI alone does not protect from radiation exposure. KI is meant to supplement evacuation or sheltering.

Potassium Iodide (KI) is a stable form of iodine. KI is an over-the-counter drug that protects the human thyroid gland from possible radiation injury caused by radioactive iodine (radioiodine).

Radioiodine is one possible radioactive element that may be released during an operating nuclear power plant emergency.

Taking KI saturates the human thyroid gland with stable non-radioactive iodine. It is used to provide enough beneficial iodine to the thyroid to prevent or reduce the amount of radioiodine that can be absorbed by the thyroid in the event the individual is exposed to the radioactive form of iodine. KI provides protection to the thyroid for 24 hours. Evacuation from the affected area no longer puts you at risk of exposure to the radioactive iodine, therefore another dose of KI is not necessary.

KI should only be taken as directed by State officials. If a release of radioactive iodine has occurred or is expected to occur, the public will be advised to take a KI tablet through the EAS radio and TV stations. The use of KI is only advised in emergencies where the public is likely to be exposed to radioiodine from a nuclear power plant release. Not every radiation emergency will result in the release of radioactive iodine. Emergency dosage guidance adopted by the State of Connecticut will be provided when KI is distributed. At Connecticut College, instructions regarding when to take a KI pill will be issued via the emergency alert system.

KI should not be ingested if an individual has a known allergy to iodine. As with any medication individuals should consult their doctors if they have any concerns. It should be noted that KI will not be distributed within the EPZ during any type of nuclear incident or emergency. However, host communities have been provided a separate KI stockpile to be able to provide KI to evacuees that did not have access to their own tablets before they left home.

On-Campus Radiological Emergencies

In view of the complicating factors that may arise in an emergency, it is impossible to establish simple rules to cover all situations of a radiation emergency. However most emergencies will probably be of the following types:

  • Explosion in or near radioactive material (RAM) use area
  • Fire in or near RAM use area
  • Overexposure of radiation to personnel
  • Injury to personnel involving RAM
  • Loss of a radioactive material
  • Vehicular accident during transport of RAM

In all of the above examples, the primary concern must always be the protection of personnel from radiation hazards. Confinement of any possible contamination or resultant radiation to the immediate environment of the accident should be a secondary concern.

Emergency Procedures – General

  • Notify all persons in the lab of the incident.
  • Instruct everyone not involved with the incident to stay away from the immediate area, but not to leave the lab, (unless the situation presents an immediate threat to safety or health, such as a fire or toxic atmosphere.). This is to prevent the spread of any potential radiological contamination.
  • Notify Campus Safety at 860-439-2222.  Calmly describe the situation.  Campus Safety will request assistance from the New London Fire Department in the event of fire or explosion.
  • Notify the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) at Ext. 2135, and the Director of Environmental Health & Safety at Ext. 2252.
  • Any incident notification to the NRC and State Department of Health required by regulation will be made by the RSO and the President of the College within the required time following the incident.

 Fire or Explosion

  • Pull the alarm to evacuate the building.
  • Attempt to extinguish any fires if a radiation hazard is not immediately present. Do not attempt to fight a fire unless it can be done safely, with an escape route available.
  • Efforts should be made to prevent water or fire fighting chemicals from coming in contact with the radiation source.
  • Attempt to control runoff, preventing it from entering drainage systems until it has been monitored.

RAM Spills/Contamination of Laboratory Personnel

  • Instruct everyone not involved with the spill to stay away from the immediate area,but not to leave the lab. Moving around only spreads the contamination, increasing the need for large scale clean up.
  • Remove contaminated clothing or Lab Coat.
  • If the skin is contaminated, you should go to the lab sink and wash the area with warm water. Using soap and a gentle scrubbing motion, wash the contaminated skin under tepid running water.  DO NOT scrub vigorously, as it may abrade the skin, allowing radioactivity to enter the body.
  • Pat the skin dry. Scan the affected area with a GM survey meter, if appropriate for the isotope.  For  H-3, run wipe samples through the Liquid Scintillator Counter (LSC).
  • Repeat this process until the area of the skin contamination is at background, butno more than 3 times.  You must not redden or break the skin by scrubbing too hard. 
  • Check to make sure that no one else in the lab has been contaminated.

Radiation Overexposure

  • In the event of a suspected or confirmed overexposure, seek prompt medical assistance. The appropriate medical radiation specialists will be consulted.
  • Ensure that the RSO is immediately notified, so that proper reporting to the Connecticut Department of Health and NRC can be made.
  • Any overexposure will be investigated by the RSO, utilizing guidelines set forth in the Radiation Use Program, Policy and Procedures Manual.
  • As required by NRC regulation, a notification letter will be sent to the affected individual(s), informing them of the exposure.

Severe Weather and Natural Disasters


Hurricanes have struck the region in the past with extremely high winds. If a hurricane is approaching New England, all department heads should monitor the storm via local radio, TV broadcasts, or the internet. Directors of departments with response personnel shall pay particular attention to official forecasts from the National Hurricane Center/Tropical Prediction Center. These forecasts give projected storm paths as well as coastal city strike probabilities for a wide region.

Instructions to the campus community will be disseminated via supervisors, email and emergency alert system.

Hurricane “Watch” Status:

When the National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane "watch" it means that hurricane force winds may threaten the watch area within 48–72 hours.

  • Facilities Management should ensure that emergency generators are operational.
  • The Facilities Management Storeroom should inventory emergency supplies and procure additional items as needed.

If a hurricane “warning" is issued for our area, the Vice President for Administration, in consultation with the Director of Facilities Management, will make the determination as to whether the College will be closed. If necessary, the President will be consulted. If so, classes will be canceled and offices closed until the danger is over.

Hurricane “Warning” Status:

A hurricane "warning" means hurricane conditions are likely within 24 hours. Often, the warnings are issued with only 18 to 20 hours of warning. When a "warning" is issued, all departments should finalize storm preparations. This includes securing any sensitive records and equipment, and taking all precautions to minimize potential damage. If the college is closed, information will be announced via voicemail, the college "Weather Hotline" and "Connect-Ed" system.

  • The Emergency Operations Center may be activated.
  • Senior Administrators and Department Heads shall ensure that all preparations are completed in a timely fashion, to allow all non-essential personnel time to go home and prepare for the storm.
  • No student, faculty, or staff other than those specifically designated to work during the storm, or those who live on campus and have no other place to go, should be on campus when the campus is closed for a hurricane emergency. Students remaining on campus will be instructed to remain inside their dormitories, or designated shelter areas.
  • At the hurricane “warning” stage, Connecticut College administrators, together with the Emergency Response Team, will make decisions on the possible need for on-campus shelters to open and essential personnel to work during the storm. 
  • Departments with outdoor equipment shall secure all loose or fragile objects that may become a hazard in high winds, or may be subject to damage from storm surge.
  • Valuable records, computers, or scientific instrumentation that may be subject to damage should be covered with plastic, moved away from windows, or otherwise protected. Computers and vital electronics should be by unplugged, covered with plastic bags, and stored off the floor in case of flooding. Computer files should be backed-up and moved to a safe location.
  • The Athletics Department should secure the waterfront. All boats, equipment and any hazardous materials (gasoline), should be moved indoors inside the main athletic center building, or other appropriate location. A storm surge may flood the entire waterfront area.
  • Facilities Management personnel will remain available for dispensing emergency supplies to building occupants.
  • Facilities Management will assist in taping windows, securing items of concern, and help in covering sensitive equipment and furniture.
  • Dining Services will remain available to provide food service to non-evacuees and essential personnel. Measures should be taken to avoid having students and employees go out into the storm to get to a dining facility. If possible, Dining Services will prepare box meals to be distributed before the storm arrives.
  • If necessary, campus streets will be closed to vehicular traffic, except those used for campus vehicles.
  • The Student Health Center shall be prepared to assist individuals who are injured or ill. If the storm occurs when the Student Health Center is closed, Campus Safety Officers shall be ready to provide immediate first aid until the injured or ill can be evacuated to an appropriate health care facility.
  • All non-essential personnel on campus shall be sent home.

Thunder/Lightning Storms

All members of the campus community are advised to monitor the weather daily during the summer thunderstorm season, and to plan their work around any threatening weather conditions. Severe weather information can be obtained via local radio stations or the Internet.

Faculty, athletic coaches and supervisors should be aware of their responsibility to advise employees and students who might be vulnerable to thunderstorms. Those persons should be warned to take cover when storms approach.

  • Keep an eye on the sky and listen for the sound of thunder. Look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning, or increasing wind and listen for thunder.
  • If you see or hear a thunderstorm coming, or your hair stands on end, get inside a completely enclosed building, or if no enclosed building is convenient, a hard-topped all-metal vehicle, immediately!
  • Get out of, or off, the water. Get out of boats or canoes. When lightning strikes the water, it can travel some distance beneath and away from its point of contact. Sailboat masts attract lightning.
  • If caught outdoors away from enclosed shelter, move away from groups of people. Don't share a shelter or huddle in a group.
  • Stay away from trees. If there is no shelter, crouch in the open, keeping twice as far away from a tree as it is tall. and crouch down with feet together and hands on knees.
  • Avoid metal! Remove all metal objects from your person. Avoid leaning against metal buildings. Get off bicycles and motorcycles. Don't hold on to metal items such golf clubs, metal bats, or tools.
  • Avoid water, open windows and electrical appliances. Because the wires can conduct electricity, this includes land line telephones.


Connecticut is ranked 42 of all 50 states in frequency of tornadoes, so the likelihood of a tornado affecting Connecticut College is low. However, they have occurred in the past and have caused considerable damage.

In the event of a tornado, the chance of injury can be greatly reduced by following a few simple guidelines:

  • BE ALERT. One of the most important things you can do to prevent being injured in a tornado is to be alert to the onset of severe weather. Most deaths and injuries happen to people who are unaware and uninformed. Young children or the mentally challenged may not recognize a dangerous situation. The ill, elderly, or invalid may not be able to reach shelter in time. Those who ignore the weather because of indifference or overconfidence may not perceive the danger.
  • If you don't regularly watch or listen to the weather report, but strange clouds start moving in and the weather begins to look stormy, turn to the local radio or television station to get the weather forecast.
  • Like hurricanes, there are two awareness levels for potential tornadoes: “Watch” and “Warning.”  If a tornado "watch" is issued for our area, it means that a tornado is "possible." If a tornado "warning" is issued, it means that a tornado has actually been spotted, or is strongly indicated on radar, and it is time to go to a safe shelter immediately. College Relations will warn the campus community via ConnectEd when there is a TORNADO WARNING in effect.

The basement level of all campus buildings is the designated tornado shelter. If your building does not have a basement, go to small interior rooms at the lowest possible level, such as bathrooms, halls or closets on the first floor. Avoid halls that open to the outside in any direction. Interior rooms and halls are the best locations in large buildings. Central stairwells are good, but elevators are not. If the building loses power, you may be trapped in the elevator.

Buildings with large open interior spaces are dangerous, because long roof spans are susceptible to collapse. If time allows, evacuate auditoriums, gyms, and other large, open spaces, and quickly go to an appropriate shelter. If evacuation is not possible, seek shelter in the basement. If your building does not have a basement, go to the lowest level, in an interior room.

Wherever you seek shelter, crouch down, and make as small a "target" as possible. If you have something to cover your head, do so, otherwise, use your hands.  Stay away from glass walls and windows, no matter how small.

Major Snow Events

As New England is famous for its winter weather, there is always the possibility that there may be a severe snow event, sufficient to affect campus operations. Depending upon a number of factors, the Vice President for Administration and the Director of Facilities Management will make the determination as to whether the College will be closed. If necessary, the President will be consulted. In the event the College has to close due to inclement weather, all classes are cancelled and administrative offices are closed.

As with hurricanes, there will be “Essential Personnel” required to remain on campus, to continue basic services, and to ensure the safety and well being of all faculty, staff and students remaining on campus.

NOTE:  As soon as it stops snowing, all departments should ensure that emergency exits from all buildings are cleared as soon as possible. Blocked exits during a fire could result in tragedy.


As with tornadoes, earthquakes in this part of the country are rare, but do occur. Adhering to the following guidelines, will lessen the chances of injury:

  • Remain calm. If indoors, stay indoors. Because of falling objects, the most dangerous thing to do during the shaking of an earthquake is to try to leave the building.
  • Take cover under a piece of heavy furniture or against an inside wall and hold on. Stay away from shelves, glass windows, and heavy equipment.
  • If outdoors, move quickly away from buildings, utility poles and other structures. Remember, utility lines should always be treated as if they are “hot” or energized.
  • If in a moving vehicle, move to a clear area away from buildings, trees, overpasses, or utility wires, stop and stay in the vehicle.
  • Once the shaking has stopped, proceed with caution. Avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged by the quake.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings. Return only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Provide assistance to the injured. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons, unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.

Be prepared for aftershocks, which can be as strong as the original tremor and may raze weakened structures. Aftershocks can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the initial earthquake.

Utility Failure

In the event of a major utility failure occurring during the regular working hours (8:30 a.m. through 5 p.m., Monday through Friday), immediately notify Facilities Management at extension 860-439-2253.

If there is potential danger to building occupants, or if the utility failure occurs after hours, weekends, or on holidays, notify Campus Safety at extension 860-439-2222.  If an emergency exists, activate the building fire alarms.

  • Gas Leak - IMMEDIATELY cease all operations, and evacuate the building!  To prevent electrical arcing that could cause an explosion, DO NOT Switch on or off, any lights or electrical equipment. Call Campus Safety at 860-439-2222, from a phone outside of the gas leak area.
  • Electrical/Light Failure - Emergency lighting systems should provide sufficient illumination to exit buildings in an orderly manner.
  • Elevator Failure - If you are trapped in the elevator, use the emergency phone to directly notify Campus Safety.  If the elevator does not have an emergency phone, turn on the emergency alarm to signal for help.  Both are located on the elevator front panel.
  • Water Leakage/Flooding - Cease using all electrical equipment. Notify Campus Safety.  If necessary, vacate the area.
  • Steam Line Rupture - Immediately evacuate the area and notify Campus Safety at extension 2222 or operations at extension 860-439-2253.
  • Ventilation Problem - Notify Facilities Management at 860-439-2253.  If smoke or odors come from the ventilation system, immediately activate the alarm system. Cease all operations and evacuate the building until the all clear is given.
  • Telephone System Failure - Utilizing alternate means of reporting (cell phones, radios or in person), notify Campus Safety at (860) 439-2222.