During an emergency, this page will be updated regularly with emergency information for the Durham Tech community. Updates will be specific to Durham Tech operations.
The College is committed to the safety and security of all members of the college community. In times of emergency, the College will provide appropriate campus-wide response to assure safety and minimize losses.
Summary of the Emergency Action Plan
The College’s Emergency Action Plan provides information about incident response, including shelter-in-place and evacuation guidelines. College departments are responsible for developing contingency plans and continuity of operations plans for their staff and areas of responsibility.
The College conducts emergency response exercises each year, such as table-top exercises or field exercises on campus. These tests are designed to assess and evaluate the emergency plans and capabilities of the institution.
Durham Tech Police Officers and college officials have received training in both incident command and the procedure of responding to critical incidents on campus.
When a serious incident occurs that causes an immediate threat to the campus, the first responders to the scene are usually Durham Tech Police, Durham Police, and the Durham City Fire and Emergency Medical Services. They typically respond and work together to manage the incident. Depending on the nature of the incident, other Durham Tech departments and other local or federal agencies could be also involved in responding to the incident.
General information about the emergency response and evacuation procedures for Durham Tech are publicized each year as part of the institution’s Clery Act compliance efforts. That information is available on the Durham Tech website. Click here for detailed information and updates to the Durham Tech Health and Safety Manual.
Summary of Emergency Evacuation Procedures
An evacuation drill is coordinated by Durham Tech Police and the College Safety Compliance Officer each year for all buildings on all campuses.
The emergency response and evacuation procedures are tested at least once a year. Faculty, staff, and students learn the locations of the emergency exits in the buildings and are provided guidance about the direction they should take when exiting each facility for a short-term building evacuation.
Durham Tech officials do not tell employees and students in advance about the designated locations for long-term evacuations because those decisions are affected by the time of day, location of the building being evacuated, availability of the various designated emergency gathering locations on campus, and various other factors such as the location and nature of the threat.
In both cases, on-site Durham Tech Public Information Officials will communicate information to the faculty, staff, and students regarding the developing situation or any evacuation status changes.
The purpose of evacuation drills is to prepare building occupants for an organized evacuation in case of a fire or other emergency. At Durham Tech, evacuation drills are used as a way to educate and train occupants on fire safety issues specific to their building.
During the drill, occupants “practice” drill procedures and familiarize themselves with the locations of the exits and the sound of the fire alarm. In addition to educating the occupants of each building about the evacuation procedures, the process also provides the College with an opportunity to test the operation of fire alarm system components.
Evacuation drills are monitored by Durham Tech Police and the Safety Compliance Officer to evaluate egress and behavioral patterns. Reports are prepared by participating departments that identify deficient equipment so that repairs can be made immediately.
Recommendations for improvements are also submitted to the appropriate departments/offices for consideration.
Students receive information about evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures during their student orientation sessions.
What It Means to “Shelter-in-Place”
If an incident occurs that makes the surrounding buildings or areas unstable or makes the air outside dangerous due to toxic or irritating substances, it is usually safer to stay indoors since leaving the area may expose people to that danger.
To “shelter-in-place” means the occupants make a shelter of the building they are in. With a few adjustments, this location can be made even safer and more comfortable until it is considered safe to leave and go outside.
Basic “Shelter-in-Place” Guidance
If an incident occurs and the building the occupants are in is not damaged, everyone is asked to stay inside an interior room until being told it is safe to come out.
If the building is damaged, everyone is asked to take his or her personal belongings and follow the evacuation procedures for that building. Steps needing to heeded are close the door, proceed to the nearest exit, and use the stairs instead of the elevators.
Once an occupant has evacuated, he or she needs quickly to seek shelter at the nearest college building. If police or fire department personnel are on the scene, follow their directions.
How You Will Know to “Shelter-in-Place”
A shelter-in-place notification may come from several sources, including Durham Tech Police, other Durham Tech officials, or other authorities utilizing the College’s emergency communications tools.
How to “Shelter–in-Place”
No matter where the affected party is, the basic steps of shelter-in-place will generally remain the same. Should the need ever arise, follow these steps unless instructed otherwise by local emergency personnel:
If you are inside, stay where you are. Collect any emergency shelter-in-place supplies and a telephone to be used in the case of an emergency. If you are outdoors, proceed into the closest building quickly or follow instructions from emergency personnel on the scene.
Locate a room to shelter inside. It should be:
- An interior room;
- Without windows or with the least number of windows. If there is a large group of people inside a particular building, several rooms may be necessary.
- Shut and lock all windows, and close exterior doors.
- Turn off air conditioners, heaters, and fans so you can hear what is happening around you.
- Make a list of the people with you, and ask someone to call the Durham Tech Police Office. Relay the list so authorities and first responders know where you are sheltering. If only students are present, one of the students should call Durham Tech Police and provide the list.
- Make yourself comfortable.
Durham Technical Community College is concerned about the safety, welfare, and protection of all students, faculty, staff, visitors, and college property. The College is committed to providing a safe and secure environment to everyone. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Durham Tech Campus Police and Public Safety Department.
Are You Prepared?
Emergency preparedness is also an individual responsibility. Take the time now to read and become familiar with: