Building Emergency Response Plan

I. Introduction

Appalachian State University's Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) provides the context and institutional framework for responding to natural and human caused disasters that may affect the campus. It consists of a Base Plan, which identifies key emergency responders and establishes priorities for decision making; Emergency Support Functions, which detail response steps for specific university functions; and Annexes, which describe response actions that must be taken in specific disasters. Contact University Police, Office of Emergency Management to obtain copies of this plan (828-262-8081). You may also read the Base Plan online at

In the event of a disaster or major emergency, Appalachian State officials will alert the community using several methods. For registered students and staff, Immediate notifications will be made through ALERT sirens, voice and text messages, and campus e-mail. Subsequent emergency information will be posted online at Notifications for others will be face-to-face within the NCCET facility.

When an emergency occurs, Appalachian State University community members can take steps to protect themselves. This plan details emergency procedures that will be taken by the departments and units within each building on and off campus.

II. Purpose and Scope

This plan serves as a life safety and emergency response plan for the departments and units within this building. This plan does not provide for the business continuity and/or disaster recovery processes of individual departments. This plan is applicable during or immediately following an emergency or disaster within the building. All occupants should become familiar with this Plan.

III. Definitions

All clear - This means the immediate danger is over and that most functions may resume normal operations, occupants may re-enter buildings and/or move about campus without restriction unless specifically directed otherwise. Specific guidance regarding University events will be posted to the emergency webpage.

Evacuation – This is the movement of persons from a dangerous or potentially dangerous place to a safe place. Examples are the evacuation of a building due to a bomb threat or fire. In an extreme situation (e.g., a flood), large portions of and perhaps the entire campus may be required to evacuate.

Evacuation Assembly Area (EAA) – This is the area(s) to which all building occupants should report following a building evacuation. Most EAAs are pre-identified locations, although specific incidents may require the EAA to relocate.

Lockdown – A lockdown is designed to prevent people from entering or leaving a building. Additionally, movement inside the building is restricted. If the term "lockdown" is used, Police will limit it to specific buildings that are in immediate danger. The term "lockdown" will only be used when there is information indicating an imminent threat from an armed or dangerous person(s) on campus. Whenever possible, the specific building(s) affected should be identified in the declaration of a lockdown.
Shelter in place – This is a term that may be used in an emergency during which hazardous materials may have been released into the atmosphere. People should go indoors and find an interior room or hallway with no or few windows and take refuge there until an evacuation can be safely initiated or an all clear is given. This does not mean leaving your building to go to a storm shelter, nor does it mean locking and sealing off your office or room.
Seek safe shelter – During an elevated or high risk condition, students, staff and faculty may be directed to seek safe shelter. This is a precautionary measure aimed at keeping you safe while indoors. When possible, exterior doors to buildings should be locked but movement inside the building is not necessarily restricted. During this time people whom you know or do not fit the description of the suspect(s) may be let into your building.
Building Coordinator – A pre-designated person(s) responsible for acting as a liaison for each building on campus. The duties of building coordinator include both planning and preparedness functions, as well as specific responsibilities during an emergency or disaster.
Campus condition – The condition that the campus is currently operating under. This condition may change as information is received. Recognized conditions are:
• Normal: The University is operating under normal conditions. There is no emergency information.
• Guarded: There is some credible general threat information that may affect the University. (Examples include an FBI alert of a threat directed at a college campus in North Carolina, or a hurricane warning for western North Carolina.)
• Elevated: There is credible information about a specific threat directed towards the University. (Examples may include, a man-made threat or flash flood warning.)
• High Risk (Emergency): There is information of an immediate threat on campus or directly involving the University. (Examples may include an active shooter or a hazardous materials leak on campus.)

IV. Hazard Specific Response Actions

• Fire
University Procedure for fire safety and emergency action:

Before the fire:
• Plan and practice escape routes.
• Post emergency numbers near telephones.
• Review the printed "Guide to Using Portable Fire Extinguishers" provided at initial employment and annually thereafter. The Guide can also be accessed through the Safety & Workers' Compensation website
• Do not store combustible materials near a heat source, in hallways, stairwells or exit paths.
• Extension cords are for temporary needs only. Never run them under carpets or anywhere they can be pinched or crushed.
• Do not overload electrical outlets by using plug extenders or multiple power strips.
• Keep all electrical appliances away from anything that can catch fire. Remember always to turn them off at the end of the day.
• Pay attention to housekeeping issues. Keep your work area neat and tidy and keep combustible such as paper and trash to a minimum.

During the fire:
• Immediately notify the fire department and your co-workers by pulling the fire alarm pull station. Call 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) from a safe location to provide details of the situation.
• If you have been trained, and it would not place you in any immediate danger, use a fire extinguisher to extinguish the fire.
• Evacuate as quickly and as safely as possible. On your way out, warn others.
• Close doors and windows if time permits, to delay the spread of the smoke and fire. Feel closed doors for heat before opening. Do not open them if they are hot.
• Use the stairs to evacuate. Do not use elevators.
• If you encounter smoke, stay low to the ground. If possible, cover mouth with a cloth to avoid inhaling smoke and gases.
• Once outside, go to your building's Evacuation Assembly Area (EAA), tell those in charge there that you are out of the building, and report injured or trapped persons and any signs of building damage you observed.
• Wait for instructions from emergency responders. Do not re-enter the building until the all clear is given by emergency responders.

If unable to leave the building, find a location away from the smoke and heat where you can signal for firefighter assistance.
• Seal the room. Use wet cloth to stuff around cracks in doors and seal up vents to protect against smoke.
• Do not break windows. Flames and smoke can come back in from the outside. If you need air, slightly open the window.
• Stay low under smoke. The freshest air is near the floor. Keep a wet cloth over your nose and mouth, breathe through your nose only.
• Signal for help. Call 911 (9-911 from a campus phone), or hang an article of clothing out the window to help signal for help.

• Take cover under sturdy furniture.
• Evacuate if safe and you are directed to do so by emergency responders.
• Stay away from windows.
• Do not utilize lighters or matches or create any spark or open flame.
• Move away from the hazard site to a safe location.
• If instructed to evacuate, use the stairs - do not use the elevators.

Hazardous Materials and Chemical Spills and/or Releases

More information: Policy SWC 15 available at

Chemical Spills/Release inside the building:

If a hazardous material is released or spilled near you and you are not trained or knowledgeable about hazardous materials:
• Call Police at 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) immediately.
• Move away from the release area, informing others as you go.
• If spilled material is combustible or flammable, turn off ignition sources as you leave.
• Close doors to the affected area(s).
• Provide information to emergency personnel.
• Leave the area and warn others.
• When you are at a safe location, call Police immediately
If you are involved with the use of hazardous materials you must be trained on the proper use and storage of hazardous materials, including proper procedures for preventing spills and the appropriate emergency procedures to be implemented if a spill occurs. All campus hazardous materials users should be trained on proper use and storage of hazardous materials, including proper procedures for preventing spills and emergency procedures when a spill occurs.

Bombs and Bomb Threats

When receiving a bomb threat over the telephone:
• Keep the caller on the line and talking as long as possible (pretend to have difficulty in hearing - asks the caller to repeat what he/she said).
• Try to get as much information as possible about the location of the bomb and a description of the bomb and the caller. Use the Bomb Threat Checklist to record all information. This can be found as an attachment to this Plan, in the University Directory, and at
• Stay on the line as long as the caller continues to provide useful information. If possible, have someone else use another line to call University Police.
• After the caller hangs up, immediately call 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) and notify the Police.
• If an evacuation of the building is ordered, take the Bomb Threat Checklist with you and give it to the Police.

When a suspicious object or potential bomb is discovered:

• Do not touch, move or disturb any suspicious object you feel might be a bomb.
• Keep people away from the area where the suspicious object is and call the Police at 911 (9-911 from a campus phone).
• Be sure to include a description of the object and its location when reporting.

Emergency Actions - when an evacuation is ordered:
• Collect your personal belongings (e.g.,. purse, briefcase, etc.) and take them with you as you exit the building.
• Look around your desk and/or office for any suspicious items. Do not touch anything suspicious; instead report it to the Police after you exit the building.
• After evacuation, report to an Evacuation Assembly Area.
• Do not re-enter the building until instructed to do so by appropriate personnel (NCCET Administration, Hickory Police Department or Hickory Fire Department).

Active Shooter

If you have not seen the video "Shots Fired", contact the University Police to schedule a presentation.

If there are reports of an active shooter on campus (not inside your building):
• If it is possible to escape the building safely and avoid danger, do so by the nearest exit.
• These situations are incident specific. Each department and individual will have to make a decision based on the available information.
If you hear shots fired:
Get Out
1. Move quickly: don't wait for others to validate your decision.
2. Leave your belongings behind.
3. Survival chances increase if you are not where the shooter is or if you go where the shooter can't see you.
• Call Out
1. Once you are in a safe location, call the police by dialing 911 (9-911 from a campus phone).
2. Advise others in the immediate area to stay away from the shooters location.

• Hide Out
1. If you can't get out because the shooter is between you and the only exit then hide out.
2. Move out of the hallway and look for a well hidden and well protected room.
3. Avoid places that might trap or restrict your movement.
• Keep Out
1. Try to find a room that can be locked; if the room can't be locked try to barricade or block the door with heavy furniture or other heavy objects.
2. Turn out the lights and all noise-producing devices.
3. Try to stay silent.
4. Call 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) if you can do so without alerting the shooter.
• Spread Out
1. If there are two or more of you don't huddle together.
2. Spreading out gives you more options and makes it harder for the shooter.
3. Quietly develop a plan of action in the event the shooter enters your room.
4. Remain calm. This can have a contagious effect on others.
5. Stay focused on survival. Keep others focused.
• Take Out
1. Assume the shooter's intentions are lethal.
2. Develop a survival mindset: actively choose the position that you have what it takes to survive when your life is on the line.
3. You must be prepared to do whatever it takes to neutralize the threat.
4. Throw things, yell, use improvised weapons.
5. If there are two or more of you, make a plan to overcome the shooter.
Do the best you can - Choose to survive.

Medical Emergencies

• Dial 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) and tell the dispatcher that you require medical assistance. Be prepared to provide the following information:
o Location of injured person (e.g. which room, number, etc.).
o Type of injury or problem.
o The individual's present condition.
o The sequence of events leading to the emergency.
o Medical history and name of injured person's doctor, if known.
o The phone number where you are.

• Do not move the victim unless it is necessary to remove him or her from a dangerous location or situation.
• If trained, use pressure to stop bleeding.
• If trained, use CPR if there is no pulse and the victim is not breathing.
Personal Injury Procedures:
• Clothing on Fire:
o Do not run; drop to the floor and roll around to smother the flame or drench with water.
o Obtain medical attention; if necessary, call 911.
o Report incident to supervisor.
• Hazardous Material Splashed in Eye:
o Immediately rinse eyeball and inner surface of eyelid with water continuously for 15 minutes.
o Forcibly hold eye open to ensure water wash reaches under eyelids.
o Obtain medical attention. Make sure to take Material Safety Data Sheet(s) of the chemical with you.
o Report incident to supervisor.
• Minor Cuts and Puncture Wounds:
o Vigorously wash injury with soap and water for several minutes.
o Obtain medical attention.
o Report incident to supervisor.
• Radiation Spill on Body:
o Remove contaminated clothing.
o Rinse exposed area thoroughly with water.
o Obtain medical attention.
o Report incident to supervisor.
• Biological Spill on Body:
o Remove contaminated clothing.
o Vigorously wash exposed area with soap and water for one minute.
o Obtain medical attention.
o Report incident to supervisor.

Psychological Crisis

A psychological crisis may occur as a result of emergencies, disasters, or other critical incidents such as suicide, rape, violence, death, serious accidents, fires, explosions, bomb threats, threats to the public welfare, or other traumatic or tragic events affecting the campus community.
For an unusual or potentially dangerous situation:
o Never try to handle a dangerous situation by yourself.
o Clearly state that you need immediate assistance. Give your name, your location, and state the nature of the problem.
o All suicide attempts should be reported to the Police, so that proper procedures will be followed to ensure the safety of those involved.

Civil Demonstration / Protest

• Remember that most demonstrations are peaceful.
• If protestors begin to enter your building, let them in and call Police at 911 (9-911 from a campus phone).
• Try to carry on business as usual.
• If the noise becomes too great, or the crowds become too large, feel free to close and lock office doors and windows – this is a departmental decision.
• If it becomes necessary to evacuate, follow directions from the Police.
• Proceed to your building's Evacuation Assembly Area (EAA) and wait for additional instructions (see attachments).

Other Hazards and Incidents

Trapped in an elevator:
• Use the emergency telephone inside the elevator to call for assistance.
• Press the elevator alarm inside the elevator to signal for help.
Flooding inside the building (busted pipes, etc.)
• Cease using electrical equipment.
• Evacuate the building if necessary and proceed to your building's Evacuation Assembly Area (EAA).
• Call Physical Plant at 262-3190 (9-262-3190 from an NCCET phone. If there are injuries, 911 (9-911 from a campus phone).
• Stay indoors.
• Crawl under a table or desk or brace yourself by standing in an interior doorway.
• Do not use elevators, electrical equipment or telephone.
• Do not use open flame.
• Be prepared for aftershocks.
Flooding (flash floods and rising water)
• Stay indoors.
• Never attempt to walk or drive through flood waters.
• Avoid areas where electricity is exposed or near water.
Tornado / high winds / hurricane
• Stay indoors.
• Move away from windows and open doors (preferably into an interior hallway).
• If possible, move to the lowest level of the building.
• Do not use elevators, electrical equipment or telephone.
• Sit on the floor and cover your head with your arms to protect from flying debris.

Emergencies Not Listed

Emergencies that do not fit into the categories above may also occur. In these situations, or in any situation in which you are unsure of the appropriate response, call 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) and report the emergency. The dispatcher will give you instructions on how to respond.

Additionally, individual departments within the building may develop policies for responding to specific situations, such as a suspicious person.

V. Basic Emergency Procedures

There are five basic methods to respond to emergencies that may affect Appalachian State University, and more specifically, individual buildings:

• Building evacuation
• Shelter in place
• Lockdown
• Seek safe shelter
• Campus evacuation/closure

These response mechanisms and procedures to follow for each are described below.

Building Evacuation [Incidents occurring inside this building]

In the event of a sudden emergency, such as a fire, natural gas leak, or hazardous materials spill within the building, all occupants may have to evacuate. Building evacuation plans with evacuation routes highlighted are posted throughout the building. If an evacuation of the building is necessary:

• Pull the fire alarm for incidents that you may safely do so (see section V).
• Dial 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) and give details about the hazard to emergency personnel.
• Evacuate immediately. Close doors behind you and do not stop for belongings.
• Use stairways, not elevators.
• Evacuate to at least 50 feet from building and remain there until accounted for.
• Attempt to account for everyone in the department.
• Alert police and fire personnel about potentially trapped victims (e.g., mobility impaired, trapped, or injured victims).
• Do not re-enter the building until fire department officials, Police, or other designated safety personnel communicate that it is safe to return.
• Occupants should congregate in evacuation assembly areas outside the building (included in attachment A) and one person from each of the areas will report to the staging area for emergency response vehicles (command post), this person will be responsible for reporting to his/her group and relay the "all clear" when given by emergency responders. In the event of inclement weather and/or prolonged evacuations, department heads should determine whether employees should seek shelter in another facility or leave campus.

Shelter in Place

A situation may occur at the NCCET in which the safest action will be to shelter in place. Situations such as tornados, major hazardous materials spills, or an active shooter on campus may cause university officials to issue a shelter in place order. When a shelter in place order is issued, the following steps should be taken:

• Do not leave the building. Find a safe place within the building to stay and wait for further information.
• Follow procedures to protect yourself from the specific hazard. For example, if a tornado has been sighted, report to an interior room on the lowest floor. If a hazardous materials spill has occurred, close all doors and windows.
• If you have information about the hazard that can aid emergency responders, report it immediately by calling 911 (9-911 from a campus phone)
• Remain in the building until an all clear has been given by emergency officials.

Lockdown (More information regarding active shooter incidents is included in section V)

• School lockdown procedures were developed after the Columbine High School tragedy and were primarily designed for schools K-12. They are not completely applicable at colleges or universities where many buildings are spread across numerous acres. A true lockdown of all campus buildings would likely take hours to complete and would require manpower resources not readily available.
• A lockdown is similar to sheltering in place, although a lockdown is the decision of an individual building or emergency personnel. Lockdowns are associated with an active shooter, violent criminal behavior, or terrorism where the best protective action is to secure access to the building. The University will not issue a campus-wide lockdown, although individual buildings may choose to lock down, or be required to lock down at the request of law enforcement.
If the active shooter is within the building, the decision to evacuate or seek safe shelter will most likely not be communicated to all individuals immediately. It is important to act by seeking safe shelter before you wait for official instructions (see below). Imminent situations like an active shooter require individual decisions and a survival mindset.
• When a lockdown is declared, the doors leading outside of the building should be locked (when possible) and people should not exit or enter the building. People should stay where they are and should not exit or enter an office or the building. If people are in a hallway they should go to the nearest room or office.
• Classroom and office doors should be locked or barricaded.
• Turn off lights, radios, TVs, close blinds, and silence cell phones.
• Keep occupants calm, quiet and out of sight.
• If gunshots are heard, lie on the floor and try to use desks, file cabinets or concrete walls for additional protection.
• If you are outside the building when a lockdown is declared, seek safe shelter (e.g. unlocked building, large trees, walls, cars in a parking lot) away from the danger area if known.
• If a fire alarm is activated during a lockdown, proceed with extreme caution.
• Wait for the "all clear" to be given before leaving safe shelter.

Seek safe shelter

• If a building is under lockdown the term "seek safe shelter" does not apply.
• During an elevated or high risk condition on campus, students, staff and faculty may be directed to seek safe shelter. This is a precautionary measure aimed at keeping you safe while indoors. When possible, exterior doors to buildings should be locked, but movement inside the building is not necessarily restricted. During this time people who you know or do not fit the description of the suspect(s) may be let into your building.
o If you are outside trying to enter a locked building show your ID card.
o Leave all parcels, briefcases, backpacks and gym bags outside away from the building entrance.
o Open all outer garments for a visual inspection showing that you have no weapons.
• Wait for the "all clear" to be given before leaving safe shelter.
• Consider what actions you may need to take should the situation escalate to a lockdown of the building you are in.
• If you feel comfortable and can do so without traveling through a danger area, leaving campus may be an option. There are risks and benefits to trying to leave campus during an emergency situation and your decision will need to be based on your individual situation.
• Seek safe shelter may be announced across the entire campus, while individual buildings may choose to lockdown.

Campus Evacuation / Closure

Certain disasters, such as severe flooding, severe winter weather, or disease outbreaks may cause a cancellation of classes and a closure of the campus. University officials will notify the campus community if the campus must close because of a disaster or emergency. If the campus closes, take the following steps:

• When the university closes, all faculty and staff (except emergency personnel or critical and essential staff) must leave campus.
• Departments within the building should prepare for extended closures through business continuity planning.
• Before evacuating, review departmental checklists to secure offices or consult with supervisors for specific departmental tasks.
• Stay tuned to local media and the University emergency webpage for updates and information on the reopening of the campus. You will not be allowed to return to campus until the university is officially reopened.
• Review the Adverse Weather Policy for employees if the hazard is weather related.

Statement of ADA Accessibility during emergency evacuations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that public establishments offer equal access and services to people who are physically and mentally disabled. Appalachian State University is responsible for ensuring that all buildings are in compliance with ADA standards. Accessibility is a primary concern during emergency situations. The fire alarm system includes an ADA compliant strobe light to alert hearing-impaired individuals. Although alarm systems are designed for hearing impaired individuals, building occupants should ensure that all persons understand evacuation orders and assist disabled individuals during an emergency situation when possible.

VI. Communications

a. University communications

• During an emergency incident, University officials will alert the campus community.
• Occupants should plan to (1) seek safe shelter following official University warnings and then (2) seek information on
• Follow-up incident information will be disseminated through

b. Building and departmental communications

• When an emergency or disaster is announced, or if building occupants are alerted to an emergency, all building occupants should notify others in the area.
• Emergency personnel should be notified.
• In coordination with the building coordinator, all occupants should ensure that the appropriate protective action (evacuation, shelter in place, etc.) is communicated as much as possible.
• Following the immediate incident, departments should maintain a call roster of all faculty and staff so they may contact them later.
• The decision to lockdown a building will be communicated through department heads (or designees) to each respective faculty and/or staff member.
• The building coordinator, in coordination with emergency officials and department heads, will make the determination to take proactive action.
• The majority of communications during an emergency or disaster incident in the building will be face-to-face.

VII. Preparedness

Emergency preparedness is the responsibility of every faculty member, staff member, and student of Appalachian State University. Every occupant of the buildings may prepare for emergencies and disasters through the following methods:

• Actively participate in fire safety training including fire extinguisher training and fire evacuation drills performed regularly by the Safety and Workers' Compensation Office (mandatory).
• Become familiar with your work areas and building. Pay attention to the location of fire evacuation maps, fire extinguishers, fire alarm pull stations, and other fire and life safety equipment in the building.
• Recognize potential fire hazards and report them immediately.
• Keep your work areas clean and free of debris and other combustible materials.
• Make building security your own responsibility. Ensure that doors are secured and notify the Physical Plant of any malfunctions in locking mechanisms.
• Immediately report suspicious persons to the Police.
• Use caution when approaching suspicious situations, people, packages, etc.
• Maintain accountability of your personal belongings.
• Take the time to read the emergency preparedness plans available at
• Register your cell phone for emergency alerts on the AppState-ALERT system at
• Annually read this building emergency plan and make recommendations for improvement to your building coordinator.
• Remain aware of your surroundings.

VIII. The Building Coordinator (BC)

a. Designation and Selection of the Building Coordinator

• On an annual basis, the University Office of Emergency Management will coordinate the appointment of a Building Coordinator and Alternate in every academic and administrative building owned or under the control of Appalachian State University. The Building Coordinator and Alternate will receive initial training and serve as the point of contact for the building.
• The Office of Emergency Management shall contact the department head(s) within each building on campus to identify the Building Coordinator and Alternate.
• Although faculty and staff may volunteer (department heads should provide faculty and staff the opportunity to volunteer) for the Building Coordinator and Alternate positions, the following criteria should be considered when department heads appoint the Building Coordinator and Alternate. The employee chosen should be:
o A Responsible employee that can make decisions in a high stress environment.
o Knowledgeable about numerous University departments and the general responsibilities of departments.
o Someone who maintains a regular work schedule within the building.
o Someone who is able to build relationships and effectively communicate with other departments within the building.
o Not already committed to perform other functions during an emergency or disaster.
• If the department head(s) within a building do not identify a Building Coordinator and Alternate within a reasonable period of time, the next level of management above the department head (dean, vice chancellor, etc.) shall appoint the Building Coordinator and Alternate.

b. Role and Responsibilities of the Building Coordinator
Building Coordinators (BCs) have a defined role in campus emergency/disaster preparedness: they prepare building response plans and coordinate education and planning in this area for all building occupants. In addition, they serve as the communication liaison between emergency service agencies and building occupants.

Emergency Preparedness

The following duties are assigned to the BC in the role of building emergency preparedness coordinator:
• Coordination of the development and annual submission of a building emergency response plan.
• Completion of the building preparedness checklist at least annually.
• Coordination of building occupants in implementing a building emergency response plan with the Office of Emergency Management, University Police, Safety and Workers' Compensation Office, and other safety related agencies.
• Providing building occupants with emergency planning information and distribute safety related information.
• Working as a building liaison to other campus departments and units (e.g., Safety and Workers' Compensation; Physical Plant; Campus Police; Human Resources; Office of Emergency Management; etc.) that provide support, assistance and input to emergency preparedness planning.
• Training an alternate (chosen in the same manner as the BC) to assume duties when the BC is on vacation, absent, or not available.
• Attending all training workshops /activities specifically organized for BCs.

Emergency Response (during normal operating hours)

• In consultation with department heads and emergency personnel as available, make the determination to take protective measures such as a lockdown or shelter in place.

• Coordinate with building occupants to ensure the building is secured, as possible.
• Notify building occupants of the duty to evacuate during an evacuation related to any type of incident, including fire drills.
• Serve as a liaison between emergency response personnel and building department head(s) to:
o Coordinate use of any building emergency supplies.
o Act as "self-help" captain* of the building at the Evacuation Assembly Area (EAA).
o Implement accountability checks with department heads, when required.


Evacuation Map of NCCET