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Clayton State University Emergency Management

The Department of Public Safety is responsible for the University’s Emergency Management Plan (EMP). This plan is designed to be an all-hazards disaster response and emergency management plan that complies with FEMA guidelines for Higher Education that includes planning, mitigation, response, and recovery actions.

The University’s priorities are:

Life safety, infrastructure integrity, and environmental protection during an emergency; coordination with University departments to write, maintain, test, and exercise the EMP; and cooperation, integration, and mutual aid with local, state, and federal planning, response, and public safety agencies and their EMPs. View the University’s emergency response procedures.

In the event of an emergency, the first responder on the scene will be police officers and unsworn security personnel with the Department of Public Safety.  Depending on the nature of the emergency, additional first responders may include other local and state law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS/Ambulance personnel.

Emergency evacuation route plans are located near stairwells and elevators in each building and indicate the quickest evacuation route from the building. 

University Emergency Procedures and Evacuations

In an emergency situation, faculty and staff of the University may be called upon to provide assistance. Faculty and staff should be prepared in an emergency situation to offer assistance when asked. In addition, University faculty and staff are responsible for the following:

  1. Report any potentially dangerous conditions immediately. Taking preventative steps may reduce the chances of personal injury and or damage to property.
  2. Be alert to your surroundings and if you observe suspicious activity, report it immediately to the University Police. Do not assume that someone else has reported it.
  3. Notify your supervisor immediately if you suspect someone of criminal or potentially violent
  4. In any emergency
      1. Do your best to appear
      2. Be prepared to react without direction, and,
      3. Assist others where

This section contains procedures to be followed during specific types of emergencies. The procedures should always be followed in sequence, unless conditions dictate otherwise.

A. Emergency Evacuation Procedures

      1. Preparation

Department heads are responsible for instructing their employees on the emergency evacuation routes for their areas. Evacuation routes should be posted in visible areas near exits, wherever possible. At the beginning of each quarter, faculty are encouraged to instruct students as to the location of the emergency evacuation route for their particular room or area and designate an assembly point outside of the building.

     2. Building Evacuation

      1. All building evacuations will occur when an alarm sounds and/or upon notification by University Police or Emergency Building Coordinator.
      2. When the building evacuation alarm is activated during an emergency, leave by the emergency evacuation route for the area in which you are located. If the exit is blocked use the nearest marked exit and alert others to do the same.
      3. Assist the disabled persons in exiting the Do not use the elevators in case of fire and/or potential power loss.
      4. Once outside, proceed to a pre-designated assembly area that is at least 500 feet away from affected building. Keep streets, fire lanes, hydrant areas and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and personnel.
      5. DO NOT RETURN to an evacuated building unless instructed to do so by a University

IMPORTANT: After the evacuation, report to your designated assembly point. Stay there until all personnel are accounted for or if directed to return to the building.

     3. Campus Area Evacuation

      1. Evacuation of all or part of the campus grounds will be announced by the Department of Public all persons are to immediately vacate the area in question and move to another part of campus as directed. Faculty/staff are responsible for aiding disabled persons.

     4. Disabled Persons

It is the responsibility of every employee to assist persons with disabilities out of the building in the event of an emergency. In addition, individuals with disabilities who may require assistance in an emergency should familiarize themselves with the features of each building they are in, including stairways, exits, phone locations, and elevator procedures. They are also responsible for identifying their needs to faculty members or supervisors and for identifying someone willing to assist them in the event of an emergency. If they are unable to locate someone to assist them in case of any emergency, they should contact the Emergency Building Coordinator or the Director of Disability Services for assistance.


B. Civil Disturbance or Demonstration

Acknowledging the right of individuals to entertain differing opinions; to examine and to discuss questions of interest; to engage in candid conversations, open discourse, and intense debate; and to defend free inquiry and expression on campus, while preserving order, characterized by courtesy, tolerance, and civility, and protecting the rights of others, the University has designated the Lawson Amphitheater & Eskew Stage as the Public Forum Area on Clayton State University’s campus (maximum capacity 125). The following additional guidelines apply to use of the Public Forum Area:

  • Members of the University Community: Members of the University community who plan to engage in expressive activity, whether written, spoken, or in another form, in groups of 25 or less, may do so in any outdoor area that is generally accessible to the public, anywhere on the Morrow campus, so long as the primary action is not to advertise or sell a commercial product and does not disrupt the academic or learning environment or other operations of the University. Members of the University community who plan to engage in expressive activity on campus in a group that is expected to consist of more than 25 persons must submit a completed reservation request to use the Public Forum Area using the procedures set forth below. If a member of the University community has properly reserved the Public Forum Area in accordance with the procedures set forth below and inclement weather occurs during the date and time of the reservation, then the University will relocate the expressive event to Room 101 of the Harry Downs Center (maximum capacity 200) if the space can accommodate the event and has not been previously reserved and if the expression does not otherwise disrupt the academic or learning environment or other operations of the University.
  • Spontaneous Large Group Expression by Members of the University Community: If an individual or small group of individuals within the University community attracts a group of more than 25 persons while engaging in spontaneous expression, then a representative from the group should provide the University with as much notice as circumstances reasonably permit. The University reserves the right to direct a group of more than 25 members of the University community to the Public Forum Area or another available area of campus in order to ensure the safety of campus members, provide for proper crowd control, and limit disruption of the academic or other operations of the The University must not consider or impose restrictions based on the content or viewpoint of the expression when relocating any expression.
  • Outside Speakers: Individuals or groups of people who are not enrolled at or employed by the University may only engage in expressive activity on the University’s campus in the Public Forum Area and only after obtaining approval from the University to do so following submission of a completed reservation request using the procedures set forth This provision does not apply to University-sponsored events or activities.
  • The use of sound amplification is permitted so long as it does not disrupt the academic or learning environment or other operations of the University.
  • If the anticipated or actual attendance for an expressive activity of a member of the University community exceeds the capacity of the Lawson Amphitheater, the event may be moved to the SAC Hill (an area adjacent to the Student Activities Center) or another area of campus that will safely accommodate the expression if such an area exists on Clayton State University’s campus. This provision does not apply to individuals who are not members of the University community.
  • For spontaneous public forum or expressive events by members of the University community that attract a group of 25 or more persons or that become disruptive to the academic and other operations of the University, Clayton State officials reserve the right to direct the group to a secondary outdoor public forum area (either the Lawson Amphitheatre or SAC Hill) or to end the event to limit disruption of the academic and other operations of the University.

Demonstrations will not be disrupted unless one or more of the following conditions exist:

      1. INTERFERENCE with normal University operations;
      2. PREVENTION of access to offices, buildings, or other University facilities;
      3. THREAT of physical harm to persons or damage to University grounds or

If any of these conditions exist, immediately contact the Department of Public Safety. The Department of Public Safety will coordinate with the Vice President of Student Affairs to coordinate efforts concerning student protestors. The Department of Public Safety will take the lead on non-student protestors.

  1. Peaceful, Non-obstructive Demonstration
    1. Generally demonstrations of this kind will not be interrupted. The demonstrations will not be obstructed or provoked, and efforts should be made to continue normal University
    2. If demonstrators are asked to leave but refuse to leave by regular facility closing time(s):
        1. arrangements will be made by University Police and Student Affairs to monitor the situation during non-business hours, OR,
        2. determination will be made to treat the violation of regular closing hours as a disruptive demonstration (see B. #2).
  1. Non-violent, Disruptive Demonstrations

In the event that a demonstration blocks access to University facilities or interferes with the University operations:

      1. Demonstrators will be asked to terminate the disruptive activity by the Vice President of Student Affairs or the President.
      2. The Vice President for Student Affairs or the President will have a photographer/videographer with them to document the proceedings.
      3. Key University personnel and student leaders may be asked to go to the areas to persuade the demonstrators to desist.
      4. The Vice President of Student Affairs or the President will go to the area and ask the demonstrators to leave or to discontinue the disruptive activities.
      5. If the demonstrators persist in the disruptive activity, they will be advised that failure to discontinue within a determined length of time may result in disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion or possible intervention by the University Police. Except in extreme emergencies, the President will be consulted before such disciplinary actions are taken.
      6. Efforts should be made to secure positive identification, including photographs, of demonstrators in violation for later testimony.
      7. The Department of Public Safety will be consulted to determine the need for an injunction of civil
      8. If court injunction is obtained, the demonstrators will be so Those demonstrators who refuse to comply will be warned of the intention to arrest.
  1. Violent Disruptive Demonstrations

In the event that a violent demonstration, one in which injury to persons or property occurs or appears eminent, the President will be immediately notified.

A. During Regular Operational Hours

        1. The Vice President for Student Affairs and necessary University Police personnel will be summoned to the scene.
        2. University Police will ensure sufficient officers are present to contain the violent/disruptive demonstrators. Should an insufficient number of officers be available, assistance will be requested from the Morrow Police Department, Lake City Police Department, Clayton County Police Department, and/or Clayton County Sheriff’s Office as needed.

B. After regular operational hours

        1. University Police should be immediately notified of the demonstration,
        2. The President will be notified and determine the following actions to be taken:
          1. Notify Cabinet members,
          2. and/or determine if the Vice President for Student Affairs shall respond to the scene.

NOTE: The Director of Public Safety or on-duty Police supervisor will respond to the incident without counsel from others if an immediate response is of paramount importance to the safety and security of persons and/or property.


C. Explosion, Aircraft Crash on or near campus

In the event an incident occurs involving the explosion or a downed aircraft on campus the following action will be taken:

  1. Immediately take cover under tables, desks, and other objects which will give protection against falling glass or debris that may result from secondary explosions or facility damage.
  2. The University Police should be notified as soon as
  4. Assist the handicapped in exiting the Do not use the elevators in case of fire.
  5. Once outside, move to a clear area that is at least 1,000 feet away from the affected Keep streets and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and crews.
  6. If requested, assist emergency personnel as
  7. Do not return to an affected area unless instructed to do Stay clear of the emergency area and/or affected buildings to reduce the chances of interference with responding emergency personnel.


D. Earthquake

During an earthquake, actual or caused by explosion, etc., remain calm and quickly follow the steps outlined below:

  1. If INDOORS, seek refuge in a doorway or under a desk or Stay away from glass windows, shelves and heavy equipment if possible.
  2. If OUTDOORS move quickly away from buildings, utility poles, and other CAUTION: Always avoid power or utility lines as they may be energized.
  3. If in an automobile, stop in the safest place available, preferably away from power lines and trees. Stop as quickly as safety permits but stay in your vehicle for the shelter it offers.
  4. After the initial shock, remain alert for after-shocks or subsequent
  5. Damaged facilities should be reported to Plant
  6. If an emergency exists, activate the building



E. Severe Weather Emergency Tornado, Severe Lightning Preparedness

The primary context of this plan is for severe weather catastrophes. However, the basic emergency procedure is adaptable to other isolated occurrences.

  1. Execution
    1. Overall Operations

The Emergency Management Team of the Department of Public Safety will monitor the National Weather Service radio and other weather information outlets for notification of potential severe weather reports for the immediate area:

Tornado/Thunderstorm/Wind WATCH – indicates that atmospheric conditions are conducive for the development of the stated warning. Normal operations will continue. Employees should monitor weather conditions closely and be prepared to act without warning if necessary.

Tornado/Thunderstorm/Wind WARNING – indicates that the hazardous condition stated has been spotted or identified on radar. When these conditions immediately threaten the campus, the University Police will issue notification through fax posters, messages, and telephone communications to the Emergency Resource Team members, and/or utilize a Public Address System located on police vehicles when necessary.

NOTE: Weather conditions can deteriorate rapidly, without warning; therefore, everyone should maintain a close watch on weather conditions via Internet, radio, and/or through personal observation. Individuals need to be prepared to act without notification when severe weather is experienced.

  1. Action(s)

Hazardous weather conditions can develop in seconds and will not allow for formal means of communication. In the event an employee feels that weather is immediately threatening they will initiate the following actions:

Take Cover – Instruct students, employees and others in the immediate area to find a wall near the interior of the building away from windows and exterior doors. Individuals will curl up in a ‘ball’ or fetal position near the wall, place their hands over their head and remain in the position until severe weather passes.

DO NOT LEAVE THE BUILDING OR INITIATE A BUILDING EVACUATION DURING THESE CIRCUMSTANCES. When severe weather strikes, power may be disrupted causing alarms to sound. If fire is not immediately present and a clear exit is maintained, everyone should remain until the weather passes.


F. Snow, Ice or Flooding

Snow, ice, or flooding can make travel to and from campus hazardous. When the potential or conditions develop that would make travel to and from the campus hazardous, the following steps will be followed:

  1. University Police through the Emergency Management Team will monitor the National Weather Service broadcasts, local reports; contact the Department of Transportation Road Condition Office. Upon receipt of information that would or has the potential to make travel hazardous, the senior member on the team will initiate the notification to the Director of Public Safety or
  2. The Director of Public Safety or designee will contact the President and other members of the President’s Cabinet as directed.
  3. The President or designee will determine if the University operations are to be suspended. If they are to be suspended the remainder of the President’s Cabinet will be notified.
  4. University notifications, news releases, modify the University information line recording, will be initiated.
  5. The University Police will initiate steps to secure the University facilities and grounds, preventing entry to the campus under hazardous conditions. University communications personnel will continue to monitor the weather conditions as well as conditions on campus.

NOTE: University employees should monitor their local media stations for information as to the suspension of University operations. Information will be provided to local news media as soon as it is determined that the University operations will be suspended. They should also view the University website for information. DO NOT CONTACT PUBLIC SAFETY OR THE PRESIDENT.


G. Chemical or Radiation Spill

Hazardous chemicals are utilized on campus in various locations. Also, trains, tractor trailers and other vehicles that may be traveling on or near the campus may have hazardous chemicals that could threaten the environment of the campus. The following steps will be followed in the event of a chemical or radiation spill:

  1. Any spillage of a hazardous chemical or radioactive material will be reported to the University Police immediately.
  2. When reporting, be specific about the material involved and approximate University Police will initiate the response of appropriate hazardous material response teams to effectively clean-up the spill.
  3. The site should be evacuated immediately and seal it off to prevent further contamination of other areas. AT NO TIME SHOULD SOMEONE RE-ENTER THE AREA THAT HAS BEEN
  4. If the evacuation is required, the person on site should activate the building alarm and follow standard evacuation routes that do not cross the area where the spill is located.


H. Bomb Threat

In recent years, explosive devices have been detonated in various locations with and without warning. All staff and faculty are required to report any suspicious packages or objects found on campus to the University Police immediately. In addition, they are to report any bomb threats received via email, telephone, or other means of communication.

1. Receipt of Bomb Threat – Anyone receiving a threat that a bomb is located on University property should attempt to obtain the following information:

      1. When is the bomb going to explode?
      2. Where is the bomb located? What area?
      3. Why did you place the bomb?
      4. What type of bomb is it?
      5. What is your name?

Normally the caller will not answer these questions but may make comments. During this time, the person receiving the threat should attempt to hear any background noises, accent of the caller, or any information that may be helpful.

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

      1. Time of call
      2. Age and sex of caller
      3. Speech pattern, accent, nationality,
      4. Emotional state of caller
      5. The number dialed by the caller

3. Report the incident immediately to the University Police, (678) 466-4050. If possible, have someone contact the University Police while you are on the phone.

4.  A decision will be made as to whether the building or area will be

      1. Evacuation Ordered – Staff and faculty will assist in the evacuation of the building by ensuring that person(s) leave the Individuals evacuating the building shall move to a location that is approximately 1,500 feet away from any buildings. Generally, the parking areas at the farthest points from the buildings are the most acceptable.
      2. Evacuation Not Ordered – In the event an evacuation is not ordered, a covert search may be conducted of the Employees will be asked to discreetly check their work areas for any suspicious packages or objects.

5. Bomb/Suspicious Package/Object Located – The University Police will order the immediate evacuation of the area and identify a telephone in the immediate area to establish an on-site communications Two-way radios will not be used within 1,500 feet of the suspected device. Communications Officers will notify Plant Operations personnel to cease use of radios.


I. Fire

All incidents of unintentional/non control burn fires will be reported to the University Police

immediately whether Fire Department response is required or not. All department heads, supervisors, etc., will ensure that their employees are aware of the location of fire extinguishers and fire alarm pull boxes in their work areas.

All employees shall be made aware of emergency evacuation routes for their work area, and the location of fire exit windows, etc. Also, do not use elevators in the event of fire. In addition, the following procedures should be reviewed with employees:

In the event of Fire:

  1. If a fire is reported and confirmed activate the building fire alarm and contact the University Department of Public Safety as soon as possible.
    1. If a minor fire appears controllable, IMMEDIATELY, contact, or direct someone in the area to contact the University Police. Then promptly direct the charge of the fire extinguisher toward the base of the flame.
    2. On large fires that do not appear controllable, IMMEDIATELY, activate the building alarm and contact, or direct someone to contact the University Department of Public Safety. Close all doors while exiting the building to reduce oxygen to the flames and slow the spread of fire. DO NOT LOCK DOORS!
  2. Assist in the evacuation of the building. Smoke is the greatest danger in a fire, so be prepared to stay near the floor where the air will be less toxic.
  3. If trapped on a second story or higher, hang an article of clothing out of the window to attract the attention of by-standers or emergency personnel. Anyone trapped in the room should remain close to the floor to avoid smoke.
  4. During the evacuation, direct crowds away from fire hydrants, roadways, and clear sidewalks immediately adjacent to the building. Ask bystanders to assist in watching windows, doorways, , for persons that may be trapped inside. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RESCUE, NOTIFY EMERGENCY SERVICES PERSONNEL ON THE SCENE.

In the event of Fire Alarm activation:

All University personnel will immediately evacuate the building in the event the fire alarm activates, unless otherwise directed by authorized personnel. Smoke, odors or other signs of fire DO NOT have to be present.

University Police

University Police may order Officers to enter and search the building dependent upon, but not limited to the following factors:

  1. Response time and availability of properly trained fire department personnel, or,
  2. extent of fire engagement to the building, or,
  3. to assist fire fighters in locating/operating elevators,

Upon arrival of fire department personnel, the University Police Supervisor will contact the Fire Commander and provide assistance as required. Control of the fire scene will become the responsibility of the Fire Commander upon arrival. University Police will be responsible for crowd control and assist fire department personnel as required.


J. Violent or Criminal Behavior

The University Department of Public Safety provides police services 24 hours a day. University Police Officers are state certified police officers that have received training in responding to incidents of violent or criminal behavior. In the event of violent, hostile or criminal behavior, immediately contact the University Police (678) 466-4050. In addition,

    1. Leave the immediate area whenever possible and direct others to do
    2. If the offender has weapons or is suspected of having weapons, take cover immediately using all available concealment. Close and lock doors, when possible, to separate yourself and others from any armed offender.


K. Hostage Situation

If taken hostage, or you witness another person being taken hostage or contained in a specific area:

  1. Do your best to appear as calm as
  2. The initial 45 minutes are often the most Follow instructions, be alert, and stay alive. Captors are often emotionally disturbed, and it is difficult to predict their response to a given situation.
  3. Don’t speak unless spoken to and then only when necessary. Don’t talk down or attempt to rationalize with the captor.
  4. Avoid appearing
  5. Maintain eye contact with the captor at all times, if possible, but do not
  6. Do not make quick or sudden If you must go to the bathroom, need medications, or first aid, ask your captors.
  7. Be observant and try to remember as many details about your captors as In the event you are released or escape, the personal safety of others may depend on what you remember about the situation.
  8. Displaying some fear may work to your
  9. Be prepared for evasive action in the event entry by police is made. Often, they will shout instructions. Follow them immediately.