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Skidmore College
Emergency Preparedness

Classrooms-Laboratory Emergency Guidelines

Consistent with this guideline, instructors must:

  • Provide their classes or audience with general information relating to emergency procedures. This information should be shared during the first week of class or at the start of a seminar.
  • Know how to report an emergency from each classroom used.
  • Assure that persons with disabilities have the information they need. The instructor should be familiar with disabled students' plans and also be able to direct visitors with disabilities.
  • Take responsible charge of the classroom and follow emergency procedures for all building alarms and emergencies.

What Instructors Need to Know about Emergency Preparedness

The instructor is an authority figure for students and can influence how students respond in an emergency. Instructors who are prepared for emergencies will be able to help calm students by giving calm and clear directions.

  • Evacuation Procedures

Evacuate the building using the nearest exit (or alternate if nearest exit is blocked).

Do NOT use elevators.

Take personal belongings (keys, purses/wallets, etc.). Secure any hazardous materials or equipment before leaving. Go to closest Evacuation Assembly Point.

Do not return to an evacuated building unless told to do so by College officials.

Important: After evacuating the building, report to your designated Evacuation Assembly Point. Stay there until an accurate headcount has been taken. The instructor(s) or designate will take attendance and assist in accounting for all building occupants.

  • Evacuation Assembly Points

After a class leaves the alarmed building or area, it is important for them to go to a predetermined area where each person's presence can be documented. This "safe area" will be a designated Emergency Assembly Point where the class will not interfere with responding emergency services nor place themselves at risk of injury from the emergency.

Accounting for all students can be very difficult, particularly with a large class. However, consider using the class roster, head count, or have students acknowledge whether the students seated next to them are at the assembly point. Report any missing students to Campus Security. You must also account for persons with disabilities (see below). 

  • Evacuation for Persons with Disabilities

Assist people with disabilities in exiting the building! Remember that elevators are reserved for people with disabilities. However, in case of fire or earthquake, do not use the elevators.

  • Nature of the Emergency

Fire:  Activate Fire Alarm Pull Station (located at the end of every corridor)

Health/Injury:  Call Campus Safety at 518-580-5566

Threatening/Suspicious Activity:  Call Campus Safety at 518-580-5566

Hazardous Material Spill:  Call Campus Safety at 518-580-5566

  • Fire Alarms

Fire alarms will be a sound and may include strobe lights for people with hearing disabilities. When the alarm sounds, everyone must exit the alarmed area according to the evacuation plan.

      • Everyone Must Evacuate Immediately! DO NOT USE ELEVATORS!
      • Shut down all hazardous operations.
      • Once everyone has left the room - close all doors.  Closed doors significantly reduce fire and smoke migration.
  • Power Outage

Most campus buildings are provided with emergency or standby power. Consequently, if the power does go out during class or laboratory class, have the people remain in the room for a little while and wait for the power to return. If the power does not return in a reasonable length of time (~ 3 minutes), evacuate the room. Labs must secure hazardous materials and operations prior to exiting. Evacuation should take advantage of available lighting unless the building is in alarm, in which case use the same evacuation procedures as during a fire. Caution students that there is no rush; they should take their time exiting the building.

  • Earthquakes

Most of the injuries that occur during earthquakes are caused by interior items falling on the building occupants, such as books, shelves, light fixtures, ceiling tiles and office equipment. Consequently, the first thing to do during an earthquake is to have everyone drop to the floor, cover their head, and remain in this position. After the shaking stops, tell the class to collect their possessions calmly and evacuate the building to the Evacuation Assembly Point.

Shut down all hazardous operations before leaving the room - notify Campus Safety if that is not possible.