In case of emergency: What you should know

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With the Umpqua Community College shooting prompting new concerns about campus safety, Austin Community College wants to make sure its students and employees feel safe in their surroundings and are prepared to act should an emergency occur.

“Have a plan,” says ACC Police Chief Lynn Dixon. “Think, ‘What am I going to do to keep myself and the people around me safe.’”

Following is what students, faculty, and staff need to know in the event of an emergency on campus, including some new information. ACC’s District Police and Emergency websites have details about responding to different emergency scenarios. The ACC Police Department website also has information about reporting a crime or suspicious activity on campus.

ACC police are available to visit classes, employee groups, or student organizations to discuss safety and emergency procedures.

Dial 911

Use this emergency number to report an emergency on any campus. Due to advancements in technology, dialing 222 or the previous ACC-specific emergency phone number is no longer necessary.

Active shooter response

Instructions for responding to an active shooter on campus, along with the video “Run. Hide. Fight: Surviving an Active Shooter Event,” are on the Active Shooter Reporting and Response Procedures webpage. The video instructs individuals to run to safety if possible. If not possible, they should hide and secure their space. This includes:

  • Locking the door
  • Turning out the lights
  • Lowering the blinds
  • Hiding
  • Calling 911 if possible

Chief Dixon notes that advice to “run – hide – fight” remains relevant, but that denying access should be part of the response.

“If you can’t get out, fight back,” he says.

ACC police also are developing a workshop for students and employees that will address active shooter response in-depth.

Emergency communication systems

In an emergency, ACC communicates critical information through its Emergency Notification System. Depending on the level of emergency or threat, the college will use some or all available communication channels. To receive emergency alerts, students and employees should keep their contact information current. Find out how on the ACC Emergency Alert webpage.

Visit the Emergency Communications Systems webpage to learn about notification components.

Be aware

Chief Dixon says one of the most important things people can do to prepare for an emergency is be aware of their surroundings.

“Situational awareness is key,” he says. “Understand what’s going on around you and react to it.”

For more information or to schedule a visit with ACC police, contact Chief Dixon at cdixon@austincc.edu.

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