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When statistics show an increase in just about anything, we always have to question whether the numbers are higher because they truly are, or because reporting has gotten better. According to this FBI study, in 2000-2013 there was one live shooter event every three weeks.
It starts with some observations about the recent heroic actions taken by the Americans on the train headed to Paris. They were certainly inspiring, but before you think that they could easily be replicated, read Joe’s perspective on the event. As always, Emergency Plan Guide is looking for sensible, do-able actions we can all take to improve our chances of surviving a disaster, whether natural or man-made. We do not advocate arming more citizens; the thought of having untrained, aggressive or worse, terrified, gun-toters anywhere near us is repugnant. But we do believe that taking time to mentally prepare before anything happens will give you a much better chance of making the right snap decision if it becomes necessary. To that end, the report recommends two inexpensive books that we think make sense for our readers.
Resources for TEAM BuildersGet this new list of resources for building NEIGHBORHOOD and WORKPLACE teams.
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. In the event of a disaster or major emergency, Appalachian State officials will alert the community using several methods.
When an emergency occurs, Appalachian State University community members can take steps to protect themselves.
This plan serves as a life safety and emergency response plan for the departments and units within this building. Evacuation – This is the movement of persons from a dangerous or potentially dangerous place to a safe place.
Evacuation Assembly Area (EAA) – This is the area(s) to which all building occupants should report following a building evacuation. During the fire:• Immediately notify the fire department and your co-workers by pulling the fire alarm pull station.
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. If you have not seen the video "Shots Fired", contact the University Police to schedule a presentation. Additionally, individual departments within the building may develop policies for responding to specific situations, such as a suspicious person. 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. Certain disasters, such as severe flooding, severe winter weather, or disease outbreaks may cause a cancellation of classes and a closure of the campus. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that public establishments offer equal access and services to people who are physically and mentally disabled. Emergency preparedness is the responsibility of every faculty member, staff member, and student of Appalachian State University. For registered students and staff, Immediate notifications will be made through ALERT sirens, voice and text messages, and campus e-mail.

This plan details emergency procedures that will be taken by the departments and units within each building on and off campus. Most EAAs are pre-identified locations, although specific incidents may require the EAA to relocate.
Use wet cloth to stuff around cracks in doors and seal up vents to protect against smoke.• Do not break windows. 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. 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. 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. Building evacuation plans with evacuation routes highlighted are posted throughout the building.
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.
Find a safe place within the building to stay and wait for further information.• Follow procedures to protect yourself from the specific hazard. They are not completely applicable at colleges or universities where many buildings are spread across numerous acres. University officials will notify the campus community if the campus must close because of a disaster or emergency. 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.
Appalachian State University is responsible for ensuring that all buildings are in compliance with ADA standards. And the reporting, almost instantaneous, is now “enhanced” by graphic video taken by security cameras or by people at the scene and shown over and over again on television and other media. With over 2 million incidents a year, this is something that many more of us run the chance of being involved in. Contact University Police, Office of Emergency Management to obtain copies of this plan (828-262-8081). This plan is applicable during or immediately following an emergency or disaster within the building. If the term "lockdown" is used, Police will limit it to specific buildings that are in immediate danger. On your way out, warn others.• Close doors and windows if time permits, to delay the spread of the smoke and fire. For example, if a tornado has been sighted, report to an interior room on the lowest floor.
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.
When possible, exterior doors to buildings should be locked, but movement inside the building is not necessarily restricted. In addition, they serve as the communication liaison between emergency service agencies and building occupants. The term "lockdown" will only be used when there is information indicating an imminent threat from an armed or dangerous person(s) on campus.

Remember always to turn them off at the end of the day.• Pay attention to housekeeping issues. 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.
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 fire alarm system includes an ADA compliant strobe light to alert hearing-impaired individuals. 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. Keep your work area neat and tidy and keep combustible such as paper and trash to a minimum. Survival chances increase if you are not where the shooter is or if you go where the shooter can't see you.• Call Out1. 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. 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. 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.
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. Keep a wet cloth over your nose and mouth, breathe through your nose only.• Signal for help.
Once you are in a safe location, call the police by dialing 911 (9-911 from a campus phone).2. It is important to act by seeking safe shelter before you wait for official instructions (see below).
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.
Call 911 (9-911 from a campus phone), or hang an article of clothing out the window to help signal for help. 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. Call 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) if you can do so without alerting the shooter.• Spread Out1.
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. If there are two or more of you, make a plan to overcome the shooter.Do the best you can - Choose to survive.

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