Isothermal Community College

Learning College Manual

Emergency and Safety Plans



During an earthquake everyone must remain calm and seek safe shelter.  Possible shelter may be:

  • Indoors:  brace yourself by standing in an interior doorway or under desk or table, stay away from glass windows, shelves, heavy equipment; do not use elevators, electrical equipment, open flames or landline telephone.
  • Outdoors:  move quickly away from buildings, utility poles and other structures; if in an automobile, stop in the safest place possible, preferably away from power lines and trees and stay in the automobile if you deem safe; do not use open flames.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • If you or another person is injured call 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) for assistance.  Any damage to facilities must be reported to the Executive staff. 
  • If evacuation is needed as a result of the earthquake, follow the evacuation plan.  Never re-enter a building unless an “all clear” is given by emergency responders.

Snow and Ice

Although inclement weather such as snow and freezing rain do not normally require an emergency response, all staff and students should listen carefully to the local stations for information regarding school delays or cancellations.  All staff and students are advised to set their radios to 88.7 FM for the latest on the College’s status or visit the College’s website at  Those who elect to receive ICC text alerts will receive notification through the College’s emergency notification system.


In the event the College is notified either a tornado watch has been declared or a tornado warning is in effect, all staff should be aware of the following:

  • Tornado Watch

Definition: There is a potential for tornadoes because conditions in the area are favorable for tornadoes.

College Response:  Campus notification may be made via campus email.  The Campus Community may want to monitor the changing weather conditions by viewing local stations or

  • Tornado Warning

Definition: A tornado has shown up on radar or has actually touched down.

College Response:

When the College receives information a tornado warning has been issued or observed for the immediate college or center locations, campus notification procedures may be implemented including the outdoor warning system, ICC text alert, and campus email.  

If a tornado is at the College or the immediate area, a tornado emergency will be declared by ICC text alert, campus phone intercom system and the outdoor warning system (Main Campus). Call 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) to implement the notification procedures; get all faculty, staff, students, and others to predetermined areas of the buildings as quickly as possible.

Go to designated tornado shelters marked in each building or seek safe shelter.  Remember to stay indoors and, if possible, move to the lowest level of the building.   Move away from windows and open doors (preferably into an interior hallway). Do not use elevators, electrical equipment, or telephone. Sit on the floor and cover your head with your arms to protect from flying debris.


Upon discovery of a fire, sound the alarm by using the nearest red fire box and leave the building quickly, but in an orderly fashion, notify others in the building as you exit.  Immediately call 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) from a safe location to provide the location of the fire and details of the situation.  If the building does not have an alarm system or the audible alarm system malfunctions, a verbal message should be made to each individual classroom in that building.  Use the exit route posted in the hallway of each building.  The 911 dispatcher will alert Campus Enforcement of the situation.  Never place yourself in any immediate danger; if possible, use a fire extinguisher to extinguish the fire.

Individuals shall evacuate the building in an orderly fashion at the nearest exterior exit door, or egress down the closest stairwell if on an upper floor to the outside of the building. Where necessary, and IF time permits, staff should close vaults, files, and record containers.  Faculty members are encouraged to take the class attendance roster to the designated evacuation area.   Once outside, go to your building’s evacuation area, tell those in charge you are out of the building, and report injured or trapped persons and any signs of building damage you observe.  Faculty members are encouraged to refer to their class rosters to determine if any students are missing.  Wait for instructions from emergency responders. Do not re-enter the building until an “all clear” is given by emergency responders.  Staff will try to assemble occupants at least 200 ft. from the structure and will try to keep fire lanes clear. 

Remember, everyone must exit when the fire alarm sounds. It is not an option to remain in the building. Treat all alarms as an emergency.  

Other Fire Safety Tips:

  • Close doors and windows, if time permits, to delay the spread of the smoke and fire, but never put yourself in any danger.
  • 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.
  • 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. Hang an article of clothing out the window to help signal for help.
  • If you or your friend inadvertently set clothing on fire, remember to stop, drop, and roll to extinguish the flames.

Note: Sounding the alarm when there is no fire is against North Carolina state law.