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Shelter-in-Place Drill

The following section describes what to expect the day of the drill and the action steps to take once it begins.

Note: If you have not done so, sign up for RCC Alerts at Emergency Notifications.

Date and Time

Thursday, October 4, 11 - 11:10 am


All RCC Campuses (Suffern, Haverstraw, and Orangeburg)

Overview of Drill

This drill is a DISCUSSION based drill. At 11:00 am an RCCALERT Emergency Notification Message will go out. It will state: “This is a test of the RCCALERT Emergency Notification System. This is a Shelter-in-Place drill.”

When the drill begins at 11:00 am please take 5 minutes to go over the attached document with people in your area. Faculty are expected to review it with their students and Directors with their staff. There will be NO EVACUATION during this drill. There will be discussions that Faculty and Staff will be having with their students and staff once the drill is underway. Discuss the three Shelter in Place scenarios and afterwards, please take 5 minutes to attempt to BARRICADE or LOCK your classroom or office doors during the drill.

Important Things to Remember

  • Please do not release anyone until you hear the ALL CLEAR at 11:10am.
  • When the Alert is sounded please encourage anyone in hallways, lounge and open areas to Shelter in Place in your area.
  • Please advise anyone sheltering in your area, once First Responders, Public Safety or the Police arrive, obey all commands. This may involve you being handcuffed, or keeping your hands in the air. This is done for safety reasons and once circumstances are evaluated, they will give you further directions to follow.

Discussion 1

A severe storm front has hit the Suffern area. Tornadoes are a possibility, along with strong winds and large hail. Heavy rainfall and lightning is expected soon. Where should you seek shelter?

  1. Tornadoes cause the least amount of damage to areas below ground and in inner rooms.
    1. Move to the lowest part of the building.
    2. Restrooms are often located in the inner-most part of the floor, so seeking shelter in restrooms is a good choice.
    3. Cars are not a good choice when tornadoes are present.
  2. If tornadoes are not an issue, seek shelter inside any sturdy structure.
  3. If heavy rains start to cause flooding, change your strategy to move to higher ground. Seek upper floors, but stay near inner rooms for maximum protection.

Discussion 2

A tanker truck delivering chemicals has tipped over near the campus. Its cargo is a poisonous chemical that is emitting toxic fumes that are blowing toward the campus. Where should you seek shelter?

  1. Toxic substances that are airborne can travel considerable distances. However, the closer you are to the source, the greater the concentration.
  2. Immediately move to rooms inside structures that can be sealed as much as
  3. Heating and air conditioning systems will be turned off by campus personnel, but you should still try to block the entrance of outside air as much as possible. Close windows and seal doors with whatever material you have on hand, such as coats, paper towels, book pages or rugs.

Discussion 3

An armed person has entered the campus on the south side and has already shot two people in the quad. The gunshots could be clearly heard across campus. Where should you seek shelter?

  1. Wherever you are, move AWAY from the source of the shooting.
  2. Move quickly and encourage others to go with you.
  3. For these situations, Public Safety will immediately respond to large open areas to assist with sheltering large groups of people. They will be directed to move to a safe area until the incident is resolved.
  4. If you cannot move out of harm’s way, lock the door if able, use barricades if
    available, darken the room and be quiet. (Turn your cellphone to silent and silence the vibrate function)
  5. If you must act to protect yourself, be prepared. It is not an easy task, but it may save your life.

PLEASE DISCUSS THESE ISSUES with students, faculty, co-workers, family and
friends. Actions to survive these situations takes EVERYONE’S participation.