Sauk Valley Community College

an institution of higher education that provides quality learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of its students and community

Campus Security & Emergency Procedures

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It is possible, though unlikely, that SVCC will experience an emergency on campus. It is impossible to predict the nature of all emergencies, but SVCC officials discuss and plan for the most likely emergency situations. If an emergency occurs on campus, students, employees and visitors will be informed of the situation in a variety of ways:

  • Intercom system
  • Text alerts
  • Emails
  • Indications noted on the campus website
  • Internal and external signage
  • Directly by SVCC or emergency personnel
  • Phone calls

Students receive information about evacuation and shelter-in-place/lock-down procedures during mandatory orientation sessions and information can always be found on the SVCC website. Below is a description of possible emergency situations or drills and the best strategies to cope with those emergency situations or drills. All exits from the building and tornado shelter stairwells are clearly marked. Also, evacuation maps are found in every classroom in order to facilitate evacuation. Disabled individuals who cannot utilize stairs during emergency evacuations will be escorted to an Evacu-trac system that will enable SVCC security to assist those individuals to the ground floor of the building. A complete description of SVCC emergency procedures, policies, and crime/fire statistics can be found in the latest SVCC Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

SVCC will publish a summary of its emergency response and evacuation procedures in conjunction with at least one drill or exercise each calendar year.

Comments or concerns about emergency procedures can be expressed by contacting the Security Supervisor at 815-835-6323 or the Director of Building and Grounds at 815-835-6299 or by visiting the Information/Security Center located on the west end of the main building.

Crime on Campus

Community members, students, faculty, staff and guests are encouraged to report all crimes and public safety related incidents to the SVCC security in a timely manner.

To report a crime in progress or an emergency on the SVCC campus, press the security button on any SVCC phone, call 815-835-6323, use the call boxes located around campus, dial 911 from a personal or campus phone or report the crime to the Information/Security Center located on the west end of the main building. If assistance is required from the local police or fire departments, SVCC security or administration will contact the appropriate unit.

To report a non-emergency security or public safety matter, call campus security at 815-835-6323, email at security@svcc.edu or visit security at the Information/Security Center located at the west end of the building. SVCC security will follow up with the incident report as soon as possible.

Evacuation from the Building or Taking Shelter

exit sign stairs sign evacu-trac

At least two evacuation drills are conducted for all SVCC buildings containing classrooms during the fall and spring semesters. Students learn the locations of the emergency exits in the buildings and are provided guidance about the direction they should travel when exiting for a short-term evacuation. SVCC security and administration on the scene will communicate information to students regarding the developing situation or an evacuation status change. Students, employees, and visitors will be asked to leave the building during evacuation drills that simulate a building fire or structural failure. These persons should stand at least 500 feet from the building. If the drill is simulating a tornado warning, students, employees, and visitors will be sheltered underground (most likely the basement of the SVCC main building).

The purpose of evacuation drills is to prepare the occupants of campus buildings for an organized evacuation in case of an emergency. At SVCC, evacuation drills are used as a way to educate and train occupants on issues specific to their building. During the drill, occupants “practice” drill procedures and familiarize themselves with the location of exists and the sound of the fire alarm. In addition to educating the occupants of each building about the evacuation procedures during the drills, the process also provides the College an opportunity to test the operation of fire alarms and other emergency systems and procedures.

Evacuation drills are monitored by SVCC security and administrative staff to evaluate egress and behavioral patterns. SVCC staff convene at the end of every drill to debrief which helps identify inefficient procedures and deficient equipment. Repairs to deficient emergency equipment will begin immediately. Recommendations for procedural improvements are also submitted to the appropriate departments.

How You Will Know to Evacuate the Building or Take Shelter

Typically an evacuation notice will come from the fire and emergency intercom systems found around campus. Notification may also come from campus security and other employees. SVCC employees will assist students and visitors during an evacuation or sheltering emergency.

Shelter-in-Place Procedures

shelter signs

If an incident occurs and the building or areas around you become unstable or if the air outdoors becomes dangerous due to toxic or irritating substances, it is often safer to stay indoors because leaving the area may expose you to that danger. Thus, to “shelter-in-place” means to make a shelter of the building that you are in, and with a few adjustments this location can be made even safer and more comfortable until it is safe to go outside.

Basic “Shelter-in-Place” Guidance

If an incident occurs and the building you are in is not damaged, stay inside- seeking an interior room-until you are told it is safe to come out. If your building is damaged, quickly gather your personal belongings (purse, wallet, etc.) and follow the evacuation procedures for your building (close your door, proceed to the nearest exit, and use the stairs instead of the elevator). Once you have evacuated, quickly seek shelter at the nearest location. If police or fire department personnel are on the scene, follow their directions.

How You Will Know to “Shelter-in-Place”

A shelter-in-place notification may come from several sources including SVCC security, other College employees, the local or federal government, Dixon Police Department, Lee County Sheriff’s Department, the Illinois State Police or other authorities utilizing the College’s emergency communications tools.

Lock-Down Procedures

Basic “Lock Down” Guidance

If a threatening situation occurs on campus, it may be safer to find a room that is close by and follow the basic “lock down” procedures.

  1. Try and lock all of the doors to the room to prevent easy access to the room.
  2. If possible, place furniture against any windows and doors.
  3. Turn off all room lights and remain quiet.
  4. Use the phone found in most college rooms to call 911. If possible, remain in contact with emergency personnel.
  5. Only unlock/unblock the door if you have verification that authorized security personnel can help you.
  6. Under the right circumstances, it may be advisable to exit the room and building to find a safer environment.

How You Will Know to Conduct a “Lock Down”

A lock-down notification may come from several sources including SVCC security, other College employees, the local or federal government, Dixon Police Department, Lee County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois State Police or other authorities utilizing the College’s emergency communications tools.