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AACC Emergency Information - FAQ

How is AACC prepared to respond to an emergency?

AACC employs a Critical Incident Management model that is designed to complement responses used by local, state, and federal emergency services providers whose resources may be called on to resolve an emergency occurring on our campus. This model is situational dependent and allows flexibility in response to any type of emergency, large or small. AACC conducts recurring training in emergency management for its key responders and Public Safety & Police staff has practiced emergency response procedures in concert with Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I be informed that an emergency is occurring and what should I do?

Each emergency may require a very specific set of desired actions in terms of evacuation and sheltering. AACC's emergency responders, in collaboration with external emergency service responders, will identify the best course of action for our college community given the emergency circumstances. AACC has the ability through e2campus to send alert messages via cell phone, text message and e-mail in the event of a campus emergency. In addition, the college can also activate a siren with audible and voice message capability to alert the campus of an emergency. Another tool is a computer "burst" system, which broadcasts an emergency message to all computers on campus. AACC's emergency management model includes rapid response actions for posting information to the college's Emergency Information Web site and channeling information through local news/radio/TV media channels. This posted message will include specific emergency instructions as they become necessary along with an emergency hotline phone number to call for information. In the event of a regional emergency, AACC community members are additionally advised to listen to their radios or watch television news broadcasts and follow the specific directions of emergency officials. The goal of AACC's emergency responders is to stabilize the situation that has occurred, maintain safety of all, take action to alleviate the challenge before us, and prepare for recovery and transition to business as usual.

How can I sign up for e2campus?

Go to www.aacc.edu/stayinformed and complete the form.

How can I locate my child/friend/spouse who is at AACC in the event  of an emergency?

AACC realizes the importance of communicating with loved ones as soon as possible. First and foremost, we suggest you prepare your student to call you in times of emergency, to assure you of their well being. Cell phones may work when other phone lines are jammed. Other means of communication, such as e-mail, may be available in labs on campus. AACC's information updates on the general safety of the college community will appear on the emergency information website, which may include a hotline number for you to call in some situations. While AACC responds and handles an emergency, please keep your phone lines open and be patient.

What can I do to prepare?

AACC believes your safety and the safety of the entire college community are our foremost concern. However, emergency and disaster preparedness is a shared responsibility. AACC expects each faculty, staff and student to take steps on their own to prepare for these events and their own personal safety. General preparedness guidelines may not apply in every emergency. AACC expects faculty, staff and students to integrate their own preparedness activities with the circumstances of the emergency. While there is no reason to suspect our campus is unsafe in any way, it is important that we all be cognizant of the need for heightened awareness and conduct our daily activities without being frightened. You can assist in minimizing risk daily by:

  • Be positive and realistic during emergencies
  • Recognize that you will be on your own for the first few minutes or hours of an emergency
  • Realize that your actions can, and will make a difference
  • Ensure that your doors and windows are locked
  • Make certain that doors are not propped or left open
  • You are the best person to realize who should be in your lab or office area. If you see someone you don't recognize and appears not to belong, call Public Safety and Police at 410-777-1818
  • Immediately report any suspicious activities or behavior to Public Safety and Police
  • Have a list of phone numbers and e-mail addresses for persons you will need to contact in the event of an emergency. This saves valuable time in an emergency and can be very reassuring for your family and friends. Include the Public Safety and Police number in your preprogrammed numbers

What does it mean to "shelter in place?"

Sheltering in place provides refuge for students, faculty, staff and visitors inside a school building during an emergency. Sheltering in place is used when evacuation would put people at risk (i.e. tornado, environmental hazard, blocked evacuation route, criminal activity, etc.).

  • Siren or other notification system warns of an emergency situation
  • Go or stay inside building(s)
  • Lock doors and close windows
  • Faculty take class rosters where feasible
  • If environmental hazard, facilities will turn off forced air systems.
  • If environmental hazard, be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to seal windows and gaps so that you create a barrier between yourself and any contamination
  • All persons remain sheltering until public safety, or emergency personnel, declare that it is safe to leave the area

Can you guarantee that a random act of violence or terrorist attack will not happen at AACC?

While AACC is limiting is vulnerability, as a practical matter, no one, or organization is immune from such an act. We have hundreds of people in many buildings in an environment that is open, welcoming, and highly accessible by design. This presents a very difficult security challenge for us - there is little we can do to mitigate or defend against a random act of violence in such an environment. Random acts of violence such as Virginia Tech are among the most difficult to prepare for across the full spectrum of threats that we and other college and university campuses face.  However, we can and do have plans in place to respond to such incidents. The security of our campus is a shared responsibility. AACC takes steps to practice our emergency preparedness, work with professional emergency services providers, and we have confidence in our emergency response. It is based on a national model employed by local, state and federal practitioners charged with issues related to emergency management.  Because of this collaboration, our response, terminology and goals integrate smoothly with all.

How can I keep myself up to date on what's happening in the event of a major campus disaster?

The AACC emergency Web page will be an excellent source of information in the event of an emergency. It features Emergency Updates that will provide timely information about the emergency and recovery plans. In fact, this Web page will be the first communication area we update during an emergency, because of its ability to reach so many - students, faculty, staff and parents - within the AACC community.

What provisions has AACC made for food & water in the event of an emergency?

In the event of an emergency that isolates food and water sources, AACC has available water in quantities sufficient to meet the needs of the college community for a limited period. AACC will coordinate with the Anne Arundel County's Office of Emergency Management and other state and federal agencies for these resources as the need arises if a more extended emergency exists. Students, faculty and staff are well advised to take additional steps to prepare in their offices and homes as per the Department of Homeland Security's Ready.gov Web site.

As a manager at AACC, how will I know what to do in the event of an emergency?

Right now, review the Emergency and Safety Procedures steps. During an emergency, follow emergency responder directions as given, monitor e2campus broadcast messages and the "Emergency Updates" section of this website for the most current emergency information. Various other methods of communication may be used as the emergency develops including posted notices throughout campus and broadcast e-mail messages to the AACC College Community.

As always, please be alert and report any criminal incident,
suspicious behavior or improper security activity to
Public Safety and Police at 410-777-1818.