In all emergencies, follow the police officer's instructions.

Introduction

Emergencies are unexpected, unpredictable and take many forms. No one can be fully prepared for everything that may happen, but some simple measures help in any emergency.

  • Think of everyone's safety first.
  • Use common sense and training.
  • Act quickly and calmly.
  • Be factual and unemotional with students and the community.

For more severe emergencies, some preparations can be made. Knowing who to call can save time, property and lives. This web page is intended as a practical outline of what to do in a variety of emergencies. The COM Police Department can provide further information on emergency and crisis prevention, management and resolution.

Click on an item below for more detailed information


Fire

Know the location of fire extinguishers, fire exits and pull alarm systems in your area and how to use them.

In the event of a fire, follow the steps shown below.

  1. If an emergency exists, activate the manual pull station building alarm system. Immediately contact Campus Police (Dial 599).
    • If a minor fire appears controllable, promptly direct the charge of the fire extinguisher toward the base of the flame.
    • If large fire does not appear controllable, activate the manual pull station building alarm system, then immediately contact Campus Police (Dial 599). Campus Police will immediately notify the local fire department. Proceed to evacuate all rooms, closing all doors to confine the fire and reduce oxygen. Do not lock doors.
  2. When the building alarm is sounded, an emergency exists. Walk quickly to the nearest marked exit and alert others to do the same.
  3. Assist the disabled in exiting the building. Use the stairs. Do not use the elevators during the fire.
  4. Once outside, move to a clear area upwind, if possible, at least 300 feet away from the affected building. Keep streets, fire lanes, hydrants and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and crews.

Do not return to an evacuated building unless told to do so by a police officer.

Should you become trapped inside a building during a fire and a window is available, place an article of clothing (shirt, coat, etc.) outside the window as a marker for rescue crews. If there is no window, stay near the floor where the air will be less toxic. Shout at regular intervals to alert emergency crews to your location. Do not panic!

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Hurricane/Flood

In the event a hurricane or flood threatens the region, the COM president and vice presidents will monitor the situation and decide whether or not to close the campus. Should the determination be made to close the campus, employees should do the following before leaving.

  1. Unplug all electrical equipment. Unplug computer and computer-related equipment, typewriters, calculators, etc. (NOTE: Do not unplug network cable.) Power surges such as those expected will render computer equipment useless and can cause damage to disk drives and memory boards.
  2. Where feasible, move computers and electronic equipment away from windows or outside doors and away from areas that have leaked in the past. Roof leaks are very possible during storms of this nature. Contact Facility Services at extension 8400, and they will provide you with plastic to cover your equipment.
  3. Instructors with items outside should secure them or relocate them inside buildings. Loose items such as lawn furniture and tennis court screens will be put away by the maintenance staff.
  4. Make sure windows are locked securely. If you are unable to lock one, notify Facility Services at extension 8401 as soon as possible.
  5. Monitor local television and radio stations. Refer to the Temporary Closing section of this web page.

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Tornado

Since tornadoes give no advance notice, little can be done except to protect yourself. The Campus Police should notify you should a tornado endanger the campus. Remember that it is safer to remain in the building. Stay away from windows, stay close to structural supports (beams, columns, etc.), and remain calm. Once in the sheltered area,  sit facing the internal wall with knees and head down and your hands covering your face and head.

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Bomb Threats

In the event of a threatening call:

  1. Transfer the call to the Police Dispatch at extension 599.
  2. If that fails, attempt to gather as much information as possible. Attempt to learn the following:
    • When is the bomb set to go off?
    • What is the explosive?
    • What does it look like?
    • What building is it in? Did the caller place the bomb?
    • Why was it set? Where are you calling from?
    • What is your name?
    • What does the voice sound like (man, woman, child, accents, etc.)?
    • Were there any identifiable sounds in the background?
    • Note the exact wording of the threat.
  3. Notify someone nearby that you are talking to a threatening individual. Have the person call the Campus Police at extension 599.

Do not hang up on phone threats; try to keep the caller talking.

If the caller hangs up, immediately call the Campus Police at extension 599 and relay pertinent information. Stay on campus. You will be the first person the police will want to interview.

The Police Department will notify the campus president concerning the action to be taken.

Building Evacuation and Reentry:

  • Look around your area (quickly) and take note of anything out of the ordinary. Take nothing with you except personal items such as purse, coat, car keys, umbrella or briefcase.
  • As you leave the building at the nearest exit, take note of anything unusual in the hallways or stairs.
  • Proceed to the evacuation area designated for your building. The Police Department will inform you of the designated area. Remain in the designated area (at least 300 feet from the structure) until you are notified to return.

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Psychological Crisis Intervention: Suicidal Tendencies

Procedures for Intervention of Suicidal Tendencies

The guidelines listed below are suggestions only. Employees are expected to exercise their best judgment in dealing with crisis situations in order to ensure their personal safety and the safety of others.

Once an administrator, instructor or staff member is aware of an individual with suicidal tendencies, the employee should assess the level of the crisis and respond using the following as guidelines:

Emergency Level

This level describes an individual who is making an attempt on his or her life at the present time or is threatening an immediate attempt.

In this situation, you should:

  • Call Campus Police at extension 599 immediately.
  • Take steps to ensure your own safety and the safety of others.
Primary Level

This level describes an individual who is seriously depressed and who has given thought to ending his or her life.

He or she might have a plan and means for carrying out that plan. He or she also might have experienced traumatic situations and behavioral changes. This individual, while not threatening his or her life at the moment, may do so at a later date.

In this situation, you should:

  • Not leave the individual alone.
  • Appear confident that you can help the individual.
  • If a student requests help, immediately escort the individual to the Student Success Center or the campus administrator in charge.
  • If the individual is a college employee and requests help, immediately refer the person to the Human Resources Office, EAP or their supervisor.

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Psychological Crisis Intervention: Homicidal Tendencies

Procedures for Intervention of Homicidal Tendencies

The guidelines listed below are suggestions only. Employees are expected to exercise their best judgment in dealing with crisis situations in order to ensure their personal safety and the safety of others.

Once an administrator, instructor or staff member is aware of an individual with homicidal tendencies, the employee should assess the level of the crisis and respond using the following as guidelines:

Emergency Level

This level describes an individual who is making an attempt on someone else's life at the present time or is threatening an immediate attempt.

In this situation, you should:

  • Call the Campus Police Department at extension 599 immediately.
  • Take steps to ensure your own safety and the safety of others.
Primary Level

This level describes that an individual who poses imminent danger and who has expressed intent to harm another individual.

He or she might have a plan and means for carrying out that plan. He or she might also have experienced traumatic situations and behavioral changes. This individual, while not threatening another individual's life at the moment, may do so at a later date.

In this situation, you should:

  • Not leave the individual alone.
  • Appear confident that you can help the individual.
  • If a student requests help, immediately escort the individual to the Counseling Center or the campus administrator in charge.
  • If the individual is a college employee and requests help, immediately refer the person to the Human Resources Office, EAP or their supervisor.
  • Notify the Campus Police Department for information and assistance.

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Maintenance Problems

Maintenance-related problems include:

  • Power (electrical) outages, electrical problems
  • Water leaks, ruptured water line
  • Gas leaks
  • Sewage problems
  1. During business hours, call Facility Services at extension 8401. On evenings or weekends or when no one else can be reached, call the Campus Police Department at extension 8403.
  2. If you receive no answer at the above numbers and an emergency exists, contact the Campus Police Department at extension 599.

WARNING: Never touch live wires. Do not attempt to rescue a person experiencing electrical shock. Shut off power where applicable.

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Chemical/Radiation Spill/Gas Leak

Any spillage of a hazardous chemical or radioactive material should be reported immediately to the Campus Police Department at extension 599.

When reporting, be specific about the nature of the involved material and exact location. The Campus Police Department and/or Safety Office will contact the necessary specialized authorities.

The on-site key person should vacate the affected area at once and seal it off to prevent further contamination of other areas until the arrival of the Campus Police officers.

Any people who may be contaminated by the spill are to avoid contact with others as much as possible, remain in the vicinity and give their names to the Campus Police officers. Required first aid and cleanup by specialized authorities should be started at once.

If any emergency exists, activate the manual pull station building alarm system. Report the emergency to the Campus Police Department at extension 599.

When the building alarm is sounded, an emergency exists. Walk quickly to the nearest marked exit and alert others to do the same.

Assist the disabled in exiting the building. Do not use elevators; instead, use the stairs. Do not panic or cause others to panic.

Once outside, move to a clear area upwind, if possible, at least 300 feet away from the affected building(s). Keep streets, fire lanes, hydrants and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and crews.

Do not return to an evacuated building unless told to do so by a police officer. After any evacuation, report to your designated campus area assembly point.

Natural gas leaks, with an odor in the building, may occur and may bring danger of an explosion. If an odor is detected in the building, do the following:

If a leak is in or near a building:

  • Call Campus Police at extension 599.
  • Evacuate the building immediately, following your local building evacuation plan. Get students a safe distance upwind, at least 300 feet from the building.
  • Do not return to an evacuated building unless told to do so by a police officer.

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Campus Evacuation

  • Evacuations of all or part of the campus grounds will be announced by the president and/or designee.
  • All persons are to immediately vacate the area in question. Instructors and their designees are responsible for aiding disabled persons.
  • Patrol cars will announce and direct traffic off campus.

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Shelter in Place

In the event of an industrial incident that may pose a risk to the community, local officials may recommend to shelter in place instead of evacuating the campus. This simply means staying indoors until the emergency is declared under control. This could be much safer than going outdoors where the air could be unsafe to breathe.

Once Campus Police are alerted of an incident, they will attempt to secure as much information on the situation as possible. Campus Police will continue to monitor emergency radios for information and an all-clear notice.

Here is how to shelter in place:

  • Go inside immediately. Close all doors and windows and other sources of outside air. Facility Services personnel will turn off ventilation systems in building controlled by the Energy Management System to keep toxic materials from entering the buildings.
  • Turn on your radio. During an emergency, stations will continuously broadcast instructions and appropriate actions that should be taken.
  • Stay off the telephone. Local officials may try to telephone using computerized telephone notification system. Do not call police, fire or 911 unless you are reporting a police, fire or medical emergency at your location. Overloaded telephone circuits may keep actual emergency calls from getting through.
  • Do not try to evacuate. Evacuation may be an appropriate precaution during a flood or hurricane, but you should not attempt an evacuation during a chemical emergency unless specifically ordered by officials.
  • What if I can't find shelter? Even a poorly sealed building or vehicle provides some protection against chemical vapors. If you are inside a vehicle, close your vehicle's doors and windows and turn off the vehicle's air conditioning and ventilation system. Turn on your car radio for more information.
  • Stay inside, sheltered in place, until you hear the all-clear message from local officials over the city's siren system, telephone notification system, local emergency management radio station or campus email system.

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Toxic Fume Release (Off-Campus)

During an accidental industrial release of toxic fumes from chemicals or other emergencies where the air quality threatens persons on one of the campuses, shelter in place is recommended. Shelter in place simply means staying inside the building you are in or seeking shelter in the nearest available building. It is the responsibility of the local authorities to notify our Campus Police to issue orders for in-place sheltering during chemical emergencies generated off campus.

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Siren System

The cities of Texas City and La Marque have 16 emergency sirens throughout the surrounding area. The Siren System is activated for (level 3 and 4) industrial-related emergencies. It also may be used for weather-related events (tornadoes and other storms that give very little advanced notice). While many residents may be able to hear these sirens from inside their homes, the purpose of any warning siren system is to warn people who may be outdoors.

The sirens are tested every Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. Any other time you hear the outside alarm, you should assume an emergency exists and go inside.

In the event of an emergency that has escalated to a level 3 status, the siren system will be activated to alert people to seek shelter immediately (shelter in place). You should go indoors, turn off the air conditioner and listen to the radio (530 AM) and/or television (cable Channel 16) for further instructions and updates on the situation.

Also, an automated telephone notification network can be utilized to ring the telephones of homes and businesses in the immediate danger area, giving prerecorded instructions about what to do. The network can be activated citywide or within one or more geographic zones, reaching more than 300 telephones at the same time.

It is important to stay off the phone when an emergency has been declared. Do not call the police, fire department or 911 unless you are reporting a police, fire or 911 emergency at your location. Overloaded telephone circuits may keep actual emergency calls from getting through.

Continue monitoring the local media channels and wait for the all clear to be announced.

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Medical Emergencies and Violent Crimes

When an injury or illness occurs, evaluate the situation.

Initiate Appropriate Action:

  1. For life-threatening emergencies, get help immediately. Go to the nearest phone and call 911, then dial Campus Police at extension 599.
    • Unconsciousness
    • Difficulty Breathing
    • Choking
    • Seizures
    • Chest Pain
    • Serious Bleeding
    • Rape/Assault
  2. For non-life-threatening emergencies, call Campus Police at extension 599.
  3. Render aid as appropriate.
  4. If possible, send someone to meet the Campus Police and direct them to the incident. The Campus Police will direct the EMS to the scene.

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Temporary Closings

Only the president of the College of the Mainland can authorize the closing of the Campus.

Inquiries about possible closures or cancellations:

  • Students: Monitor local media stations for information. Any class day missed as a result of an emergency closing will be rescheduled as appropriate.
  • Employees: During school session: You will be notified by your department or a College of the Mainland Campus Police officer regarding temporary cancellations or campus closings.
    During nonschool hours: Monitor local media stations for information.

Students and employees can also obtain updated information from the following sources:

For all inclement weather emergencies, if a site is going to be closed:

  1. Refer to the section of this web page which describes procedures for the specific emergency.
  2. Disconnect all electrical equipment (computer, TV, VCR, typewriter, calculator and science equipment). Do not unplug the network cable.
  3. Move delicate and electrical equipment away from windows toward interior walls.
  4. Secure windows and doors.

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Door Openings

The Campus Police normally unlock campus buildings Monday through Friday between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. Buildings are normally locked Monday through Thursday between 10:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and on Fridays between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

At any time, the Campus Police Department should be notified if an employee plans to occupy a building on weekends or when it is not normally open.

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Student Conduct

College of the Mainland's policies regarding student conduct are contained in the College Student Handbook, which is produced and distributed each year. Questions regarding disciplinary procedures, students' rights and responsibilities are also included.

On-campus incidents which (a) disrupt the learning environment of the campus, (b) threaten the safety or security of students, staff or faculty, (c) involve the destruction of private or college property, or (d) include violations of local, state or federal law should be reported to the Campus Police Department at extension 599 immediately. Persons who witness violent altercations, or potentially violent altercations, should not place themselves at risk but should call Campus Police immediately. Campus Police will be pleased to escort persons who feel threatened to their classes and cars.

Obtaining Information about and/or Locating Students

Persons who come to the campus to obtain information about particular students or to locate students who are in class should be directed to the Campus Police Department's office or call 409-933-8403.

Classes will be interrupted only in emergencies.

Nonstudents on Campus

College of the Mainland maintains an open campus and welcomes visitors to it. Nonstudents are subject to the same rules as students, including those designed to ensure the preservation of the college's learning environment. Consequently, visitors who become disruptive may be asked to leave the campus.

Use of Campus Facilities

Campus facilities such as the student lounge, Gym, weight room, tennis courts, Library, snack bar and bookstore are provided for the use of students, faculty and staff. As a rule, nonstudents are not barred from these facilities; however, they may be asked to leave if classes are in progress of if their presence prevents students and/or college employees from using a facility. Consequently, persons who use College facilities may be asked to produce identification proving that they affiliated with the College in some manner.

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Thefts

All thefts that occur on campus should be reported to the Campus Police Office. Keep a record of all serial numbers of valuables. Mark your car accessories so that they can be identified. Write your name in all textbooks. Do not leave valuables in your car. Always keep cars locked.

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