Originator: Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
Approver: President’s Council
Effective: May 8, 2012
Replaces: May 19, 1998

Download the PDF version of this policy

1. Preamble

Red River College is committed to ensuring the safety and well being of those who work and study on the campuses of our College. On occasion, College administration may be required to close an area, building or an entire campus in response to an Emergency situation. If such a closure is required, it is expected that staff will ensure that an orderly shutdown occurs, taking into account the safety and needs of students and other College customers who may be affected.

2. Policy

Emergency Response will be co-ordinated as outlined in this policy and as outlined in the Red River College Emergency Response Plan. Copies of the Plan are available on the College website and are updated on a regular basis.

If an Emergency situation occurs, Security Services should be contacted immediately by calling 204-632-2323. If the situation has caused observers to call 9-1-1, Security Services should subsequently be notified immediately with details of the situation so that Security Services is able to provide information and direction to First Responders.

3. Definitions

3.1

Emergency – A situation or impending situation caused by the forces of nature, an accident, an intentional act or otherwise that constitutes a danger of major proportions to life or property and/or disrupts critical operations.

3.2

Emergency Control Group – A designated group of trained senior leaders who are responsible for the overall management of Red River College during an actual or pending Emergency situation.

3.3

Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) – A room or facility wherein the Emergency Control Group conducts its Emergency Management functions. The College has designated both primary and alternate EOC locations to ensure operational viability.

3.4

Emergency Preparedness Coordinator – A designated position located at Notre Dame Campus responsible for coordinating all Emergency response procedures, training, maintenance of the Emergency Response Plan, and conducting exercises. The Emergency Preparedness Coordinator will also serve as EOC Manager and in case of an emergency situation will report to the President & CEO or designate.

3.5

Emergency Response Plan – A document outlining the policies and procedures for managing major incidents which may threaten the health and safety of students, staff or visitors to the College or significantly disrupt College operations. The Plan outlines individual and group responsibilities, as well as containing resources to assist in mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

4. Procedures

4.1 Alleged Threat Emergency Situation
  1. When an alleged threat is discovered or identified, the witnesses to it should call Security Services at 204-632-2323 with specific details of the threatening situation.
  2. In the case of an urgent threat to health and safety, Security Services shall implement the Campus Alerting System, up to and including a Lockdown of the affected campus, in an attempt to notify students and staff of the threat and to take appropriate action for safety.
4.2 Adverse Weather Conditions
  1. The identification of potentially adverse weather conditions may prompt the convening of the Emergency Control Group.
  2. Based on the criteria found in Appendix A, a recommendation of action will be made to the President & CEO or designate by the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator or alternate.
4.3 Campus Closure and/or Program Cancellation
  1. Campus Closure – If a decision to not open a campus for the day is made, every effort will be made to reach this decision prior to 6:00 a.m. Resulting communication and official radio announcement should be aired prior to 6:45 a.m.
  2. Closure prior to Evening Programs – If the situation or conditions worsen during the day a decision may be made to close a campus early or to cancel evening programs. In such a case every effort will be made to communicate this decision by 4:30 p.m.
  3. Once it has been decided to close a campus, all communication outside of the campus community, including the media, will be issued by the Director, College Relations or designate.

5. Responsibilities

5.1

Department Managers have the responsibility to ensure their staff is familiar with the Emergency Response policy and are prepared to react to Emergency situations and/or evacuations.

5.2

All staff are responsible for being familiar with this policy and fire evacuation plans. In the event of a College closure, staff are responsible for monitoring the media or College website in order to be aware of when to return to work.

5.3

Instructional staff are responsible for ensuring that their students are familiar with Emergency Response and evacuation procedures, and to comply with the direction of building evacuation leaders, Security Services, or other Emergency response officials.

5.4

Students are responsible for being familiar with evacuation procedures and to comply with direction of building evacuation leaders, Security Services, or other Emergency response officials. In the event of a College closure, students are responsible for monitoring the situation through the media or College website and for being aware of when to return to classes.

Appendix A Campus Closure

Conditions to be considered prior to the recommendation of a Campus Closure because of severe weather or other external factors:

Cold Weather:

If three or more of the following cold weather conditions exist for a sustained period during core operating hours (7:00 a.m– 5:00p.m.) the Emergency Control Group may recommend closure of affected campuses to the President & CEO or designate:

Temperature: – 40C or lower
Wind Chill Factor: – 60C or lower
Visibility: 1 km or less
Winds: 35 km or greater

Accumulated Snowfall:

Stage 1: Snow accumulation of 10 cm or more within a 24 hour period will prompt a convening of the Emergency Control Group. The Emergency Control Group will monitor conditions for as long as required, and will provide the President & CEO or designate with accurate and timely information regarding the situation. The Emergency Preparedness Coordinator will provide a condition report and recommendation to the President & CEO or designate as required.

Stage 2: Accumulated snow fall of 15cm or greater, 6 hours prior to the start of morning classes (8:00 a.m.) or 15 cm of snow accumulated during core operating hours (7:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.) will prompt a convening of members of the Emergency Control Group, and may result in a recommendation by the EOC Manager to the President & CEO or designate to close the College, delay opening, and/or to cancel Day or Evening classes.

Ice Storms:

Adverse conditions as a result of freezing rain will not in itself contribute to the closing of a campus. Freezing rain may result in an advisory from the President & CEO’s office recommending students and/or staff be permitted to leave the College earlier than their established schedule to minimize the risk associated with returning to their place of residence.

Excessive Rain:

Rainfall in the amount of 50mm or more within a 1 hour period during operating hours (7:00a.m – 5 p.m.) will prompt a notification to members of the Emergency Control Group. Conditions will be monitored.

Excessive Winds including Tornados:

Winds in excess of 90km per hour will prompt an awareness of conditions by the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. The Emergency Preparedness Coordinator will notify the Emergency Control Group, and conditions will be monitored if warranted. Wind conditions that may contribute to a tornado warning by Environment Canada for the City of Winnipeg will prompt a recommendation to remain on campus and to seek shelter in safer areas of buildings. Occupants of buildings in these conditions are advised to avoid outside walls, elevators and windows and should not use vehicles for shelter.

Utility Interruptions:

Interruptions due to loss of utility service, Hydro Electricity, Water Supply, Heating and Air Conditioning will prompt the convening of the Emergency Control Group. The Emergency Control Group will monitor the duration and impact of the loss of service(s) and provide timely status reports to the President & CEO or designate. A recommendation to close a Campus due to an interruption in service(s) will be dependent on external climate conditions and the ability to provide essential services and meet required health code and safety regulations.

Information on the cause and duration of any utility interruption may take up to an hour to become available. It may take up to a half hour (30 min.) for Manitoba Hydro to arrive at the scene of the interruption and diagnose the problem. It would then take another half hour to establish if service can be quickly restored or re-routed from another grid. During an interruption the College will maintain contact with Manitoba Hydro’s Control Centre. In addition, once power is successfully restored it may also take some time to bring all College systems back up to full capacity. Power outages at Notre Dame Campus can also impact regional and satellite campuses by disrupting some email, phone and computer services.

Health and Safety regulations potentially impacted by an interruption in service(s) shall be monitored by Environmental Health & Safety Services. Any interruption in service that could potentially impact the health and safety of the occupants of the College will be immediately brought to the attention of the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator or designate. The Emergency Preparedness Coordinator will make a recommendation to the President & CEO or designate regarding the continued operation of the facility.

Regional and Satellite Campuses:

Regional Campus Managers may interpret weather conditions and utility disruptions in their area and may decide to close a regional campus and/or satellite site. Upon making the decision to close a regional campus and/or satellite site, the Regional Campus Manager will advise their Supervisor, and the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. Security Services should be informed immediately following a decision to close a regional campus and/or satellite site.