The purpose of an emergency lockdown on campus is to limit human exposure to an apparent life-threatening, hostile or hazardous situation. Emergency lockdown is necessary in situations where there is reason to believe that exiting a sheltered area will expose individuals to greater danger than remaining in place.
The primary authority to initiate a lockdown will be Campus Police. Should the situation warrant it, all faculty and staff have the authority to initiate an emergency lockdown. Campus Police would be immediately notified by the faculty or staff initiating the lockdown. Situations where an emergency lockdown may be warranted include, but are not limited to:
A. observing an armed intruder or shooter,
B. a serious crime being committed in close proximity to campus, or
C. any situation where exposure to outside hazards may endanger staff, faculty, students and/or visitors.
Anyone observing any one of these situations should immediately call Campus Police at (919) 760-8888 and be prepared to answer detailed questions to describe the location and description of the perpetrator or event. (See Initial Action/Reporting Procedures below.)
The Meredith Campus Community will be notified through MC Alert, our campus emergency notification system. In addition, individuals may be told by Campus Police personnel and/or Staff to go into lockdown, and encounter security personnel making their “lockdown rounds.” However, Campus Police personnel will be performing critical duties, locking buildings and communicating with other law enforcement agencies during the lockdown and may not be able to stop and provide individual directions. Therefore, it is important to know and follow the steps listed below. Should circumstances prevent the "Lockdown" of a particular building, the Campus Police personnel will take appropriate steps to secure the building.
Initial Action/Reporting Procedures:
When an intruder on campus is actively causing deadly harm or the threat of imminent deadly harm to people, you must immediately seek cover and call or contact Meredith College Campus Police at (919) 760-8888 (extension 8888, from any campus phone). Give as many details as possible relative to location, number of assailants, means of aggression, and other pertinent information.
General instructions for individuals on campus during an emergency lockdown:
- Remain calm.
- Do not sound the fire alarm to evacuate the building. People may be placed in harm's way when they are attempting to evacuate the building. If a fire alarm does go off during a lockdown, do not evacuate unless you smell smoke.
- Do not gather in open areas or hallways. These ARE NOT areas of shelter.
- Stay away from windows and doors.
- Do not leave until police or security contact you to confirm it is safe; follow instructions from police or security.
When instructions are given for a lockdown by a member of the Campus Police or a college administrator, the following procedures are to be implemented immediately:
1. Active Shooter or Hostage Situation:
- Persons should lock themselves in classrooms, resident rooms, and offices as a means of protection. If the door cannot be locked, barricade it with desks, chairs and other heavy objects. Move as far away from the door as possible. Persons should stay low and away from windows. It is appropriate to use additional furniture or desks as cover. Spread out in the room to avoid offering the shooter an easy target.
- Be aware of alternate building exits if it becomes necessary to flee.
- Shut the blinds or pull the shades down. Turn off the lights and try to give the impression that the room is empty.
- Cover any windows or openings that have a direct line of sight into the hallway.
- Put cell phones on vibrate to be able to receive updates from MC Alert, but not alert the intruder to your position.
- Refrain from making outgoing cell phone calls except to relay absolutely critical information to Campus Police.
- Do not make any noise. Do not talk within the group.
- Students and staff should not attempt to leave the building until told to do so by Campus Police, Campus Security, local police personnel or through notification through MC Alert. The exception to this is when a person believes that they are in more danger in staying in the building than in attempting to escape.
- If a police officer/group goes by your room, do not open the door or “shout out” to him/her/them. The first officers will not stop to assist you as they go through the building. Their priority is to neutralize the shooter. A second group of officers will be sweeping the building to find, evacuate and to obtain aid for the injured.
- Alternative Shelter: Alternative shelter refers to specific provisions which are detailed for those people who have been in transit (e.g. moving from one building to another, at the time of the lockdown). If you are outside of a building when a lockdown is announced, if it is safe to do so, run into the nearest building and follow the above lockdown instructions. If it is not safe to run into a building, hide behind a large heavy object (i.e. vehicle, tree, mailbox, wall, dumpsters). As you would if you were in a building, remain hidden with your cellphone on vibrate until you are directed by a law enforcement officer and/or MC Alert that it is safe to come out from your location of concealment.
- Carefully follow all commands of the officers.
- DO NOT LEAVE LOCKDOWN UNTIL ADVISED BY MC ALERT OR PROPER AUTHORITY THAT IT IS SAFE TO DO SO.
2. Serious Crime Occurring or Committed in Close Proximity to Campus:
- Specific instructions will be based upon the crime or incident that is or has recently occurred.
- The actions listed under Active Shooter situation may apply, but will be determined by Campus Police. Individuals should follow instructions given by Campus Police or through MC Alert.
3. Hazardous Materials Incident:
- Specific instructions or containment procedures are to be given based upon the specific hazardous materials-related incident that has occurred or is actively occurring.