Safety

Northwest Iowa Community College provides a safe learning and working environment for its students, employees and campus visitors. NCC has earned an A+ in safety from Niche.com and is ranked as the safest college in Iowa by stateuniversity.com.

NCC’s Safety Committee includes employees from all areas of the College. The Committee meets once a month to review current campus safety practices and make recommendations for improvement if needed. Meeting minutes are available to all employees through the NCC web portal. Any employee interested in joining the Committee should contact the Vice President of Operations and Finance.

Emergency Response Contacts:

  • Director of Physical Facilities 712-251-1932
  • Equity Officer 712-324-5061, Ext 242
  • Residence Hall 712-324-5061, Ext 226 or 712-301-7899
  • Sheldon Police Department 911 or 712-324-2525
  • Sheldon Ambulance 911
  • Hospital:  Sanford Sheldon 712-324-5041
  • MidAmerican Energy (electricity and gas) Emergency Line: 866-851-4261 or 712-233-4833
  • O’Brien County Sheriff  911 or 712-757-3415
  • Sioux County Sheriff  911 or 712-737-2280

Campus Alert System

In the event of an emergency on campus, administrators will broadcast urgent messages via RAVE text messaging using the Campus Alert system to those who have registered their cell phone numbers and/or email addresses.  The message will contain a brief description of the situation and how to proceed.  Due to character limitations the message will be very short. To sign up for RAVE notices go to https://nwicc.edu/about/safety/emergency-notifications/.

Website Announcements

The College will post all announcements on the www.nwicc.edu website as soon as possible.  This would include weather related announcements as well as emergency related updates.

Local News Media   

The College will utilize the local news media to alert students, faculty and staff of the status of the campus during certain events, such as a weather related closing of the campus.  Stay tuned to local radio and television in the event of the threat of a closure for the latest update. The local radio station is KIWA radio at 105.3 FM or www.kiwaradio.com.

ACTIVE SHOOTER

“ALICE” is an acronym for 5 steps you can utilize in order to increase your chances of surviving a surprise attack by an Active Shooter. It is important to remember that the “ALICE” response does not follow a set of actions you “shall, must, will” do when confronted with an Active Shooter. Your survival is paramount in this situation. Deal with known information and don’t worry about unknowns. You may use only 1 or 2 parts of the response plan or you may have to utilize all 5. In this type of incident, your perception is the reality and you will be deciding what the appropriate action for you to take is.

  • Alert
    • Information is KEY!
    • Don’t assume someone else called 9-1-1.
    • Flood the 9-1-1 lines. If you get a busy signal when calling 9-1-1, that’s a good thing!
    • Tell as many people as possible however you can.
    • When you provide information, be as specific as possible – what, where, who, etc.
  • Lockdown
    • Lockdown is a place to start. Locking the doors and staying put for the moment gives you an opportunity to formulate a plan.
    • It buys very little time, so think and act quickly.
    • Don’t just lock the doors, barricade the doors.
    • Use whatever materials are available (desks, chairs, belts, purse straps, etc.).
    • Move out of the doorway once barricaded.
    • Once secured, do not open the door for anyone. Police will enter the room when the situation is over.
  • Inform
    • Continue to share information
    • Give information in plain language.
    • Use information to make decisions
    • Give others a “play-by-play” as events unfold and changes happen
    • Who, what, where, when, and how
    • Twitter, text messages, Facebook, phone calls, etc.
    • Share the information however possible.
  • Counter
    • Find ways to distract – noise, movement, distance, objects, force, etc. Create chaos.
  • Evade/escape
    • Evade, escape, run
    • Look around – what exits do you have? What options do you have?
    • Get outside if they’re inside.
    • Do not use cars to evacuate. It will cause too much chaos. Lessen the chaos, use your legs and run.

BOMB THREAT

  • All bomb threat calls should be taken seriously.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Do NOT put the caller on hold!
  • Do NOT transfer the call to another person unless requested by caller.
  • Do NOT interrupt the caller.
  • Allow the caller to finish statements.
  • Do NOT hang up the telephone after the caller hangs up.

The person receiving the bomb threat via telephone or other means should remain calm and attempt to obtain as much information as possible such as:

  • Where is the bomb located?
  • When is the bomb set to go off?
  • What is the explosive?
  • What does it look like?
  • What building is it in?
  • Did you place the bomb?
  • Where are you calling from?
  • What is your name?

IF POSSIBLE, NOTIFY SOMEONE NEARBY THAT YOU ARE TALKING TO A THREATENING INDIVIDUAL.

When the caller hangs up immediately call the Front Desk (ext. 0) and notify them of the call. Cellular phones and two-way radios should not be used in case of a bomb threat. Stay on campus! You will be interviewed by the police. If you receive or find a written bomb threat, notify a college employee immediately.

FIRE

If the alarm sounds, evacuate the building as quickly as possible.  If a fire is observed and no alarm is sounding, activate the closest fire alarm as you exit the building. 

To report smoke, from a safe location call the receptionist by dialing x0 or x114.  The receptionist will notify 911 and the Director of Physical Facilities.

To report a fire, from a safe location call 911 and then dial the switchboard operator by dialing 0 or 114.  The operator will notify the Incident Coordinators and Director of Physical Facilities

If the switchboard is closed, calls made to x114 will be automatically transferred to a member of the Emergency Response Team.  Give your name, location, telephone number and, if possible, a description of the smoke or fire.  To the extent that good judgment dictates, remain near the scene, or meet and direct security and emergency personnel to the fire. 

If you have been properly trained in the use of fire extinguishers and there is no danger to personal safety, consider an attempt to put out the fire using the appropriate type of fire extinguisher.

Pull stations and fire extinguishers are located throughout the campus.

When exiting the building:

  • Persons with information regarding stranded occupants should notify responding emergency personnel.
  • Do not use a fire extinguisher unless you have first called Physical Facilities and unless you have been trained to use a fire extinguisher.
  • Do not stop to retrieve personal possessions or make phone calls.
  • Use the evacuation route according to posted building evacuation plan.
  • If things are falling around you, get under a sturdy table or desk until they stop falling.
  • Leave quickly.  Watch for weakened floors, stairs, and falling debris as you exit.
  • Close doors behind you.
  • When approaching a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel the lower, middle and upper parts of the door.  Never use your palm or fingers to test for heat; burning those areas could impair your ability to escape a fire (e.g., ladders and crawling).
  • If the door is not hot, open slowly and ensure that fire and/or smoke are not blocking your escape route.  If your escape route is blocked, shut the door and use an alternate route, such as a window.  If clear, leave immediately.  Be prepared to crawl.  Smoke and heat rise.  The air is clearer and cooler near the floor.
  • If the door is hot, do not open it.  Escape through a window.  If you cannot escape, hang a white or light-colored piece of clothing outside the window, alerting fire fighters.

Inclement Weather

If severe weather conditions warrant, Northwest Iowa Community College may delay starting classes or cancel.  Administrative personnel will issue a message via RAVE text messaging using the Campus Alert system to those who have registered their cell phone numbers and/or email addresses along with posting information on the College website (www.nwicc.edu) In addition, during times the switchboard is not open, the College will record a message which will provide the latest update for weather schedule announcements.  Students and employees are not to endanger their lives to travel to campus for class or work when severe weather conditions occur, but should report as soon as travel is safe. 

The following procedures will be followed when conditions warrant.

Procedures for Day Classes and Activities

Snow Storms:  Work crews will report to start cleaning the campus. On occasion, classes may have to start late to allow crews to clear the streets and parking lots. A recommendation to delay or cancel classes will be made by 5:30 a.m. A message will be placed on the answering machine at the switchboard.

Procedures for Evening Classes and Activities

When severe inclement weather occurs during the day, a decision to cancel night classes will be made no later than 3:00 p.m.  The receptionist will announce the closing.  An electronic campus notification will be sent via RAVE as well as a posting on the College website.

Across campus, we share everyday moments with our coworkers, classmates, instructors, and friends. We go to work or school, our dorm, the library, etc. It’s easy to overlook these routine moments, but as you’re going about your day, if you see something that doesn’t seem quite right, say something. By being alert and reporting suspicious activity to your local law enforcement or NCC faculty or staff, you can protect your coworkers, classmates, instructors, friends, and community.

If you see suspicious activity, report it to local law enforcement or a trusted NCC faculty or staff person answering the “5 Ws”:

  1. WHO did you see?
  2. WHAT did you see?
  3. WHEN did you see it?
  4. WHERE did this occur?
  5. WHY is it suspicious?

And of course, in an emergency, call 9-1-1.

TORNADO

NCC has an on-campus siren which will activate in a tornado warning.

A tornado WATCH means that tornadoes are likely to develop.  The weather bureau announces that conditions are right for a tornado.  There will be a brief announcement to Executive Council and the Incident Coordination Team, but no further action will be necessary at this time.

A tornado WARNING means that a tornado has actually been sighted somewhere in the general area.  When a tornado is confirmed to be in or near Sheldon and the Incident Coordinators make the determination to do so, the receptionist will use the PA system to make an announcement to take shelter.  In the event that a tornado warning is issued when the switchboard is closed, and before Evening Custodian/Supervisor has gone home (10:30 p.m. Monday thru Thursday), the Evening Custodian/ Supervisor will make an announcement.

After 10:30 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends, the only notification employees will have is the campus outdoor siren or local radio or internet connectivity.

If severe conditions warrant, the receptionist will announce a tornado WARNING.  Students and employees should immediately proceed to the shelter designated for the building they are occupying and assist any handicapped persons in the area.  Employees and students are encouraged to stay on campus and not to leave the buildings.  Employees should direct students to take shelter in the buildings.

The outdoor campus siren is linked with the City of Sheldon’s siren system, and will activate at the same time.  A map of the nearest tornado shelter is posted in each room.  If you do not have time, proceed to the building’s lowest level, crawl under a strong table in the middle of the building, or crouch next to an inside wall away from windows and doors.

Areas of focus for the Committee include:

  • Annually updating the Emergency Action Plan
  • Reviewing campus accident reports.
  • ALICE Training
  • Fire and tornado drills
  • Facility reviews
  • General preparation and response training for various emergency events.
  • Student education on safety issues
  • Supplying campus safety kits
  • Coordinating the Emergency Medical Response Team
  • Coordination with local law enforcement including annual planning meetings
  • Coordination with local weather responders regarding severe weather
  • Communicating information on Tornado Shelters
  • Procedures for Emergency Notifications
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