Disaster Preparedness

Listed below are recommended procedures for some types of emergencies. They are intended to be used as general guidelines and do not cover every conceivable situation. These procedures may be followed in sequence, unless conditions dictate otherwise.

Contact Campus Safety

Students, faculty or staff members may utilize any of the following numbers and/or methods to contact Campus Safety:

Method Phone Number
Emergency from a cell phone 562-777-4000
Emergency from a campus phone Dial Ext.5111
Non-Emergency from a cell phone 562-903-6000
Non-Emergency from campus phone Dial Ext. 0

Earthquake

In the event of an earthquake:

  • DROP-Drop down on the floor.
  • COVER-Under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. If that is not possible, or in a hallway, seek cover against an interior wall. Protect your head and neck with your arms.
  • Avoid danger spots near windows, hanging objects, mirror or tall furniture.
  • HOLD ON-If you take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, HOLD On to it and be prepared to move with it. Hold the position until the ground stop shaking and it is safe to move.
  • Do not enter or exit any building during the shaking; there may be danger from falling debris. Do not use elevators.

IF YOU ARE OUTDOORS DURING AN EARTHQUAKE

  • Find a spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights and power lines.
  • Drop to the ground and stay there until the shaking stops.
  • Do not return to your building until authorized to do so.

IF YOU ARE IN A VEHICLE DURING THE EARTHQUAKE

  • Stop in the safest place away from underpasses/overpasses, bridges, etc.
  • Stay in the vehicle until the shaking stops.
  • BE PREPARED TO REPEAT THESE STEPS IN THE EVENT OF AN AFTERSHOCK.
  • ONCE THE SHAKING HAS STOPPED:
    • Determine if evacuation is required.
  • If evacuation is required:
    • Remain calm.
    • Exit the building carefully, in an orderly manner
    • As you evacuate the building, assist others, if possible.
    • Beware of danger as you exit the building.
    • Take mental note of any injured/trapped individuals or groups.
    • Upon evacuating, ensure that you are as safe distance, at least (200-300 feet) from the building.
    • When you are outside, stay away from buildings, trees, light poles, power poles and await instructions.

ONCE YOU HAVE EVACUATED

Call extension 5111, or 562-777-4000 from a mobile phone for emergency assistance. If you are unable to get through to either of those numbers dial 562-906-4587 and leave a message.

Leave all important information clearly and calmly. Be sure to include your name, call back number, location and the situation you are reporting. Remember to be as detailed as possible.

If you have evacuated, you should continue to stand by at your assembly point and wait for further instructions from Campus Safety or other emergency response personnel.

Armed Suspects/Active Shooter

If you suspect an individual of carrying a weapon on campus, call 911 or contact Campus Safety at extension 5111 or (562) 777-4000 from a mobile phone.

  • An active shooter is an armed individual who has used deadly force and continues to do so with unrestricted access. The incident may be over quickly and can occur anytime and anywhere. It can involve single shooters, multiple shooters, close encounters, distant encounters, random victims, and mobile confrontations.
  • Unfortunately, college campuses are not immune from an active shooter incident.
  • A survival mindset can provide a foundation upon which you can base decisions and your course of action. It enables you to act quickly and effectively. It is comprised of three components; awareness, preparation, and rehearsal.

    • Awareness
    • Gain a basic understanding of the situation
    • Become attuned to your environment
      Preparation
    • Look at your environment through the lens of survival.
    • "What if" questions are critical in developing effective response strategies.
    • Survivors prepare themselves both mentally and emotionally to do whatever it takes to survive.
      Rehearsal
    • Mentally or physically practice of your plan will reduce response time and build confidence.

Prepared Unprepared
Startle and fear Startle and fear
Feel anxious Panic
Recall what they have learned Fall into disbelief
Prepare to act as rehearsed Lost in denial
Commit to action Descend into helplessness

Active Shooter Course of Action:

    Get Out
  • Move quickly; don't wait for others to validate your decision.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Survival chances increase if you're not where the shooter is, or to go where h can't see you..
    Call Out
  • Inform authorities.
  • Call 911 or Campus Safety at extension 5555, or 562-777-4000 from a mobile phone. Tell them your name, your location, shooter's name, description, direction of travel, and type of weapons.
    Hide Out
  • If getting out will put you at risk, hide out.
  • The hiding place should be well hidden and well protected.
  • Avoid places that might trap you or restrict movement.
    Keep Out
  • Find a room that can be locked with objects to hide behind.
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture.
  • Turn out lights; become totally silent/
  • Turn off noise-producing devices.
  • Call 911 or Campus Safety at extension 5111 or 562-777-4000 from a mobile phone (if you can do so without alerting the shooter).
    Spread Out
  • If there are two or more of you, DO NOT huddle together.
  • Quietly develop a plan of action in the event the shooter enters the room.
  • Remain calm. It keeps others focused on survival.
    Take Out
  • Assume the shooters intentions are lethal.
  • The shooter may succeed in killing all those with whom he comes in contact, UNLESS you stop him.
  • Develop a survival mindset that you have "what it takes" to survive when your life is on the line.
  • You must be prepared to do whatever it takes to neutralize the threat.
  • Throw things, yell, use improvised weapons.
  • If there are two or more of you, make a plan to overcome the shooter.

Bomb Threats

Bomb threats on campus shall be handled by the Department of Campus Safety, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and other applicable Emergency Response Team members. The decision to evacuate any Biola owned property will be made at the time of the incident.

Procedures for handling a bomb threat caller

If an individual receives a bomb threat call, he/she should immediately record the time and date the call was received the terminated. The person receiving the telephone call should attempt to gather some of the information listed below.

  • Determine if the caller is a Male or female?
  • Ask the caller where the bomb is planted?
  • Ask the caller when the bomb is going to explode?
  • Ask the caller where he/she is calling from?

As soon as possible, call 9-1-1 or Campus Safety at extension 5111 or at (562) 777-4000 via a mobile phone.

Procedure if/when a suspicious package is found:

  • DO NOT TOUCH OR MOVE THE OBJECT!
  • Immediately leave the area and call Campus Safety or 911
  • Advise others in the area to do the same

Fire

General Fire Safety Precautions:

  • If you suspect someone is trapped inside a building during a fire, notify the fire fighters on scene or Campus Safety personnel. Do not reenter a burning building.
  • If you are trapped in a fire, attempt to leave the building. Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth or T-shirt. If it is not possible to exit through a door, find another exit such as a window. If possible, place wet towels or clothing in the cracks around the door. Jumping from a window is only to be considered when you arei n immediate danger.
  • If you exit through a door, stay low to the floor but do so with caution. Use a wet towel or blanket to protect yourself from flames and smoke.
  • Many fires are of electrical origin. Check for frayed cords, broken plugs, and avoid using too many appliances in one circuit.
  • Be familiar with emergency exits inside your building as well as the location of fire extinguishers.
  • Move away from the building to your pre-determined evacuation assembly area.
  • A campus Emergency Command Center may be set up near he emergency site.
  • Do not return to an evacuated building unless told to do so by a university official.

Fire extinguishers are located throughout campus in many strategic locations., Learn to identify the extinguishers and find out where they are located in your area. In the event of a small fire that would not put your safety at risk, utilize the fire extinguisher if you are capable of doing so. If you decide to use a fire extinguisher, follow the instructions listed below on how to operate a fire extinguisher.

Learn how to P.A.S.S.

PULL - the pin or ring, or release the lock latch.

AIM - the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the fire.

SQUEEZE - or press the handle.

SWEEP - from side to side slowly at the base of the fire until it goes out.

Medical Emergency

If a serious injury or illness occurs, remain calm and proceed as follows:

  • Call Campus Safety at extension 5111 or 562-777-4000 from a cell phone, or call 911 directly. Relay the following:
    • Your name.
    • Location of the victim.
    • Indicate whether or not the victim is conscious and breathing.
    • Describe the nature and severity of the medical problem.
    • Provide an estimated age and gender of the victim.
    • Look for emergency medical ID and give all information to the dispatcher.
    • If trained to administer first aid/CPR, do so.

    NOTE: The Health Center staff may be available to respond to medical emergencies on campus Monday-Friday from 8am-1am during the academic school year. All Campus Safety Officers are trained on how to administer first aid, CPR and AED.

Suicide

Students, Faculty, and Staff must take all statements or notes about suicidal thoughts seriously. If a person threatens to commit suicide on campus and has the means or a lethal weapon available, the following steps should be taken:

  • Remain calm and immediately alert Campus Safety at extension 5111 or (562) 777-4000 from a mobile phone.
  • Provide as much information as possible to the Campus Safety dispatcher (location, your name, name of suicidal person, a call-back phone number, and intended weapon/drug).
  • Make a mental note of everything the suicidal person says and does.
  • Do not minimize or challenge the person’s threat; take it seriously.
  • Never promise confidentiality; instead, promise help and privacy.
  • Retreat if your safety is at risk
  • If possible, attempt to keep the person calm until Campus Safety and/or the police arrive.

Power Outage

  • Campus wide power outages are a common occurrence, especially during the summer months.
  • Dial 5111 or 562-777-4000 from a cell phone to notify Campus Safety.
  • If you are in a lab or classroom, secure all experiments or equipment that might present a danger or be damaged while electrical power is off, or when power is restored.
  • If possible, turn off all equipment to reduce overload and to prevent damage when power is restored.
  • Remain where you are unless told to evacuate.
  • Raise window blinds to let in outside light.
  • If evacuation of the building is ordered, seek out and assist any persons with disabilities.
  • Leave room light switches in the ON position.
  • Emergency lighting in stairwells and throughout the common areas and most suites will activate.

Hazardous Leak or Spill

  • Take steps to protect all chemical containers and gas cylinders in the event of a violent shake from an earthquake.
  • Any serious chemical spill should be reported to Facilities Services and Campus Safety immediately.
  • Depending on the severity of the spill, be prepared to evacuate the building.
  • Stay upwind and upstream of the spill.
  • In the event of a large off campus spill, evacuation of the campus may be necessary. Be prepared to cooperate with traffic control officials.
  • All laboratory personnel should be prepared to assist in assessment of spills within their area following a major earthquake.

Flood

Criteria

Generally, a flood emergency exists if floodwater is uncontrolled and flowing beyond the area where the source of water is normally contained or controlled. For example, a major flooding emergency would exists if the flood wall protecting the parking structures at parking lots R or S appear to be close to breaching.

Forecasting

Biola’s Facilities Planning, Facilities Services, and Campus Safety shall work in conjunction to forecast a major flooding. Resources and systems that may be used to forecast a major flooding includes but not limited to the following.

  • Information obtained from the daily situation report Campus Safety staff receives from the Area E division of the California Emergency Management Agency (CALEMA).
  • Information obtained from Campus Safety’s weather alert radio that was obtained from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Information obtained from for the National Weather Service

Reporting incidents of sudden flooding:

Calls concerning flooding or potential flooding may be received by the university’s Campus Safety Communications Division via extension 5111 from any campus extension, 562-777-4000 from a cell phone, or from a “blue-light” emergency phone/call box. Callers will be asked to identify themselves and to provide the exact location of the flooding. The safety of the caller will be of utmost importance throughout the call.

Upon a major flood forecast:

  • Campus Safety shall immediately activate all applicable members of the Biola Emergency Response Team.
  • Campus Safety shall work in conjunction with Student Development, Human Resources Department and the Biola Media relations to notify students, faculty, and staff on all vital information pertaining to the flooding. The systems that may be used to notify students and staff include the University’s mass notification system, the University mass email system, via resident directors at dormitories, the university news media, and Campus Safety’s standardized safety alert flyer.
  • Campus Safety may request additional resources from external agencies such as the City of La Mirada Emergency Management Team, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD). Any or all special conditions will be relayed at the time of request.
  • Campus Safety shall consult with Facilities Planning & Facilities Services to restrict access to the affected area, evacuate student & staff to higher ground, establish a perimeter, and take other necessary steps.
  • If injuries occur as a result of any pre storm, actual storm, and post storm, the Biola Health Center and Campus Safety CERT team shall conduct triage and provide basic first Aid/CPR.
  • In the event of a prolonged storm and housing and food services become disrupted on campus, Campus Safety and other applicable ERT members shall plan to manage the situation accordingly.

Aircraft Crash on Campus

In the event of an aircraft crash on campus, the following steps are recommended:

  • Immediately take cover under tables, desks and other objects that will give protection against falling glass or debris.
  • After the effects of the explosion and/or fire have subsided, notify 911 or Campus Safety Department at 562-777-4000 from a mobile phone. Provide your name, location and nature of the emergency.
  • If necessary or when directed to do so, activate the building’s alarm. CAUTION: The building alarm may not ring inside all buildings, so you must report the emergency by telephone.
  • When the building evacuation alarm is sounded or when told to leave by University officials, walk quickly to the nearest marked exit and ask others to do the same. If no buildings are endangered, instruct individuals to remain inside.
  • Once outside, move to a clear area that is at least 300-500 feet away from the affected building. Keep streets and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and crews. Know your assembly areas.
  • IMPORTANT: After an evacuation, report to your designated assembly area. Remain there until an accurate head count is taken by the building coordinator.
  • If requested, assist emergency crews as necessary.
  • A Campus Emergency Operations Center may be set up near the disaster site. Keep clear of the Emergency Operations Center unless you have official business there.
  • Do not return to an evacuated building unless authorized to do so.

Download the Disaster Manual (PDF)