Emergency Notification

Board of Trustee Policy: 5.19

Date: December 2019

Supersedes: February 2014


This policy is established by Montgomery County Community College in compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Campus Crime Statistics Act, (the Clery Act) to provide emergency response and notification guidelines for our campuses. The policy applies to all College faculty, staff, students and visitors.


This policy covers internal electronic mass communications to Montgomery County Community College faculty, staff, and students in emergency circumstances. Emergency notifications are those electronic messages that are intended to inform the community regarding an ongoing emergency. Electronic messages include but are not limited to the following: text, social media, email, website messages and telephone.

Montgomery County Community College must exercise appropriate control over electronic communications in order to properly maintain network performance, limit the number of unsolicited email messages, and prevent desensitization that could inhibit the communication of critical information. As a result, the use of the College’s designated emergency communication system(s) will be limited to emergency notifications and timely warnings, weather-related events, and important time-sensitive announcements (as described below).

The President, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Vice President for Information Technology, or his/her designee, are authorized to make any final judgment call in cases where this policy does not clearly apply or in cases when the protocol changes as the emergency situation unfolds. Any individual who is deemed in violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.

Emergency Notification Procedures

Reporting Emergencies

Individuals should report all emergencies by calling the Department of Public Safety.

  • At Central Campus, dial 215-641-6666 from a cell or outside phone or Extension# 6666 from a College Phone
  • At West Campus, dial 610-718-1913 from a cell or outside phone or Extension# 1913 from a College phone.
  • At The Culinary Arts Institute, dial 267-646-5973 from a cell or outside phone or Extension # 5973 from a College phone.
  • In the case of a crime in progress, an emergency medical incident or a confirmed fire call all faculty, staff, and students are authorized to call 911 (9911 from a college phone) to report the incident. Public Safety officers should also be notified in these circumstances.
General Information

Montgomery County Community College offers a text messaging subscription service for all faculty, staff, and students to receive notification of major emergencies and timely warnings and strongly encourages subscribing to this important service. Subscribers will receive text messages on any device that accepts text messaging (SMS) through cellular service, such as cell phones, and some wireless PDAs. In addition, there is an option to have messages sent to a personal email address. The College offers this service to notify the campus of emergencies and/or timely warnings. In addition, text messaging includes weather-related cancellations as well.

It is imperative that contact information is accurate and up to date in order for students and staff to receive some forms of emergency notifications.

Montgomery County Community College faculty, staff, and students are strongly encouraged to activate and maintain regular access to College-provided electronic mail accounts. Montgomery County Community College faculty, staff, and students are expected to access electronic mail to obtain official College communications.

Significant Emergencies

Emergency Notifications are required to immediately notify the campus community of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health of safety of students or employees occurring on campus. An “immediate” threat as used here encompasses an imminent or impending threat.

Examples of significant emergencies when an Emergency Notification may be issued:

  • Approaching weather such as a tornado, flood or hurricane
  • Earthquake
  • Gas leak
  • Terrorist incident
  • Armed intruder
  • Bomb threat
  • Civil Unrest
  • Explosion
  • Outbreak of meningitis, norovirus or other serious illness

Initial emergency communications will be sent immediately and will convey only the most critical information. Details will be carried on the college’s website, which will be updated as circumstances dictate.

Communication Methods

The Montgomery County Community College Emergency Notification System allows the College to contact the members of the College community in the event of an emergency by employing any of the following techniques:

  1. Text message
  2. E-mail
  3. Social messaging networks
  4. Video monitors
  5. College website
  6. Audible signals and loudspeaker systems from some of our campus buildings
  7. College Marquee
  8. TV and radio media
  9. Person-to-person communications

The actual method(s) of communication used will based on the particular emergency.

Post Emergency Communication

The College will issue an “all clear” message to convey the College’s return to normal operations to all faculty, staff and students via College assigned email accounts, the MCCC homepage, and text message via MCCC text-messaging subscribers.

Authorized Users

Authorized users of the emergency notification system are:

  • The President
  • The Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • The Vice President for Advancement
  • The Vice President for the West Campus
  • The Vice President for Information Technology
  • The Vice President for Student Success
  • The Director of Campus Safety
  • The Director of Campus Safety, West Campus

Other users may be temporarily designated by these authorized users as required in an emergency.

Annual Testing

The emergency notification system will be tested annually. Procedures will be publicized in conjunction with the annual test. Additional testing may be conducted as part of drills and exercises, or as necessary.