Emergency/Clery Act Communication Protocol

At Elizabethtown College the campus community (faculty/staff/students) will be notified in a timely manner (through a variety of communication delivery channels) when crimes or other incidents that threaten health or safety occur. These incidents can be defined as:

  • Any significant or dangerous campus situation posing an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees
  • Any significant incident that already occurred but still represents a serious ongoing threat to the campus community (prescribed by the Clery Act as a Timely Warning)
  • General campus safety information that is not of an urgent nature but is issued in the best interest of the members of the campus community

The College will also distribute follow-up reports related to significant incidents and safety information on general topics of importance to all employees and students.

Elizabethtown College has defined three different levels of communication, each determined by the type and urgency of the identified incident. These are detailed below:    

1. Emergency Notification (using the EC Alert system)

Scope:
An emergency notification will be issued in the event of any significant emergency or dangerous situation occurring on campus which involves an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees.    

Examples:

    • Outbreak of infectious disease such as meningitis, norovirus or other serious illness
    • Approaching tornado, hurricane or other extreme weather conditions
    • Earthquake
    • Gas leak or chemical spill
    • Terrorist incident
    • Armed intruder/Active shooter
    • Bomb threat
    • Civil unrest, rioting or campus protest
    • Explosion or campus-wide/residential fire
    • Homicide/Rape/Sexual Assault/Assault-when perpetrator is not apprehended

When is it sent:
All staff, faculty, students and their emergency contacts (parents and guardians) will receive an emergency notification message without delay and immediately upon confirmation by Campus Security, Elizabethtown Police, Elizabethtown Fire Department or other first responder agency that a dangerous situation or emergency exists or threatens. Upon confirmation, the agency making the confirmation will communicate their findings back to the Campus Security Dispatch Center who will initiate the emergency notification system. 

How is it sent:

    • ECAlert System- use of message templates which are populated with incident-specific information. Email, text messages and voice mail messages (where appropriate) are automatically generated.
    • Website Updates- information will be posted to the College's website
    • Emergency Hotline Updates- information will be updated on the information hotline (717-361-1988)
    • In addition to posting information on the College website, the Office of Marketing and Communications will get information out to the larger community, if necessary, by issuing press releases.

Who sends it:
The Emergency Management Group of Elizabethtown College is responsible for developing the content of emergency notifications, and for determining the deployment of the ECAlert system for using in disseminating emergency notification/information to the appropriate segment of the population. Generally, the entire campus community will be alerted to an  emergency on campus, whether it disrupts the entire college operation or a single building. EC Alerts are sent by either the Office of Marketing and Communications or by Campus Security.

2. Timely Warning  (using "Timely Warning" Campus Connections)

Scope of messaging:
A timely warning is triggered when a Clery Act defined crime has already occurred but conditions remain that present a serious and ongoing threat. (For example, a rape is reported to and confirmed by Campus Security but the suspect has not been apprehended.)   The timely warning is issued in an effort to aid in the prevention of similar crimes. As a timely warning is meant to increase awareness of criminal activity, the names of victims will not be disclosed in a "Timely Warning" message.

The Clery Act specifies that "an institution that issues an emergency notification (EC ALERT) is NOT required to issue a timely warning based on the same circumstance; however, the institution must provide adequate follow-up information to the campus community as needed."

Examples:

    • Clery Act defined crime such as rape, sexual assault, burglary, homicide and other violent crimes that impact people or assets (buildings, cars, personal possessions) where the perpetrator remains at large and for which a dangerous condition may exist for students or employees.

When is it sent:
A timely warning will be issued as soon as the pertinent information is available.

How is it sent:
"Timely Warning" Campus Connection issued, via email, as required by the Clery Act.

Who sends it:
The Director of Campus Security (in consultation with local law enforcement), Vice President of Student Life, Director of Residence Life, and the Office of Marketing & Communications are responsible for determining if a timely warning is to be issued. The College's Marketing and Communication office will issue all "Timely Warning" announcements sent to students, faculty and staff.

3. GENERAL CAMPUS SAFETY INFORMATION (Using "For Your Safety" Campus Connections)

Scope:
The disclosure of information that is related to the general safety of members of the campus community.

Example:
Vehicle accident that blocks traffic and requires alternative travel patterns, construction/demolition that poses danger to students/employees in specific areas of campus, etc.

When is it sent:
Issued as a "For Your Safety" Campus Connections as soon as information is available. The timeliness of the message is not as critical as in an emergency situation, but prompt communication is required.

Who sends it:
The College's Marketing and Communication office will issue the "For Your Safety" Campus Connections.

4. Tracking the Communication Process

The incident will be tracked, from initial reporting to full conclusion, inclusive of time-stamped phone calls and electronic communications in order to assess the timeliness of decision-making and communication for post-event evaluation.

5. Closing the Communication Loop

In both the ECAlert and Timely Warning scenarios outlined above, the College will issue a "wrap-up" communication which will serve to close the communication loop for each incident. The campus community deserves the reassurance that law enforcement, campus security and/or residence life have investigated and brought the incidents to a satisfactory conclusion.