Emergency Notification Procedures
The following procedures will guide the College in promptly sharing information with all Brookdale constituents during an emergency. This plan will be executed by the office of College Relations.
An emergency is an event that threatens the safety of the campus community and may require an immediate and rapid response from police, fire or emergency medical personnel. A risk is an event that has the potential to become an emergency. A risk may not necessarily result in an emergency situation, but must be managed and mitigated to acceptable levels.
In the event of an emergency or risk, our guiding principle will be to communicate facts as quickly as possible, through multiple channels, updating information regularly as circumstances change, to ensure the safety of the Brookdale community. In an effort to provide emergency notifications in a timely manner, initial messages may be incomplete because some information may not be available. Information about risks to the health and safety of the Brookdale community will be communicated as needed.
The College’s goal is to be open, accountable and accessible to all audiences, while being mindful of legal and privacy concerns.
In the event of an emergency, the Director of Communications and Public Relations (Avis McMillon) will be notified and will communicate to the Brookdale community through the channels noted below. These procedures may be conducted with the assistance of the Social Media Administrator (Christine Busacca), Director of Marketing and Creative Services (Laurie Bender), or with support from the Office of Information Technology. The chain of notification may vary, however, depending upon the urgency of the situation.
Whenever possible, the College will communicate during each stage of an emergency situation: pre-emergency, at the onset, during and post-emergency.
At this stage of an emergency, limited information may be available. During the pre-emergency stage, College officials meet to determine how to handle a pending emergency. As appropriate, information will be provided to the Brookdale community.
At the onset and during an emergency
The College will communicate actions that should be taken immediately and indicate whether the situation requires individuals to evacuate, take shelter or secure their location. Updates will be provided during an emergency whenever possible through the appropriate notification channels.
When the emergency is over a final update will be sent to inform the campus of how the incident was resolved. Grief counseling, support groups, memorial observances, safety seminars or other services may need to be established based on the nature of the emergency. The Brookdale community will be notified of available services as necessary.
Several notification systems are utilized to communicate during an emergency. The system used will largely depend upon the nature and location of the situation.
Rave Text Alert System
Emergency alert messages will be sent to the mobile devices of Brookdale community members who register for emergency notifications. Sign up at news.brookdalecc.edu and click on the “Emergency Text Message Opt-In” link at the bottom left. The text message alert system will be used to communicate all phases of the emergency status.
Avaya Phone System
All Brookdale telephones are equipped with an intercom system that can broadcast messages using a recorded voice or a text-to-speech feature. Emergency announcements will be sent through this system, when appropriate.
A recorded message will be sent to all Brookdale telephone extensions at the onset and conclusion of emergency situations.
Recorded Message on the College’s Main Number
When the College is closed due to an emergency, a message will be recorded on 732-224-2345 for all incoming calls. If the phone system is down, the main number will be redirected to a voice recording on an independent, message-only line.
Written broadcast messages will be sent to all Brookdale employee and student email accounts to provide available details at each stage of an emergency situation.
When a decision has been made to close the College due to a risk or emergency situation, the LED signs at the Newman Springs Road and Phalanx Road entrances will display “COLLEGE CLOSED” along with a brief description of the reason for closure when appropriate. Brevity is required because the signs are limited to three lines with 19 characters per line.
Code Red Broadcast
The Code Red System sends a recorded voice message to the primary number provided in Colleague of all registered students and employees. The Command Center determines if an emergency warrants a Code Red telephone call.
A highly-visible emergency announcement will be posted in the slide rotation on the home page of Brookdale’s website that will click-through to a page containing more detailed information. During a severe emergency only the emergency announcement will be posted in the rotation.
All key media outlets (radio, television, print) will be kept abreast of all phases of a campus emergency through the office of College Relations. All media inquiries should be directed to the director of Communications and Public Relations at (732) 224-2967 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media outlets contacted for weather-related emergency closings:
WBJB TV New 12 NJ
NJ 101.5 WCBS – TV Channel 2
WINS (1010 AM)
WCBS (880 AM)
Depending upon the circumstances, Facebook and Twitter will be used to provide information about emergency situations and to answer questions from users.
Brookdale Public Radio
Brookdale’s radio station will transmit information over the airwaves and post updates to their website. The director of Communications and Public Relations will keep the station manager informed.