Emergency Information

Click each topic below to show or hide the information within each section. Read this guide thoroughly and familiarize yourself with the necessary information for a future response.

  • Introduction

    • Emergencies can happen without warning. Being prepared to handle accidents or disasters is an individual and an organizational responsibility.

      If you have questions concerning a unique situation not covered in these procedures, or if you would like additional information regarding emergency preparedness, contact Security Services at (507) 222-4444, anytime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

      There are 3 steps in properly reacting to an emergency situation

      1. CHECK: Make sure the scene is safe for you to enter.
      2. CALL: In the event of a life threatening/severe injury dial 911. Otherwise call Security Services at (507) 222-4444
      3. CARE: Provide appropriate emergency care for the victim(s).

      What can you do now?

      1. Read this guide thoroughly and familiarize yourself with the necessary information for a future response.
      2. All college personnel are strongly encouraged to register for the Emergency Notification Service.
      3. Get a printed copy of this guide and keep it where it will be immediately available for quick reference in an emergency.
      4. To maintain personal emergency supplies at home or in your car, the Red Cross website has a detailed list of emergency supplies.
  • Dangerous or Violent Person

    • If you come across or learn of a dangerous person who is actively threatening the safety of individuals on campus, contact Security Services immediately at (507) 222-4444.
      • Be prepared to provide a full description of the individual and his/her location.
      • Remove yourself from danger. DO NOT APPROACH THE INDIVIDUAL.

      If you are in immediate danger:

      • Remain calm and, if it is safe to do so, leave the area.
      • If you are unable to leave the area, Shelter-in-Place.
      • Go to the nearest room or office.
      • Close and lock the door, if possible.
      • Block the door with furniture or equipment.
      • Take cover behind equipment or furnishings.
      • Turn off the lights.
      • Keep quiet and act as if no one is in the room.
      • Do not answer the door.
      • Call 911 if it is safe to do so.
      • Do not leave the area until you are instructed to do so by Security Services or other authorized personnel.
  • Medical Emergencies

    • Life-Threatening Injuries:

      1. Call 911 first. Then notify Security Services at (507) 222-4444 so they can direct and assist emergency personnel. Be prepared to provide a full description of the nature of the condition.
      2. If someone is available, send them outside to help direct emergency responders.

      Non-Life-Threatening Injuries:

      1. Call Security Services at (507) 222-4444.
        • Do not move the person unless the scene becomes unsafe.
        • Always wear appropriate personal protective items (e.g. gloves).
        • If you are exposed to bodily fluids while administering aid, immediately wash the exposed area and notify Security Services or other emergency personnel at the scene.
      2. Make sure the scene is safe before you approach the victim. Do not endanger yourself.
      3. Never provide “advice” or treatment beyond your capabilities and training. When in doubt, do not move the person, call Security Services at (507) 222-4444 and have them evaluate the situation.
      4. If poisoning is suspected, contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

      Staff, Faculty, and Student Work-Related Injuries:

      • All work-related injuries must be reported immediately. During regular business hours, contact Human Resources at (507) 222-4174 to report injuries and to obtain assistance for initial medical treatment. If a work-related injury occurs outside of normal work hours, contact HR within one business day.

      Bodily Fluid Clean Up

      • Contact Security Services at (507) 222-4444 who will coordinate necessary pathogen clean up activities.
  • Criminal Activity Reporting

    • If you are the victim of crime, suspect that a crime has been committed, or have witnessed a crime:

      • Report this to Carleton College Security Services at (507) 222-4444.

      If you witness a crime in progress:

      • DO NOT confront the perpetrator(s).
      • Immediately call Security Services at (507) 222-4444 and report:
      • What the person is/persons are doing.
      • How many people are involved.
      • Where it is happening.
      • The physical appearance and clothing of those involved.
      • Whether weapons are involved.
      • A description of the vehicle and license plate number, if a vehicle is involved.
      • The direction in which the person(s) is/are going.
      • Whether anyone has been injured.
      • Remain on the phone until you are advised to hang up.
  • Missing Person

    • If a person deviates from a normal routine, fails to appear for a scheduled event, or is unable to be reached, that person may be considered missing. All suspected missing students must be reported to Security Services in accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act.

      If you suspect that a co-worker or student you know is missing or the victim of foul play:

      • Notify Security Services immediately at (507) 222-4444 and provide a detailed description of the missing person that includes:
        • The person’s full name, nickname(s), or aliases.
        • A full physical description, including sex, race/ethnicity, date of birth (age), height, weight, eye color, and hair color.
        • Any unusual or visible physical attributes, such as birthmarks, tattoos, scars, or piercings.
        • The date and time of last contact.
        • The person’s last known whereabouts.
        • A description of what they were last seen wearing.
        • The name(s) of the person(s) whom they were last seen with.
  • Fire

    • If you discover a fire:

      1. Manually activate the fire alarm system.
      2. If safe to do so, immediately exit the building, closing doors behind you. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.
      3. Call 911 and then Security Services at (507) 222-4444.
      4. Assist persons with special needs.
      5. Notify Security Services or fire personnel if you know or suspect someone is trapped inside the building.
      6. Assemble at a safe distance from the building.
      7. Make sure everyone is accounted for.
      8. Do not attempt to re-enter the building until instructed to do so by the Northfield Fire Department or Security Services.

      If trapped in a room:

      1. Wet and place a cloth around or under the door to prevent smoke from entering the room.
      2. Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire.
      3. Be prepared to signal to someone outside, but DO NOT BREAK GLASS until absolutely necessary (outside smoke may be drawn into room).

      If caught in smoke:

      1. Drop to hands and knees and crawl toward exit.
      2. Stay low as smoke will rise to the ceiling level.
      3. Hold your breath as much as possible.
      4. Breathe shallowly through nose and use a filter such as a shirt or towel.


      Manually activate fire alarm system before using fire extinguisher:

      1. Pull safety pin from handle.
      2. Aim at base of fire.
      3. Squeeze the trigger handle.
      4. Sweep from side to side at base of fire.

      Fire extinguishing devices should be used only after the alarm has been sounded and the Fire Department and Security Services have been notified. Then, only if you feel capable, a small incipient fire may be attacked by using an extinguisher. Don’t expose yourself to heavy smoke. The toxic gases in smoke can quickly render you unconscious.

  • Thunderstorm/Tornado

    • Know the location of the nearest Emergency Shelter area in your building!


      If there is a Severe Thunderstorm WATCH, conditions are right for a severe thunderstorm:

      • Continue with normal activities, but continue to monitor the situation.

      If there is a Severe Thunderstorm WARNING, severe thunderstorms are occurring:

      1. Be prepared to move to a place of shelter if threatening weather approaches.
      2. Remain indoors and away from windows until the severe storm passes.
      3. If large hail begins to fall, seek immediate shelter.
      4. Report any injuries and damage to Security Services at (507) 222-4444.

      IMPORTANT: As a key part of Carleton’s emergency preparedness, all students, faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up for email and text messaging service.



      If there is a Tornado WATCH, conditions are right for a tornado:

      • Continue with normal activities, but continue to monitor the situation.

      If there is a Tornado WARNING, radar or weather spotters have identified a tornado nearby:

      1. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER in a designated emergency shelter area in your location. If uncertain, seek shelter in the lowest level. If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway, a small inner room, or a closet. Stay away from outside walls, exterior doors, and glass windows or partitions. Individuals with disabilities should follow the same procedures.
      2. Do not open windows.
      3. Cover your head and eyes with a blanket or heavy clothing to protect against flying debris and broken glass.
      4. After the all-clear message is given, leave damaged buildings if it is safe to do so.
      5. Do not attempt to return to a damaged building unless directed to do so by Security Services or emergency response personnel.
      6. If you are surrounded by debris, be aware that removing some of it can cause other debris or part of the building to collapse.
      7. If it is not safe or possible to leave the area, wait until assistance arrives.
      8. If you are in a vehicle get out and seek shelter in a nearby building. If not available, locate a ditch or ravine. Lay prone, face down, with your hands covering your head.
      9. Report all injuries and damage to Security Services at (507) 222-4444.

      10. SIREN TESTING: Sirens within the City of Northfield are tested every Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. year-round to maintain readiness.
  • Hot/Cold Weather Illness/Injury

    • Conditions caused by hot or cold weather an be serious, but if caught early, they can be treated successfully with first aid. Remember to dress appropriately for the weather.

      Heat related conditions include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

      Heat Cramps
      Heat Exhaustion
      Heat Stroke
      Symptoms Painful muscle cramps and sweating. Heavy sweating, tired, pale, nausea, headache, and/or rapid breathing. Red, dry skin, confusion, seizure, high temp. (103°+ orally), vomiting, unconsciousness.
      First Aid Move away from heat and give the person sips of cool water. Cramps can be massaged with gentle pressure. Move away from heat, give the person sips of cool water, remove as
      much clothing as possible, and have the person sit near a fan.
      Remove the person from heat and begin cooling steps for heat exhaustion. If someone shows signs of heat stroke, call Security Services at (507) 222-4444 for assistance.
      Avoid Do not take a cold bath or immerse in ice.
      Do not allow the person to return to activity for at least four hours.
      Do not leave the person unattended during cooling steps or recovery.

       Cold related conditions include frostnip, frostbite, and hypothermia.

      Symptoms An early warning of frostbite: the affected skin becomes white and numb. Affected skin becomes very cold,turns or yellowish-gray or white and feels hard and swollen. Blisters may appear. Cold, pale skin, confusion, shivering, loss of coordination, slurred speech, fatigue or lethargy.
      First Aid Bring the person inside and remove wet clothing, and immerse his/her body parts in warm (not hot) water until sensation returns. Bring the person inside and remove wet clothing. Place clean cotton gauze between affected toes/fingers. Bring the person inside and remove wet clothing. If the victim shows signs of hypothermia, call Security Services at (507) 222-4444.
      Avoid Do not take a hot bath or immerse affected skin in hot water.
      Do not rub or massage the skin.
      Do not use direct heat, like heating pads, on skin.
      Do not disturb any blisters.
      Do not administer medication unless directed by a physician.
  • Hazardous Spill


      Clean up spills yourself if:

      • It is a small spill of a known substance.
      • You are familiar with the physical and health hazards of spilled material.
      • The spill does not involve highly toxic, radioactive, reactive, or multiple chemicals, where the reaction by-products are unknown.
      • The clean-up procedure is known and appropriate materials are available.

      Contact your lab manager or Principal Investigator (PI) if:

      • The spill is larger than 4 liters, but not acutely hazardous or consisting of reactive materials.
      • The spill is of a radioactive substance.
      • You are not familiar with the physical and health hazards of the spilled material.
      • The clean-up procedure is unknown or appropriate materials are unavailable.

      Call 911 and evacuate the area if:

      • The spill is uncontrollable or involves acutely hazardous or multiple chemicals.
      • The spill results in fire or explosion.
      • The spill results in life-threatening injuries.
      • The spill may endanger the environment (e.g., the spill is outside).

      Contact Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at (507) 222-4146 (x4146 from a campus phone only during business hours) for:

      • MSDS information or advice on spills that do not require 911 responses.
      • Notification after 911 call has been made from a safe location.
      • Metallic mercury spills.
      • Additional personal protective equipment or spill supplies.

      Use spill kit materials (pads, booms, and gels can be used on all chemicals, except hydrofluoric acid):

      • Absorbent pads: used for absorbing solvents, acids, and alkalis; can be placed under leaking containers.
      • Absorbent booms: used for absorbing solvents, acids, and alkalis; can be used to dike spills.
      • Gel absorbent: used for absorbing all liquids except hydrofluoric acid.
      • PPE: gloves (nitrile), splash goggles.
      • Equipment: dust pan, broom, collection container.

      Select clean-up agent and treat spill:

      • Use booms to contain spill if necessary.
      • Circle spill with gel absorbent.
      • Cover spill by applying absorbent inward.
      • Mix absorbent thoroughly into spill to absorb excess liquid.
      • For biological spills not involving human blood/blood products, autoclave spill materials.
      • For biological spills involving human blood products call Security Services (507) 222-4444 and they will contact custodial services.

      Restore area:

      • Place waste in collection container and clearly label contents (i.e., acetone spill clean-up material).
      • Rinse area with plenty of water if no reaction hazards remain.
      • For biological spills, wipe contaminated surfaces with a 10% bleach solution.
      • Call EHS (507) 222-4146 (x4146 from a campus phone) for a waste disposal pick up.
  • Person of Concern

    • Occasionally, a student, faculty, or staff member may present behavior in a classroom or in the campus community that makes others feel uncomfortable or intimidated, or results in a feeling of emotional distress, whether intended or not. While this type of behavior may seem harmless, it should not be ignored. Whenever someone feels uncomfortable, threatened, or intimidated by any incident, or there are persistent incidents that create an unwelcome or uncomfortable environment, the person should immediately report this to the appropriate officer of the College (e.g., supervisor, professor, dean) or Security Services at (507) 222-4444. One may also fill out Carleton’s Community Concern form, and a college official will promptly respond.

      Examples of behaviors:

      • Outward displays of anger.
      • Use of inappropriate language (profanity, sexual, racial/ethnic slurs, etc.).
      • Displays of extreme intoxication or chemical use.
      • Suggestive or unwanted demands for attention.
      • Persistent and unwelcome joking and teasing.

      Where to direct concerns:

  • Mass Notification System

    • Carleton College has developed a tiered emergency response and evacuation program to alert you in the event of an emergency on campus. Carleton’s tiered system incorporates a written Emergency Response and Evacuation Plan, a text messaging and email system (CarlAlert), and web-based alerts via Carleton’s home page. The campus warning system broadcasts alerts via a secure network that continues to operate during a disaster. In the event of an emergency on campus, this system is capable of informing you of immediate dangers in your areas, both indoors and outdoors.

      If you have not registered your cell phone and e-mail with the CarlAlert text message system, please sign up now.

      If you have any trouble accessing your account or wish to comment on this service, please contact Security Services at (507) 222-4444.

      The campus warning system (CarlAlert) is a free service offered by Carleton College. Your wireless carrier may charge you a fee to receive messages on your wireless device.

      No spam will ever be sent to your cell phone or email through this campus warning system.

    • Escort Services

      • Carleton College Security Services is dedicated to the safety of all individuals in our community. If a safety escort is desired at any time, contact Security Services at (507) 222-4444 and an officer will escort you to your destination on campus or an off-campus residence.
    • Shelter-In-Place

      • “Shelter-in-Place” means to seek immediate shelter inside the building you currently occupy. This action may be taken during a release of hazardous materials to the outside air, or other emergency.

        If you are ever advised to Shelter-in-Place:

        • Go to the nearest room or office.
        • Close and lock the door, if possible.
        • Block the door with furniture or equipment.
        • Take cover behind equipment or furnishings.
        • Turn off the lights.
        • Keep quiet and act as if no one is in the room.
        • Do not answer the door.
        • Silence your cell phone.

        You may be directed to take this action if it is not safe to leave your building due to:

        • Person of concern
        • Violence on or near campus
        • Hazardous materials
        • Other emergencies
    • Evacuation of Mobility Impaired

        1. Evacuate persons with disabilities who are otherwise ambulatory, such as those who are vision or hearing impaired, with other building occupants. Stay with each person until a safe place is reached.
        2. Do not evacuate people by elevator who are dependent on mechanical equipment for their mobility unless authorized or directed by emergency personnel.
        3. If not able to exit the building, the individuals should “protect-in-place.” A fire exit stairway is the preferred location.
        4. Others should advise emergency personnel of the location of the individuals “protecting-in-place.”
    • Utility Failures

      • Elevators should not to be used in utility/power failures or fires. If you need assistance, call Security Services at (507) 222-4444.
      • Emergency back-up power will automatically switch on if there is a power failure. Most buildings are equipped with emergency lighting. If safe to do so, follow the emergency exit signs to the nearest exit door and exit the building.
      • If you experience a utility outage during normal working hours, call Facilities Management at (507) 222-4133.
      • If you experience a utility outage after hours, call Security Services at (507) 222-4444.
    • Bomb or Other Threat Checklist

      • If you receive a threat by phone:

        • Remain calm. Attempt to keep the caller on the telephone as long as possible.
        • Use the Threat/Bomb Checklist on the next page.
        • Record the time and phone number if you have a caller ID after the caller is off the line (the time the call came in is critical to tracing the number).
        • Contact Security Services at (507) 222-4444 immediately after receiving the threat.
        • Take no further action until advised to do so by Security Services. Responding officers will assess the threat and advise the building occupants if it is necessary to evacuate the building and/or area.
        • If you suspect that the threat is real and eminent, begin evacuating the building by activating the fire alarm.

        (Download/print this checklist)

        Threat/Bomb Checklist

        Date and time of call:


        Questions to ask Caller:
        1. What is the threat?
        2. When will the threat be executed?
        3. Where is the location of the threat/bomb?
        4. Why?
        5. What is your name?
        6. Where are you now?

        Exact Wording of Threat:


        Background Noise/Sound (note all that apply)
        • Office Machines
        • Street Noises
        • Voices
        • Dishes
        • Outdoors
        • Music
        • Radio
        • Airport
        • Children
        • Crowd
        • Machines
        • Animals
        • Static
        • No Noise
        • Other
        Caller's Voice (note all that apply)
        • Male
        • Female
        • Normal
        • Soft
        • Loud
        • Fast
        • Slow
        • Calm
        • Excited
        • Angry
        • Slurred
        • Nasal
        • Lisp
        • Raspy
        • Deep
        • High
        • Crackling
        • Stutter
        • Laughing
        • Crying
        • Altered
    • Quick Contact Information

      • Department
        Phone Number
        Additional Information
        Ambulance, Fire, and Police 911  (9-911 from a campus phone) All 911 calls from on-campus phones go directly to the Rice County dispatch center. 911 calls from a cell phone go to the MN State Patrol who will transfer you to the appropriate dispatch center. Please also notify Carleton Security Services of the 911 call.
        College Information (507) 222-4000 www.carleton.edu
        College Relations (507) 222-4309 All media requests go to this office. go.carleton.edu/cr
        Community Concern Form   go.carleton.edu/concern
        Environmental Health and Safety Office (507) 222-4146 The Environmental Health and Safety Office chairs the Carleton Safety Committee. The Safety Committee created this emergency guide for your use. go.carleton.edu/emergency
        Facilities Management (507) 222-4133 go.carleton.edu/facilities
        Human Resources (507) 222-4174 Work-related injuries. go.carleton.edu/hr
        Northfield Hospital (507) 646-1000 www.northfieldhospital.org
        Office of Disability Services (507) 222-4080 go.carleton.edu/disability
        Ombuds Office (507) 222-4174 The Ombudsman assists employees by listening objectively to concerns related to working at Carleton College. This role was created to provide employees with a comfortable place to discuss problems or concerns, de-escalate issues, and improve working relationships. go.carleton.edu/ombuds
        Poison Control (800) 222-1222 www.mnpoison.org
        Security Services (507) 222-4444 Carleton College Security Services is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week operation. go.carleton.edu/security
        Student Health and Counseling (507) 222-4080 Provides services that help students meet their physical and mental health needs from a holistic perspective, with a focus on education for lifelong learning and health. go.carleton.edu/shac