Emergency Information

(See also Health, Safety, and Security)

What to do in case of an emergency:

  • Stay calm
  • Take appropriate action for the immediate situation
  • Call 911 or Public Safety (ext. 3333)

Campus Closing Policy for Emergency Events and Weather

The Berea College campus has occasionally faced a serious emergency. In order to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff, guests, and visitors, it has on rare occasions been necessary to close the campus due to such emergencies as crisis, severe snowstorm, tornado, fire, water damage, etc. When an emergency arises, the President of Berea College or designee may decide to close the campus in order to preserve the safety of students, employees, guests, and visitors. This policy specifies how Berea College will respond in such circumstances. This policy also specifies that employees throughout the campus community have a personal responsibility to consider individuals with disabilities in their area.

Policy and Procedures

The President of Berea College or designee will decide as early as possible before or during the work day that the College campus will be closed.

If the decision to close the College is made before or after the regular workday, the Publications and Projects Manager will inform the news media of the emergency situation, who is and who is not to report for class and/or work, and, if known, the expected duration of the emergency. Employees should listen to radio channels or watch Lexington TV channels for official notification of an emergency closing of the campus. If information is not available on these media, the employee should call the head of the department or division, Human Resources (ext. 3050), Public Relations (ext. 3018), or, only if none of these can be reached, a campus operator (985-3000) for appropriate information.

If the decision to close the College is made before or after the regular workday, College faculty, staff, and student employees will also be notified through E2Campus alert messaging system. When the decision has been made to close the College, the President’s Office will immediately notify Public Safety, the Publications and Projects Manager, and the Associate Vice President of Human Resources. and activate the E2Campus alert messaging system. In addition the following actions will occur:

  • The Directors of Facilities Management and Public Safety will notify their emergency response teams and convey instructions on actions to be taken.
  • The Publications and Projects Manager will advise the Phone Center staff on appropriate responses to callers’ inquiries.
  • The Director whose area is primarily responsible for handling the incident will maintain close contact with their divisional Vice President, the Provost, or the Dean of Faculty, who will keep the President’s Office informed about the situation. The President or designee will keep Communications staff informed of developments, and the Publications and Projects Manager will update media information and the Phone Center accordingly.

If the emergency occurs during the regular workday, the President, the Provost, or a designee may direct Human Resources staff to notify all campus departments of the situation and action to be taken. Or the President, the Provost, or a designee may direct the Vice Presidents and Dean of Faculty to notify the various departments and offices within their divisions.

Essential employees, described as those persons involved with the required operations of the campus, will be expected to staff their positions during an emergency.

Revised July 2022

E2 Campus Alert Messaging System

Berea College requires faculty, staff and students to subscribe to the E2Campus service. E2Campus allows individuals to receive alert messages as mobile phone text messages, emails, and/or phone calls. To the greatest extent possible this process will be automated. There is no charge for the service beyond the normal cost of mobile phone text messages. Messages will be issued in the event of weather related closures or delayed openings.

Additional messages will be sent through the E2Campus alert messaging system as authorized under the Campus Emergency Response Plan. Such messages may include tornado warnings, an active shooter situation, a hazardous chemical spill or other emergencies where immediate notification may help avoid harm.

Non-emergency warning messages will continue to be sent via campus email to provide timely notification of threatening weather, a violent crime report or other potential dangers.

Emergency Evacuation

Individual Responsibility in Evacuation

A resident or user of any campus building has the responsibility to familiarize one's self with the evacuation procedure posted in each building. Be aware of evacuation routes and of the location of exits, stairwells, phones, and elevators.

Persons with disabilities who may need assistance should inform College personnel, including the Director of Disabilities and Accessibility Services and the Department of Public Safety, of the nature of the disability and the type of assistance that may be needed. Residential students also must inform their Hall Coordinator and Campus Life Area Coordinator of the accommodations needed. Students also should notify labor supervisors and instructors because evacuation may be required from the workplace, classroom, or laboratory.

Evacuation procedures begin with the sound of a building alarm. Immediately move to the nearest stairway and exit the building. Do not use elevators during fire evacuation. If immediate exit is not possible, move a safe distance away from the danger area.

Individuals who must stay in place until emergency personnel arrive should be sure to inform another person of their specific location so they can inform the emergency responders. If you are unable to make telephone contact, call Public Safety at 985-3333 (campus extension 3333) or dial 911 to provide information about their location. They should give their name and location and describe the emergency and any special needs they might have. (Also see Campus Safety and Security and the Department of Public Safety Web site at https://www.berea.edu/life-at-berea/student-life/department-of-public-safety.)

Personnel Responsibility in Emergency Evacuation Procedures

During an evacuation, if you are aware of a person with a disability being in the area, you should advise responding emergency personnel of the presence of that person and, if possible, give their name, the nature of the disability, and their location within the building. If there are no emergency response personnel in the immediate area, locate the nearest telephone and call “911.” Report the nature of the emergency, the name and location of the person and, if known, the type of disability.

Elevators should not be used to transport a person with a disability unless accompanied by emergency response personnel.

The choice to remain in an area to assist a person during an evacuation is a voluntary decision, not a College requirement. 

Emergency Response and Evacuation Policy

It is the policy of Berea College that upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation which poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of any segment of the campus community the institution will, without undue delay, undertake measures to notify the community of the dangers present. Such notification applies to a wide range of emergency situations such as imminent threat from violent crimes, gas leaks, highly contagious viruses, tornados or hazardous chemicals release incidents.

The Director of Public Safety, or other appropriate official, acting as Emergency Coordinator will confer with the designated Emergency Response Director (i.e., the President of the College or designee) to determine whether a confirmed situation exists requiring an immediate Emergency Notification to be issued. The Emergency Director or designee and the Emergency Coordinator will determine content and distribution of the notification, depending upon the nature and extent of the situation. Other appropriate officials of the institution, including the Vice President for Student Life, will be consulted as time permits and as appropriate in determining emergency confirmation, content of notification messages and appropriate communication modes. Determination as to appropriateness of campus-wide evacuation rests on approval by the Emergency Director or designee.

When determination is made that an imminent threat exists, the Department of Public Safety will immediately convey emergency notification of the dangers present unless, in the professional judgment of the responsible authorities, doing so would compromise efforts to assist a victim, or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.

Notification methods, depending upon the nature and extent of the emergency and populations at risk, may include but are  not limited to a combination of the following: activation of emergency outdoor sirens with tonal and voice capabilities; notification through the e2Campus Emergency Alert system which includes phone text messages, email and voice mail for both cell and land line phones;  campus email; messages posted on the college’s web page;  fire alarms; phone trees for residence hall staff, divisional personnel, and building contact persons;  posted notices in prominent areas of campus; vehicle loud speakers; and notification by word of mouth. Once Emergency Notification has been made, the institution does not also issue a Timely Warning Statement on the same situation. The institution will issue appropriate follow-up communication, as needed, advising as to the status of the situation and concerns deemed relevant to the campus population.

Employees and Residence Hall staff should make themselves aware of physical limitations of students and coworkers which could impede their timely egress from buildings. Persons in these roles should notify available emergency response personnel of the location of the person and nature of limitations.

The emergency response plan will be tested annually and the campus community will be advised of the outcome of the test. These tests can take different forms and may be announced or unannounced. The tests are intended as learning experiences for responders and the community at large.

Inclement Weather Communications Protocol

When adverse weather conditions affect the routine operations of Berea College, information regarding class cancellations, delayed openings, and/or College closings will be publicized via several media outlets, including the following.

  • Text messages to E-2 campus subscribers.
  • Mass emails from Public Safety to students, faculty, and staff.
  • Posts on the College’s website and Facebook page.
  • Announcements made on local media outlets specifically television stations WLEX and WKYT and radio stations WKXO and WEKU - FM.

For closure and delayed openings due to weather conditions, an announcement will be publicized by 6:00 A.M. Essential personnel, who have been identified by their supervisors, will need to report as soon as they are able to safely do so. Non-essential personnel and students residing off campus should refrain from coming to campus for personal safety and to avoid placing unnecessary demand on Public Safety and Facilities Management staff. If there is a closing or delay, additional information may be found on the College’s website and Facebook page.

Academic and Labor Inclement Weather Plan


Academic Department

Classes starting after 5:00 p.m. will meet as scheduled. For any class that is not accounted for in the grid below the instructor and student(s) should work together to make arrangements.

For a Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10:00 a.m. start:

Typical Time of Class Alternate Time
8:00-9:10 MWF 10:00 am-10:50 am
9:20-10:30 MWF 11:00 am-11:50 am
10:40-11:50 MWF 12:00 pm-12:50 pm
12:00-1:10 MWF 1:00 pm-1:50 pm
1:20-2:30 MWF 2:00 pm-2:50 pm
2:40-3:50 MWF 3:00 pm-3:50 pm
4:00-5:10 MWF No Change
Two-Hour Blocks  
MW 8:00-9:50 10:00 am-11:50 am
MW 8:40-10:30 10:00 am-11:50 am
MW 12:40-2:30 1:30 pm-2:50 pm
MW 4:00-5:50 No Change
Three-Day Long Blocks  
8:00-9:50 MWF 10:00 am-11:50 am
10:40-12:30 MWF 12:00 pm-1:20 pm
2:40-4:30 MWF 3:00 pm-4:50 pm
9:00-11:50 MW 10:00 am-12:50 pm
2:40-5:30 MW 3:00 pm-5:50 pm
Science Labs  
2:40-5:30 3:00 pm-5:50 pm
50 or 30-minute Classes 
(Partial-Credit Courses)

8:00-8:50 M, W, or F
9:00-9:50 M, W, or F
10:00 am-10:50 am
10:00-10:50 M, W, or F 11:00 am-11:50 am
11:00-11:50 M, W, or F 12:00 pm-12:50 pm
12:00-12:50 M, W, or F
1:00-1:50 M, W, or F 2:00 pm-2:50 pm
2:00-2:50 M, W, or F 3:00 pm-3:50 pm
3:00-3:50 M, W, or F Canceled
4:00-4:50 M, W, or F No Change

For a Tuesday or Thursday 10:00 a.m. start:

Typical Time of Class Alternate Time
Tuesday/Thursday 8:00-9:50 10:00 am-11:20 am
Tuesday/Thursday 10:00-11:50 11:30 am-12:50 pm
Tuesday/Thursday 1:00-2:50 No Change
8:00-10:50 10:00 am-12:30 pm
9:00-11:50 10:00 am-12:30 pm
12:00-2:50 1:00 pm-2:50 pm
Science Labs  
8:00-11:00 10:00 am-12:30 pm
12:00-2:50 1:00 pm-2:50 pm
8:30-11:30 10:00 am-12:30 pm
50 or 30-minute Classes 
(Partial-Credit Courses)

8:00-8:50 TR
10:00 am-10:35 am
9:00-9:50 TR
10:45 am-11:20 am
10:00-10:50 TR 11:30 am-12:05 pm
11:00-11:50 TR 12:15 pm-12:50 pm
12:00-12:50 TR
1:00-1:50 TR No Change
2:00-2:50 TR No Change

Labor Program

Except for the following designated essential work areas, all student morning work schedules until 10 a.m. are cancelled.

  • Child Development Laboratory (report at 9:30 am)
  • College Farms
  • Dining Services
  • Facilities Management Grounds
  • Facilities Management Housekeeping
  • Public Safety
  • Residential Halls



Labor Program

Except for the following designated essential work areas, student work schedules will be canceled for the entire day. However, any student assigned to a work area that is open for all or part of the day can, with the permission of the labor supervisor, choose to work.

  • College Farms
  • Dining Services
  • Facilities Management Grounds
  • Facilities Management Housekeeping
  • Public Safety
  • Residential Halls