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Campus Response to Emergencies


Office of Campus Safety

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401



Flowers bloom in the Prairie Plot on campus.

The Knox College Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan includes information about the management of anticipated emergency response and operations during an emergency situation on the campus. The College has developed contingency plans for College operations and conducts drills and exercises each year. Such exercises include building evacuation drills, table top and participation in full scale community drills through membership in the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) managed by the Knox County Management Coordinator (Region Two). The exercises also include tests of the Knox Alert system. The tests/exercises are designed to assess and evaluate the emergency plans and capabilities of the College on an annual basis.

Numerous Campus Safety officers and managers, as well as College administrators have received training in incident command and responding to critical incidents on campus. When a critical incident occurs that causes an immediate threat to the campus, the first responders to the scene are generally emergency services (police, fire, EMS) from the City of Galesburg, Illinois.

These agencies typically respond and work together to manage the incident. However, depending on the nature and scale of the incident, other Knox County departments and/or Illinois agencies and other state and/or federal agencies could also be involved in the incident response.

The College has general evacuation guidelines in place in the event that any segment of the campus needs to be evacuated. The evacuation plans (other than normal building evacuations) would be impacted by numerous factors, including but not limited to, threat type, the occupancy of the other buildings and areas of the campus affected when the incident has occurred. In that regard, specific information about a multi-building, area evacuations and total evacuation is not routinely available.

The Department of Campus Safety expects members of the community to comply with the instructions of area first responders on the scene as it is anticipated such evacuations would be coordinated on-site. 

In the event that the buildings or areas on the campus become unstable or if the air outdoors becomes dangerous due to toxic or irritating substances or because leaving the area may cause an exposure to that danger or some other threat, persons may be instructed to "shelter in place." The term "shelter in place" correlates to establishing shelter within the building occupied. In some circumstances, and with a few adjustments, such locations may be made safe and comfortable until it is safe to go outside.

When an incident takes place and a building has not been damaged, persons are encouraged to remain inside the structure until told that it is safe to exit. If a building has been damaged, persons should take personal items (purse, wallet, access cards) and follow the evacuation procedures for the building (close doors, proceed to the nearest exit, and use the stairs instead of the elevators). Once evacuated, seek shelter at the nearest College building. If police, fire and/or Campus Safety personnel are on the scene their directions should be followed.

Access additional information about the emergency response/evacuation procedures are found in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

Knox College community members are encouraged to notify Campus Safety of any situation or incident on campus that involves a significant emergency or dangerous situation that may involve an immediate threat to the health and safety of students and/or employees on campus. Campus Safety has the responsibility to respond to and summon the necessary resources to mitigate, investigate, and document any situation that may have caused the emergency or dangerous circumstances.

In addition, Campus Safety has a responsibility to respond to such incidents to determine if the situation does in fact pose a threat to the community. However, other college departments may be involved in the confirmation process. Federal Law requires that the college notify the campus community or the appropriate segments of the community that may be affected by the situation without delay.

In addition to unanticipated emergency circumstances as noted above, there are numerous other events that may require emergency notifications and response, including severe weather conditions.

Severe Weather Conditions

Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Severe storms are POSSIBLE. Continue with normal activity but continue to monitor the circumstances.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Severe thunderstorms are OCCURRING. Prepare to move to a place of shelter if threatening weather approaches. Monitor local television/radio stations for storm up-dates.

Tornado Watch: Tornados are POSSIBLE. Monitor local television/radio stations and be prepared to take shelter.

Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar within the warning area specified. Persons in the path of the storm should seek immediate shelter. Turn on battery operated radios to monitor the storm situation and wait for the "all clear" or end of the warning period to be announced.

Important Note: The tornado warning sirens are manually activated from the Galesburg Public Safety Building Duty Office and will ONLY be sounded in the event that a tornado has been observed by a trained weather spotter and/or the National Weather Service Doppler radar has indicated "rotation" in a storm in the Galesburg area.

Shelter Information:

Seek shelter in a basement or inside hallway at the lowest level. Stay away from windows, outside doors and corners. Avoid areas with "wide span" roofs such as auditoriums, gymnasiums, cafeterias and large hallways. If outdoors get to a substantial building. If there are no buildings available lie in a ditch, culvert or low-lying area until the storm has passed.

As a reminder: There will be NO "all clear" message sounded through the siren system. It is recommended that community members should monitor local media sources or a weather radio during any storm to confirm when the storm threat has expired.

Snow Emergency

The City of Galesburg may issue a snow emergency when two inches of snow have accumulated and it continues to snow. During such declarations the city ordinance requires that vehicles be moved from all city streets to permit the streets to be plowed.

Vehicles not moved to College parking lots or other off-street parking areas will be subject to City Snow Emergency Citations ($50), towing (estimated at $75) and subsequent storage fees ($25 per day). Vehicles may be returned to the street (if necessary) after both sides of the street have been plowed.

Knox College

Printed on Monday, May 20, 2024