Northeastern Junior College
Safety & Security

Weather Emergencies & Natural Disasters

Weather Emergencies or Natural Disasters can happen any time, any where. Prepare for all emergencies ahead of time, learning what to know about specific events that might happen where ever you may be.

Fire emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere, even on campus. According to the NFPA, firefighters respond to an average of 3,810 fires at college residence halls and Greek housing each year across the country.

Emergencies can happen anywhere and anytime. An attitude of Situational Awareness is one of the most important tools in being prepared to react properly during an emergency.

You play an important role in not only your Safety & Security, but for those you interact with on a daily basis. Contact Campus & Security for more information and training resources at 970-521-6683. Always call 911 as soon as possible in any Emergency.

During any type of emergency, the Northeastern community will initially receive information via the Emergency Notification System, as well as the colleges social media sites, the website news feed and news outlets. All students, faculty and staff are advised to sign up for emergency notifications and to download the NJC Alert Mobile app which has many resources available at the touch of a button. Emergency Notification updates will be send via the app as well.

Sign up for Emergency Alerts

Mobile Alerts

Weather Emergencies or Natural Disasters can happen any time, any where. Prepare for all emergencies ahead of time, learning what to know about specific events that might happen where ever you may be, on campus, in the mountains or even the desert.

Tornado Watches and Warnings

Tornado Watches are issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form. Watches are meant to alert you to stay aware of the weather conditions until the watch expires.

Tornado Warnings are issued when a tornado has been sighted or radar indicates rotation in the clouds. If a Tornado Warning is issued, take these steps:

  • Move quickly to lowest possible level, interior space such as hallways, basements, or restrooms that are not next to exterior walls. Look for strong structural supports, support walls,
  • Get low, even under items that can give you cover
  • Cover back of head
  • Monitor emergency notifications and local news
  • Stay in your shelter until the warning expires
  • Faculty and staff are responsible for identifying and escorting individuals with mobility impairments or physical disabilities located in their offices/facilities or classrooms to safety in a tornado shelter in the event of a tornado warning.
  • The elevators may be used to transport individuals with mobility impairments or physical disabilities and their escorts to tornado shelters. Visually impaired and hearing impaired individuals may be escorted down the stairs to tornado shelters but may require assistance in moving in crowded staircases and in finding the tornado shelter.

    In the event of a power failure, individuals who are unable to use the stairs and their escorts should move to an interior location without windows and call 911 and report their location.

Tornado Safety

Be alert to weather conditions and for announcements via the Emergency Notification System. Logan County also will notify the public through the use of tornado sirens.

Thunderstorms and Lightning

When thunderstorms develop, when you hear thunder and/or see lightning, get away from water and open areas where you are an only target such as golf courses or mountain tops. Never shelter under a tall, isolated tree. Find shelter in substantial building or vehicles and stay inside for 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder.

Lightning Safety Thunderstorm Safety

Flash Floods

"Turn around, Don't Drown!" Never try to cross a flooded roadway, find a different route to higher ground, and obey evacuation orders.

Flood Safety


Winter Weather / Hypothermia


The State of Colorado experiences severe weather conditions throughout the year. Because we have students living on campus that require daily services, NJC will continue to operate during these times. However, extreme weather conditions may require the closure of NJC’s campus for a short period of time (delayed opening), or the entire day. In these extraordinary circumstances the NJC President has the authority to make reasonable decisions about such closures. 

Our students and employees live in a widely dispersed area, and Colorado weather can change radically over short distances. Therefore, no single procedure will adequately cover all circumstances. The guiding principle for inclement weather decisions is the health and safety of our people, but we recognize that some can safely work on campus during inclement weather and are permitted to do so. 


All employees of NJC are expected to work pursuant to assigned schedules regardless of weather conditions, subject to the following provisions. 

  1. The President, or designee in the absence of the President, will determine the existence of conditions that warrant campus closure.  The President will consider existing conditions, forecast conditions, road conditions as reported by the Colorado Department of Transportation, advice from Logan County Emergency Management Office, and information from other organizations as appropriate for the situation.
  2. For the safety and security of the students living on campus, some essential personal will be required to report to work even when the campus is closed.   Essential personnel perform the services necessary for the health and welfare of our students and infrastructure.   Examples include facilities/plant; food service; and housing services.  Those workers considered essential are typically identified as such on their position description.   However, the unique nature of a campus closure may require some personnel not identified as essential to respond to campus closure situations or rare occasions.   An example might include a director supporting the movement of critical training equipment to a new location. 
  3. Non-essential employees will be granted administrative leave when NJC has been closed or placed on a delayed start for the period of their schedule that occurs during the closure. 
  4. NJC employees who are already on approved leave when the NJC President closes the campus may not substitute administrative leave for the period of the closure. 
  5. NJC employees who are on an approved remote work plan who are working outside of the campus during a closure will not receive administrative leave and will continue to work remotely during the closure.
  6. On-campus classes may be held at the discretion of the faculty member.  Many students living on campus may be able to safely attend classes during inclement weather, preserving our ability to provide educational outcomes.  However, no student will be penalized for not attending an on-campus class during an inclement weather closure and faculty should provide alternatives for those who cannot attend the class. Faculty may also conduct courses virtually during a closure.  
  7. In the event of adverse weather conditions in the region, but when NJC remains open, the following conditions apply: 
    1. Employees who are not able to reach the office as scheduled, either for the entire day or who arrive late to work, may work with their supervisor to determine if an alternate arrangement in schedule or work location can be made. The decision rests with the supervisor, in their discretion, based on appropriateness of the request and business need. 
    2. Employees affected by emergency road closures made by the State, county or municipal governments or by the Colorado State Patrol may be granted administrative leave if they are unable to reach the office.   
    3. Employees who choose not to come to the office during their regularly scheduled time, and are not able to fulfill their responsibilities remotely with their supervisor’s approval, will be required to use annual leave for their time out of the office.

Information regarding the status of NJC operations during inclement weather will be made available to all employees through the following methods:

  • Notification will be posted on the NJC website;
  • Notification will be provided to the local news media; and
  • Notification will be sent to all employees utilizing the emergency notification system

Winter Safety Cold Safety

Fires in residence halls are more common during the evening hours, between 5 and 11 p.m. and on weekends. Roughly six out of seven fires in residence halls are started by cooking.

Northeastern takes the safety of our students, faculty and staff seriously. The following guidelines will help everyone in that endeavor, and never hesitate to dial 911 for an emergency:

Campus Fire Safety

Situational Awareness

  • Always stay observant, utilizing “Situational Awareness” skills and use your best judgement when evacuating. Be aware of the fire alarm indicators such as the audible tone, how loud it may or may not be in certain locations, if there are strobe lights, etc. Notify Campus Safety & Security of any concerns at 970-521-6683.
  • Know your evacuation route exit options. Always know at least two different ways out.
  • Know the locations of the fire alarm pull stations and “role play” scenario’s in your mind -evacuating and activating a particular pull station as you exit.
  • Know the locations of the portable fire extinguishers that are available, and what kind of fires they are meant to be used on.
  • Learn the PASS procedures for operating a fire extinguisher; Pull (the pin), Aim (at the base of the fire), Squeeze (the handle) and Sweep (steadily back and forth across the base of the flames).
  • If you encounter a small fire in its "incipient stage" and you feel comfortable attempting to put it out, do so, but if it doesn't go out quickly, evacuate and close doors behind you. Have someone pull a fire alarm pull station and dial 911 while you attempt to put it out. If no one is around to do that, and if you can't put it out immediately, evacuate, activate a fire alarm and call 911. Always keep your exit option to your back, never put the fire between yourself and your exit. Approach the fire and squeeze the handle approximately 6-8 feet away from the fire and slowly advance to a distance of 3-5 feet from the fire.
  • Follow the fire safety regulations which cover cooking safety, no open flames, electrical precautions and more that are listed in your student handbook. Check with Campus Safety for additional information and training.

Fire Extinguisher use

Watch what you heat, Cooking Safety


During an evacuation

  • During an evacuation event, stay calm. Move quickly, don't run, to the closest, safe, fire exit. Evacuate immediately, do not stick around to collect personal items. But, do have a plan and be prepared. Have your cell phone accessible and be aware of the weather conditions – having appropriate clothing ready to grab. If there is smoke or fire, exit in an alternative, safe direction, try not to breathe in smoke. Remember to activate a pull station on the way out if the general alarm isn’t already sounding and close doors behind you as you go.
  • Before opening a door; Feel, Listen, Smell, Look. Always touch the door - then the door knob - with the back of your hand prior to opening it. If it feels hot to the touch, don’t open it. If it is cool or warm, kneel down low – move out of the way of the door to the side (not in front of it) and open it just an inch or two. Peer outside looking and smelling for smoke, fire or other chemical odors. Remember that smoke and heat rise while many chemical gases seek low spots. If nothing is observed, carefully open the door and look both directions.
  • Exit in the direction that smoke is the lightest and where there is obviously no fire. As - or after you exit, keep low to the ground if there is light smoke or a haze that you can see through for a fair distance.
  • If the smoke is heavy and/or you have a medical history, keep your head 12 – 18 inches from the floor (even crawl if necessary). Try to exit with others so that you have at least one “buddy” to keep track of each other during your escape. Never use an elevator during a fire alarm.
  • Do not use elevators when an alarm sounds
  • Persons with disabilities: If you can assist someone with a disability to evacuate, do so, but have someone notify firefighters directly or by calling 911. If you are unable to assist them to escape, try to help them to a stairwell or to a safe place to wait for their rescue.
  • Respond as quickly as possible, in an orderly fashion, to the designated “Assembly Area” and check in with your RA, the Duty RA or the Hall Director, Instructor or Building Captain.
  • Make sure you don't stand in roadways or block emergency response vehicles or emergency responders from reaching the building
  • Do not re-enter until declared “Safe” to do so by the fire department or a designated authority figure.

Shelter in Place

  • If you feel that you cannot escape, if there is really thick smoke with no or very limited visibility or if there is discernable heat or fire in the hallway, close the door. Retrieve towels or clothing items such as t-shirts and seal around the door and vents. Try to soak the item with water or soda and use something like a ruler, pen or pencil to fill the air space gaps under and around the door if possible.
  • If you are unable to exit through the window, Dial 911 to notify them exactly the room location, the floor and room number where you are located. Explain landmarks that you see outside of your window. Place a HELP sign in your window and try to signal responders outside with a flashlight or cell phone light. Try not to open the window too much until responders reach your window to rescue you unless there is too much smoke and you need fresh air. If it is a sealed window, tape the window if you can with several long pieces of tape, put on protective clothing and gloves as you use a chair or other object to break the window. Shield your face and eyes as best as possible.


Andrew De Souza
Coordinator of Campus Safety
970-380-0605 (mobile)
Hays Student Center
Andrew De Souza