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Building Emergency Coordinators

The Building Emergency Coordinator (BEC) serves to assist first responders by developing a common, building-wide plan of action for emergencies that threaten life safety.

The Building Emergency Coordinator serves as an extension of the Office of Emergency Management and Planning (OEMP), Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), and UNC Police in the preparedness, response and recovery phases of an emergency and serves as a central point of contact, in which information can be exchanged, within and external to the building. An additional role of the BEC is to serve as a single point of contact within each building and promoting better dissemination of pertinent emergency preparedness information and plans throughout campus buildings.

Emergency Action Plan

The Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is a joint effort by OEMP, EHS, and UNC Police in an effort to increase the University’s resiliency and improve the University’s ability to respond to and recover from an incident. The purpose of the EAP is to protect UNC-Chapel Hill building occupants and visitors from serious injury, property loss and/or loss of life in the event of an actual or potential emergency.

Departments within a building, led by the Building Emergency Coordinator, are responsible for the creation of an EAP Building Appendix. The EAP will be used as the basis for coordinated building and departmental preparedness, response, evacuation, secure-in-place or shelter-in-place actions.

A building may need to be evacuated due to a fire or another unforeseen emergency such as chemical spill, structural damage or violence. In these situations, the fire alarm system or verbal commands from police, emergency response personnel or building coordinators may be used.
In the event of an evacuation, all building occupants must respond to emergency alarms and directions.

  • Immediately stop what you are doing and remain calm.
  • If in a lab, secure any hazardous materials or equipment prior to leaving.
  • If physically impaired, know your Area of Refuge and call 911.
  • Always use the stairwells to evacuate to the nearest exit
  • Once outside, proceed to the designated Assembly Point unless instructed otherwise.
  • DO NOT return to the building until instructed to do so by emergency response personnel.
The following are general guidelines for evacuation procedures for persons with disabilities. Faculty, staff, students and visitors who may need additional assistance should develop their own evacuation plans and identify their primary and secondary evacuation routes from each building they use. This information is a starting point. Please seek more information by contacting Accessibility Resources and Service (students), Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (faculty and staff) or by visiting the Carolina Ready website.

Persons should:

  • Be familiar with evacuation options (Stay in Place, Area of Refuge, Horizontal Evacuation)
  • Seek evacuation assistants who are willing to assist in case of an emergency
  • Inform your instructor or supervisor that you would need assistance in an emergency.
  • Discuss in advance how your instructor or supervisor can best assist you and operate any necessary equipment.

Stay in Place

Unless danger is imminent, remain in a room with an exterior window, a telephone and a solid or fire-resistant door. With this approach, the person may keep in contact with emergency services by dialing 911 and reporting his or her location directly. Emergency services will immediately relay this location to on-site emergency personnel.

Area of Refuge

With an evacuation assistant, go to a designated area of refuge away from obvious danger if your building contains these areas. The evacuation assistant will then go to the building evacuation assembly point and notify the on-site emergency personnel of the location of the person with a disability.

Shelter-in-place events are usually weather-related emergencies, such as a tornado warning. When it is necessary to shelter-in-place, you will be safest by moving inside to a building space that protects you from danger. Do not lock doors behind you as others may also need to shelter-in-place.

What to do:

  • Remain calm and proceed to your shelter area
  • Shelter-in-Place areas consist of places that are:
    • Rooms and corridors in the innermost part of the building
    • Avoid windows, corridors with windows, or large freestanding expanses.
  • There is no guaranteed safe location during a tornado, but it is important to seek the best location to minimize exposure.
  • DO NOT use the elevators
  • Persons with mobility issues should go to an area of safety when a tornado watch is issued.
  • Close all doors, including main corridors, ensuring they latch.
  • Sit or crouch near the floor against the wall or under heavy, well-supported objects and cover your head.
  • Wait until the All Clear is issued to resume activities.

A notification to Secure-in-Place is only used for an active assailant or armed intruder on campus. These situations are unpredictable and dynamic and evolve quickly. If you can’t safely evacuate your building or are unsure of the location of the threat, secure in a room, classroom or office, creating as many barriers between you and the threat. If you are caught outside, seek shelter inside the nearest building and secure in an interior space. Additionally, take the following actions:

  • Secure doors
  • Turn off lights
  • Move into concealed areas of the room, away from doors and windows.
  • Remain calm and quiet

Associated Departments: