Campus Safety

Emergency Closure

In the event of an urgent emergency at Matanuska-Susitna College (MSC), and you are the first to recognize a fire situation, activate the alarm, evacuate to a safe location using the nearest exit, and notify the Alaska State Troopers at 907-745-2131 Police Emergency or dial 911. Emergency telephones are located at the outside entrance to JKB by the Director’s Office and at the west entrance to Snodgrass Hall (entrance facing the front parking lot). Regular land-line phones are also available in every classroom. The College Director should always be notified of all significant problems within twenty-four hours, if not sooner.

After contact with 911, and/or in the event of less urgent situations, contact should be made with the College Director or designee. In an urgent event or emergency, the Physical Plant should be contacted.

College Director's Office: (907) 745-9726; Jalmar Kerttula Building (JKB) 101; 8295 E. College Drive, Palmer AK  99645

Physical Plant: (907) 745-9789

Evacuation Procedures

At the sound of the fire alarm or if you are instructed to evacuate, leave your work area immediately and proceed to the nearest exit, and leave the building. 

  1. Remain Calm
  2. Do NOT use Elevators, Use the Stairs.
  3. Assist the physically impaired. If any individual is unable to exit without using an elevator, secure a safe location near a stairwell, and immediately inform the police or responding fire department of the individual's location.
  4. Proceed to a clear area at least 50 feet from the building. Keep all walkways clear for emergency vehicles.
  5. Make sure all personnel are out of the building.
  6. Do not re-enter the building.

Campus Emergency Classroom Information 

  • What do I do if a medical emergency or injury or other emergency occurs in or near my class or office?
    For serious medical emergencies call 911 to report the nature and location of the emergency. Follow the instructions given by emergency responders. Then contact MSC Safety Personnel at 745-9789, or 9789 from a campus phone.
  • What are my responsibilities as a faculty/staff member?
    Faculty members are expected to remain with their classes and direct their classes as instructed by the Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT), Physical Plant or emergency personnel. In case of a building evacuation, keep the class together and go to the designated area for their building usually the parking lots. Each semester, Emergency Information and evacuation instructions are provided to the faculty. Staff members should remain at their duty stations or evacuate to the appropriate facility.


CERT Members and Level of Contact:


Weather Closures and Information Distribution

  • How do we handle snow and weather closures?
    The decision to cancel any or all MSC activities is made only by the director or designee. We make every attempt to notify media outlets by 6:00 a.m. for morning classes, by 11 a.m. for afternoon classes and by 3:00 p.m. for evening classes.
  • How do I find out about closures or emergencies?
    MSC uses several methods of communications to notify staff and faculty of emergencies or closures including:
    • Recorded Phone Message: A message will be put on the main phone number for the college, 745-9774 (select option #1) with information on the current status of campus closure or any cancelled classes.
    • UA Alert Notification System: MSC IT office will launch a message via UA Alerts to faculty, staff, students and members of the community.
    • Radio: MSC Director’s Office notifies all major media outlets of closures as rapidly as possible. Faculty and staff and students should be aware that not all outlets have 24-hour phone numbers, and that MSC cannot control the content of broadcasts. We make every attempt to notify media outlets by 6:00 a.m. for morning classes, by 11 a.m. for afternoon classes and by 3:00 p.m. for evening classes. Tune your radio to KMBQ 99.7.
    • Website/Social Media: MSC Marketing Office will notify of closures on the MSC website,, and the MSC Facebook.
  • What if MSC is open and faculty/staff can't get to class or work?
    There may be times when conditions in an individual neighborhood prevent faculty from meeting their classes. If this happens, notify your students. Then notify the MSC Academic Affairs Office at 745-9754. Faculty should keep a class roster at home and/or set up a phone tree for each class. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to notify students if individual classes are canceled when the college remains open. Staff members should notify their supervisor.
  • What if students can’t make it to class?
    Faculty should remember that conditions can vary dramatically around the Valley during major snowfalls. We make every effort to keep MSC open and operating in our northern environment, but we recognize that there may be times when students, like faculty, face local conditions that make travel impractical. Students should contact their instructor if they are unable to attend class.


Emergency Situation Procedures

  • Fire
    • Determine what is on fire and the extent of the fire.
    • Attempt to contain a small fire by utilizing available fire extinguishers if you are trained to do so.
    • Use fire alarm if beyond control or fire involves potentially explosive materials.
    • Call 911 to report the fire: describe the nature of the fire and the exact location of the fire.
    • Notify the Campus Director and/or a CERT member.
    • Assist with orderly evacuation (see Evacuation Procedures). Faculty, staff, and students will evacuate to designated area, keeping the entrances clear for emergency vehicles.
    • Once in the area, faculty and staff are to try to account for all the persons who were in their area.
    • Notify the firefighters if you suspect that someone may be trapped in the building.
    • CERT members will remain to offer assistance to the fire department.
  • Explosion

    Explosions can be the result of accidents, natural disasters, or deliberate acts of terrorism.

    • Pull the fire alarm to prompt evacuation of the building. Call 911 and report the explosion. Clearly describe the explosion and your exact location, including any information on injuries.
    • Notify the College Director and/or a CERT member.
    • Caution! There could be secondary explosions. Be alert for electrical hazards, gas leaks and toxic fumes.
    • CERT members:
    • Provide the medical assistance for which they are qualified
    • Assist survivors who can move on their own to evacuate
    • Search for any injured or trapped persons if conditions allow
    • Offer assistance to emergency personnel
  • Earthquakes
    • During the earthquake, college employees should take charge and advise others to stay calm and practice good sense procedures.
    • Drop. Hold On. Keep people away from windows and glass doors. People should protect themselves from falling debris by getting under a sturdy piece of furniture. Do not allow people to run outside.
    • After the earthquake, determine if any injuries have occurred in your area. Provide First Aid if you are qualified, or find a CERT member who is qualified to provide First Aid.
    • Determine if any damage has occurred in your area; in the event of arcing electrical circuits, gas leaks, toxic fumes, flooding, or any other major damage, clear the area of people and report the damage to the College Director and Physical Plant.
    • Use college telephones ONLY to report emergencies; do not allow students to use college phones to call home.
    • The College Director or his designee will determine whether the building should be evacuated.
    • If the building is evacuated, no one is allowed to re-enter the building until the building is declared safe by qualified emergency personnel.
    • Be prepared for aftershocks.
    • CERT members:
    • Provide the medical assistance for which they are qualified
    • Assist survivors who can move on their own to evacuate
    • Search for any injured or trapped persons
    • Offer assistance to emergency personnel
    • MSC Physical Plant will inspect:
    • Structural soundness
    • Electrical wiring
    • Oil, gas, or other fuel systems
    • Hazardous materials
    • Water distribution
    • Boiler and heating systems

    Only authorized personnel will be allowed in a building during this inspection.  All personnel assisting will function under the supervision of the College Director or designee, or CERT members.

  •  Bomb Threats
     Always assume the threat is real; a bomb threat is a felony offense.
    • When a report is received, the recipient will record complete information using the “Bomb Threat Questionnaire.” Supervisors are responsible for being familiar with this form and keeping it available.
    • Do not pull the fire alarm to evacuate the building; this could cause a bomb to go off.
    • Call 911 and report the threat. The police will perform a security check of the building. No one is allowed to re-enter the building until the building is declared safe.
    • Report the incident to the College Director and/or the CERT members.
    • CERT members will quietly ask teachers with classes of students to check for any unusual objects in their classrooms, and request that all staff and faculty check their areas for any unusual objects.
    • In the event that anything unusual is found, the College Director or designee will be notified and will decide if the building should be evacuated (in which case, normal evacuation procedures will be followed).
    • It is important that the person who received the call be made available to the police for a follow-up investigation; make sure that this person immediately writes down everything they remember about the call, preferably on the Bomb Threat Questionnaire, see Student Services for a copy of questionnaire.
  • Power Outage
    • The Director’s Office attempts to determine the length of the power outage. The decision to cancel classes and/or close the campus will be made by the College Director or designee.
    • In the event that classes are cancelled or that the campus is closed, CERT members will notify faculty, staff and students.
    • Employees in computer labs, science labs, and shop areas are responsible for locking up these areas.
  • Medical Emergencies
    • If the injury or illness appears serious (potentially life-threatening), and you are qualified to provide First Aid, provide aid and send another person to call 911 and notify a CERT member. Make sure that the person calling 911 understands the nature of the injury or illness and your exact location.
    • CERT members will meet emergency personnel at the door of the building and direct them to the scene and help keep bystanders away.
    • College personnel will NEVER transport seriously injured or seriously ill person(s); leave the transporting of injured or ill persons to the emergency personnel.
    • First Aid kits and Latex gloves are located in the Student Services Office.
    • Report the injury or illness to the College Director so that a written report/incident report can be made.
  •  Hazardous Material 

    Hazardous Material Conditions: in these conditions, a chemical spill or a hazardous gas leak that presents a danger or potential threat to anyone has occurred.

    • Assist evacuation in the location immediately affected by the escape of the hazardous material, and pull the fire alarm at the first opportunity to prompt evacuation of the building.
    • Call 911. Describe the nature of the emergency including type of hazardous material if known, the exact location, and any information regarding injuries.
    • If any injuries have occurred, provide First Aid if you are qualified; or notify a Level I CERT member to provide aid.
    • Report the condition to the College Director.
    • CERT members will be assigned to the entrance of the building to direct emergency personnel to the affected area and offer assistance.
  •  Criminal Activity

    Criminal activity includes theft, physical assaults, sexual assaults, and the possession of weapons and/or illegal substances on Campus.

    • Call 911. Do not take any unnecessary chances.
      • If you are the victim of a crime
      • If you observe a crime in progress
      • If you observe behavior which you suspect is criminal
    • Report as much information as possible, including:
    • What happened, and the exact location
    • Time and date of the incident
    • The extent of any injuries, and whether this was a sexual assault
    • Who is involved, including a physical description of the person(s)
    • Whether or not weapons are involved
    • Vehicle description, including license # and direction of travel
    • Notify the College Director or a CERT member.
    • If there are injuries, provide First Aid if you are qualified, or notify a Level II CERT member to provide aid. If it is safe to move the victim, the victim should be helped to a quiet, safe place such as one of the advisor’s offices in Student Services, and given support until the emergency personnel arrive. If possible, the victim should to stay to give information to the police.
    • If this is a sexual assault, immediate efforts should be made to provide the victim with a secure, private place and a same-sex advisor. The victim should be encouraged to wait without washing until the Sexual Assault Response Team arrives to aid the victim and preserve evidence.
    • If the criminal activity concerns illegal substances, notify the College Director or a CERT member.
    • Notify the College Director or a CERT member if you suspect that anyone on campus is carrying a gun into a building (except for law enforcement professionals). A student or employee found possessing a firearm can be disciplined according to UA policy.
    • If a person on campus appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, notify the College Director or a CERT member to ask the person to leave according to the procedures under the next section of this handbook: “Criminal Trespass.”
  •  Criminal Trespass

    In the event of criminal trespass where a person on campus becomes disruptive, or appears under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if a person’s behavior is likely to present a significant danger to him or herself, or to others, the following procedures are to be followed:

    • DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RESTRAIN THE INDIVIDUAL. If the individual is directly in acute and immediate danger of his/her life or directly harming another, call 911 and notify the College Director or a CERT member immediately.
    • If the individual is not in danger or putting another person at immediate risk, notify the College Director or a CERT member immediately. The College Director or designee will ask the person to leave the campus for a specified period of time (a day, or more).  Only the College Director or designee can “suspend” a person from the campus.
    • If the person refuses to comply with the College Director’s request to leave, the person is in violation of the Criminal Trespass Statute. The College Director or designee will call the police to have the person arrested for Criminal Trespass.
    • If the person appears to be intoxicated:
    • Tell the person s/he needs to go home, and that MSC will call a cab.
    • Try to walk the person to one of the advisor’s offices in Student Services to be supervised while the cab is called.
    • If the person refuses the cab, and has a vehicle on campus, DO NOT attempt to restrain the person.
    • Attempt to identify the person’s vehicle, license #, and direction of travel.
    • Call 911 with this information.
  •  Threats
    • If a student, staff, or faculty member is threatened by a person while on campus, immediately call 911. Notify the College Director and/or a CERT member.  The threatened person should go to a lockable, secure area, such as an advisor’s office in Student Services, or the nearest securable area.
    • If a person threatens a third person who is not present, the threatened person must be warned immediately, then make a report to 911, then make a report to the College Director and/or a CERT member. The threatened person, if on campus, should go to a lockable, secure area.
    • If a threat is received over the phone, follow the same procedures and wait for the emergency personnel to arrive.
    • The possession of a firearm on campus is considered a threat and must be reported to 911 and the College Director.
  • Domestic Violence Situation

    Domestic violence is the number one cause of serious injuries to women.  Both men and women may be victims.  If you suspect that a person on campus is in a domestic violence situation, be supportive and encourage the person to call the 24-hour crisis line of the Alaska Family Services 1-866-746-4080.  Or contact one of the advisors in Student Services for referral information.

    • Domestic violence threats must always be taken seriously.
    • If you suspect that a student under the age of 18 is being abused by a parent or partner, call the State Office of Child Services (OCS) at 1-800-478-4444 to make a report. Notify the College Director and the advisors in Student Services.
    • If a person is directly threatened by a domestic partner on campus, call 911 and move the person to a lockable, secure area. Notify the College Director or CERT member.
    • If a domestic violence threat is made to a third person, whether in person or over the phone, the threatened person must be warned immediately and removed from his/her usual area into a secure area. Call 911 and notify the College Director or a CERT member.
    • If a Restraining Order is in effect, and the college is aware of it, we are obligated to call 911 if we see that the Restraining Order is being violated. If the person in violation of the Restraining Order has already left the campus, the violation must be reported as the authorities will still respond.
    • A person against whom a Restraining Order has been filed is likely to be in violation if s/he follows the other person to campus or is waiting near campus grounds, so this must be reported to 911.
  •  Active Shooter on Campus
    Reduce Criminal Access to You
    • Lock and barricade doors
    • Stay out of sight
    • Turn off lights and computer monitors
    • Close window blinds
    • Take cover behind heavy furniture
    • Do not huddle with others - spread out in the room
    • Do not tie up cellular telephone circuits except to report your situation to police
     Call 911 - Give the Emergency Dispatcher
    • Your location
    • Number of occupants of the room
    • Description of suspect(s)
     Leaving a Secure Area
    • A shooter will generally need to be stopped by an outside force such as Alaska State Troopers
    • Consider your risks before leaving
    • When in doubt, stay put and wait for instructions from emergency responders
     What to expect from the Troopers
    • Police will first work to stop the shooter
    • Police will then seek and evacuate any wounded victims
    • Police will then contact and identify everyone in the facility, arranging for medical care, interviews, and counseling
    • Evidence of criminal activity will need to be gathered
     If the Shooter Gains Entry to Your Area
    • Create a strategy for action with those in the room with you
    • Prepare to fight for your life: find something to be used as a weapon
    • As a group you may need to attack and subdue the perpetrator
    • Once he is incapacitated, kick any weapons away and update 911
  •  Deaths on or Near Campus
    Deaths are defined as either “attended” (deaths due to natural causes, and at which witnesses are present), or “unattended” (suicides, homicides, accidents, and deaths at which there were no witnesses). All deaths must be reported to the UAA System Office of Risk Services immediately. Attended Deaths:
    • Remember that no one on campus is qualified to pronounce a person dead. Call 911 immediately and either attempt First Aid or, if not qualified, notify a Level II CERT member to provide aid. Send someone to notify CERT members.
    • CERT members
    • Secure the area to keep people away from the scene
    • Notify the College Director
    • Remain with the person until emergency personnel arrives
    • Wait at the door of the building to direct emergency personnel when they arrive
     Unattended Deaths:
    • Any unattended death is always initially considered a homicide. It is imperative that the body and the scene not be disturbed and that no one is allowed into the area.
    • Keep people away from the area and send someone to call 911 and notify the College Director or a CERT member.
    • Other than if it is necessary to check vital signs, do not touch the body.
    • Do not cover the body as this can remove valuable evidence.
    • CERT members
    • Secure the scene by locking up the area or by posting members to secure as large an area as possible.
    • Identify themselves to emergency personnel.
    • If there is a witness to a suicide, homicide, or accident, encourage the witness to go into a quiet, safe area and be supportive until the police arrive.
    • DO NOT GIVE OUT ANY INFORMATION TO ANYONE. Only the College Director or designee can issue information regarding the incident.
    • The police, not a college employee, will notify family members.
    • The police may keep the body at the scene to gather evidence for a period of 24 hours up to several days. Depending on the prominence of the area where the incident took place, the College Director may decide to close part of a building, or cancel or relocate classes.
    • The advisor’s in Student Services can provide referrals for follow-up services as needed.
  •  Wildlife or Animal Incident
    Prevent wild animals from entering buildings by keeping exterior doors closed. Animals may pose physical hazards from bites and scratches, and alive or dead can spread disease. Avoid all contact with wild animals.Contact includes:
    Bite or scratch from an animal. Exposure of eyes, nose, mouth and non-intact (cut, scratched, burned, etc.) skin to animal blood or saliva.To report a nuisance animal in a building or posing a threat:
    • Notify a CERT member and call 911.
    • Do not attempt to remove or disturb the animal.
    • Depending on the circumstances, the CERT member may arrange to have the animal removed. It may be necessary to temporarily close an area while an animal is being removed.
    If there has been potential contact with nuisance animal:
    • Notify your supervisor and CERT member and call 911 immediately.
    • Be prepared to tell 911 the following information:
      Your name, phone number and location from which you are calling.
      The nature of the incident (type of animal, animal behavior, injuries sustained).
    • Use only reasonable attempts to contain the animal so that it may be captured and submitted for testing. Remove yourself and others from the space in which the animal is confined while making an effort to keep the animal contained. This may include closing doors so the animal cannot escape, but no such effort should be taken that could place you at a perceived risk. Do not try to capture the animal. Only designated persons should attempt capture.
  • Volcanoes
    Volcanic ash is a caustic irritant, typically creating some amount of health risk and damage to property. Ash is heavy - 1-inch weighs about 10 pounds per square foot, so efforts will be needed to clear accumulation from building roofs. If a volcano does erupt:
    • Remain indoors during heavy ash fall periods
    • Wear an N95 face mask when outdoors to reduce inhalation of ash particles
    • As an alternative to a face mask, a wet cloth or bandana placed over the mouth and nose can help reduce exposure
    • Contact lens wearers are advised to switch to eye glasses to reduce eye irritation from ash exposure
    • Wear goggles for eye protection
    • Wear long-sleeved shirts and gloves to protect skin; avoid bare skin contact with ash as much as possible
    Physical Plant employees will shut down and seal building air intake vents to prevent ash from moving through the ventilation system. The College Director will likely announce that the campus is closing. A telephone announcement and mass notification will go out with the instructions that the campus is closing and that we are evacuating. Information Technology (IT) Services may shut down the servers and phone systems.

Rave Guardian Safety App

With safety top of mind, the University Police Department is launching Rave Guardian to replace the UAA Safe App. Rave Guardian allows you to turn your smartphone into a personal safety device and campus resource center. Enhance your personal safety and the safety of your friends by downloading the free app. To download the free app, search “Rave Guardian” in the app store on your mobile device.

Campus Security Report

The Campus Security Report contains the MSC/UAA campus crime statistics for the three most current years, campus security measures, crime reporting and crime alert procedures; crime prevention strategies, and educational programs. Included, are sexual offenses policy, procedures to file complaints, and disciplinary actions for engaging in prohibited behaviors. Disciplinary actions for violations of alcohol and other drug policies are also reported.

Drug Free Schools Notification

The Drug Free Schools Notification contains the campus alcohol and other drug policies and behavioral expectations for students and employees; disciplinary actions taken when students or employees violate these policies; resources available to provide assistance for alcohol and other drug issues.  This report also outlines the physiological effects, health risks, and criminal penalties associated with using alcohol and other specific drugs. Copies of the Drug Free Schools Report or the Campus Security Report may be obtained from the UAA Office of Student Affairs.

Animals on Campus

The campus of Matanuska-Susitna College is situated in a 950 acre wooded site. Wildlife is sometimes seen wandering on campus and on the Nature Trail. People must remember that these are wild animals and their actions are unpredictable. Please maintain a safe distance from these wild animals and notify Mat-Su College Physical Plant whenever you see them on campus. The feeding and/or harassment of any wild animal is a violation of state law.

Pets are not allowed on campus without permission from the University Police Department with regards to the Anchorage campus, or the Community Campus Director with regards to a UAA community campus. An employee wishing to bring a pet into a facility at any time must have the written permission of their supervisor. 

Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act

The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act is a federal law which provides for the tracking of confiscated sex offenders enrolled at or employed by institutions of higher education. The Act's intent is to extend the protections of sex offender registries to college campuses. Sex offenders who must register with the State of Alaska must also provide notice to the State that they are employed, carry on vocation at, or are a student at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Information concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained from the Alaska Department of Public Safety website.