Emergency Management

To protect the college community from any potential emergency situation, the college’s Emergency Procedures Manual establishes policy and procedure for campus-wide communication, service coordination, and safety protocols in the event of emergencies and dangerous situations such as an active shooter, fire, severe weather situation, long-term power or water outage, hazardous material incident, or any other situation that could pose a threat to lives or property.

Emergency Alert System: RAVE Alerts

The college makes use of a multi-layer notification system powered by Rave Mobile Safety to alert the campus community to inclement weather, school closings, and/or other threats to personal safety.

All current students, faculty, and staff are automatically enrolled in the alert system using their college-issued email addresses. Users are encouraged to add mobile phone numbers to their profile in order to receive text alerts and updates. Visit getrave.com and login using Lees-McRae account credentials to add a mobile phone number. 

The system is tested each semester and only used to alert of an emergency situation. Personal contact information is kept confidential and will not be shared with third parties. Standard or other messaging charges may apply to text messages depending upon your wireless carrier.

Emergency Procedures

Learn procedures for campus emergencies and what you should do to keep yourself as safe as possible. Help protect yourself during an emergency by knowing what is safe and what is not during a crisis event or dangerous situation.

To be prepared in the event of an emergency, view the Emergency Procedures Manual.

Emergency Notifications

Lees-McRae College communicates with the campus community and local media in a number of ways in the event of an emergency or dangerous situation.

Emergency Alerts
The Emergency Alert System issues email and text messages to students, faculty, and staff in the event of an immediate emergency affecting the campus community. Emergency alert messages may communicate inclement weather, school closings, and/or other threats to personal safety.

Timely Warning Notification
A timely warning notification is an email sent to faculty, staff, and students when a crime has been reported on or adjacent to campus and the nature of the reported crime creates a potentially serious or continuing threat to the campus community. The purpose of the Timely Warning Notification is to alert the campus to the potential threat so appropriate personal safety steps can be taken. 

Informational Communication
An informational communication is an email to the campus community in the case of an event that is not an emergency but may disrupt campus operations. An example of this type of event is a road closure that affects traffic patterns on or near campus.

Threat Assessment Team

The Threat Assessment Team determines if an individual poses, or may reasonably present, a threat of violence to self, others, or the Lees-McRae community. The team responds to behaviors exhibited by students, employees, visitors, and non-affiliated persons prior to a critical incident, in an attempt maintain a safe and secure learning and working environment.

Disturbing Behavior Referral
Complete a Disturbing Behavior Referral form to alert the Threat Assessment Team of individuals with concerning behavior. The team meets bi-weekly and as needed. With questions, contact Threat Assessment Team Chair HD Stewart at stewarth@lmc.edu or 828.898.8823.

NOTE: In an emergency that involves imminent danger of harm to self or others, please contact Campus Safety at 828.260.0505 or dial 911. 


    Maintain Awareness

    There are many behaviors and circumstances that may indicate an increasing risk for violence, significant disruption to others, or suggest a person is in need of assistance. The significance of any one behavior or circumstance is often difficult to determine. 

    Potential Warning Signs

    • Attempts to harm self or others
    • Unexplained increases in absenteeism
    • Decreased performance in work or academics
    • Resistance to change or reasonable limits
    • Over-reaction to changes in policies/procedures
    • Extreme or sudden changes in behaviors
    • Numerous conflicts with others
    • Difficulty learning from past behaviors or experiences
    • Displays paranoia or distrust
    • Alienates others or isolates self from others
    • Makes statements indicating approval of use of violence to resolve a problem
    • Identifies with or idolizes persons who have engaged in violence toward others

Incident Command

In the case of emergencies or other operational disruptions, the college functions using the national Incident Command System (ICS), a communications and decision-making protocol utilized by first responders, government agencies, and corporate bodies. A small decision-making team meets weekly to assess information received from outside agencies, ensure safety of the campus, make sure resources flow where necessary to support operations, and deliver clear and streamlined information to all constituents.

Missing Student Notifications

The Clery Act requires each institution of higher education that provides on-campus housing to establish a missing student notification policy for students who reside in on-campus housing. For more information on this policy and procedure, visit the Clery Act page.

Life Safety Devices

Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and/or pull stations are life safety devices found in all campus housing and buildings.

False alarms, damage, theft, or misuse of fire detection, alarm, or extinguishing equipment are punishable under the criminal law provision of the North Carolina Statute 14-286.

Building Evacuation

If an evacuation is announced, it is important that every occupant of the affected building evacuate immediately. Always comply with the instructions of emergency responders (police or firefighters) during an evacuation. In some emergency situations, building occupants will be instructed to shelter in place. In that event, it is important not to leave the building until instructed to do so by emergency responders or college officials.

At times, exit routes may be blocked by smoke, toxic or super-heated fumes, debris, human threat, or fire. At those times, or if you are physically unable to evacuate through exit routes, it is safer to call 911 to report your location and await aid.

Evacuation drills ensure the sufficient and safe use of available exits, including stairwells, corridors, and other exits. Proper drills familiarize occupants with orderly, controlled exiting, and help to prevent panic in the event of an actual emergency.

Fire Prevention and Safety

Due to the risk of fire, the following are prohibited inside of campus buildings:

  • Candles with wicks and incense
  • Hotplates or any appliance with exposed heating elements
  • Ceramic personal space heaters
  • Two-pronged extension cords
  • Halogen lamps

Students must use caution and limit their use of electrical equipment in the residential buildings to minimize the risk of harm to themselves and the community. Students should only use power strips for additional outlets and spread appliances within a room or apartment to lessen the load on individual outlets. DO NOT OVERLOAD OUTLETS. Fridges, hair dryers, and other high-demand appliances should be plugged directly into the wall outlet.

Bear and Wild Animal Safety

You may encounter wild animals while on campus or on surrounding properties. Bear, deer, small game, and other wildlife move through the same space we do, so wildlife encounters are possible. You are encouraged to be aware of your surroundings, travel with friends, and make noise as you move through our bear country.

Never feed a bear. Feeding any wild game is dangerous and against the law. If you have concerns regarding bear activity on campus, please contact Campus Police and Security. If you are unsure how to respond to bear activity on campus or in the Banner Elk community, review the response guideline reporting form below. 

For more information, refer to Bearwise bear safety tips.


Chief David Searcy

HD Stewart
Executive Director of Campus Operations