Campus Safety and Security

Current Conditions

Monday, Sept. 17 at 10:15 a.m.

The inclement weather associated with Hurricane/Tropical Depression Florence has passed through the High Country. Lees-McRae will return to normal operations on Tuesday, Sept. 18. Class sessions, administrative offices, and dining facilities will return to regular schedules.

On Monday, Sept. 17, administrative offices in Banner Elk will remain closed, and some dining facilities are affected. MacDonald Dining Hall will operate on regular schedule and Wily’s Bar & Grill will be open from 5-10 p.m. The POD Express in the Shelton Learning Commons and Einstein Bros. Bagels in the Exchange bookstore will be closed.

The following campus events previously scheduled today, Monday, Sept. 17 will continue:

Pizza Party 
6 p.m., Evans Auditorium
Career Services invites you to come by Evans Auditorium for a slice of pizza and a slice of advice on how to get a job! This is the perfect way to prepare for the Opportunities Fair on Tuesday.

Watch The Incredibles 2 
8 p.m., Evans Auditorium (relocated)
Students, faculty, staff, and families are invited for the screening of The Incredibles 2. Wear your superhero gear for a chance to win a prize!

The sunset hike series, sponsored by Campus Recreation and Outdoor Programs, scheduled for today will be rescheduled to next Monday, Sept. 24.



Sunday, Sept. 16 at 9:35 a.m.

Due to expected inclement weather associated with Hurricane/Tropical Depression Florence, Lees-McRae will be closed on Monday, Sept. 17.

Class sessions on the main campus in Banner Elk are canceled, but online courses will continue. Students should refer to Brightspace for specific directions from their instructors.

Administrative offices in Banner Elk will be closed, and some dining facilities will be affected. MacDonald Dining Hall will operate on regular schedule and Wily’s will be open from 5-10 p.m. The POD Express in the Shelton Learning Commons and Einstein Bros. Bagels in the Exchange bookstore will be closed.

Individuals that are currently out of the area, should not attempt to return to campus until the storm has cleared. Those remaining on campus should avoid all unnecessary travel and keep personal safety a priority by:

  • Keeping phone and portable phone battery packs charged
  • Ensuring flashlights have fresh batteries
  • Watching for downed power lines, flowing water, or fallen trees

Updates will be posted to the website and shared through email, social media, and/or the Emergency Alert System. If you have not already done so, students, faculty, and staff can sign up at lmc.edu/eas.

For the most recent information about the storm, please visit the National Weather Service and/or North Carolina Emergency Management.



Saturday, Sept. 15 at 10:00 a.m.

With Avery County expected to receive wind and significant rain from Hurricane Florence over the next several days, local governmental leaders have declared a state of emergency for the entire county beginning at noon on Saturday, Sept 15.

Local emergency officials stress that a “state of emergency” should not cause alarm. The declaration simply allows governing bodies access to more resources to keep residents safe.

A possible curfew between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. may be issued by the county for all residents. At this time, no curfew is in effect. If conditions change, a communication will be sent by text, phone, email and posted on the Campus Security webpage and social media.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Flash Flood Watch through Monday evening—flash flooding may develop as heavy rain bands occur this weekend. Do not enter or traverse standing or rising water of any height.

The NWS has also issued a Wind Advisory from this afternoon into Sunday—gusty winds and wet soils could bring trees down late today and tomorrow. Be watchful for the potential for downed trees. For more information, visit the National Weather Service website.

Updates will be posted to the website and shared through email, social media, and/or the Emergency Alert System. If you have not already done so, students, faculty, and staff can sign up at lmc.edu/eas. Participants can choose to receive alerts via text message or phone.

For the most recent information about Hurricane Florence, please visit the National Hurricane Center and/or North Carolina Emergency Management.



Friday, Sept. 14 at 4:25 p.m.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm is expected to bring significant rain and wind to the High Country beginning Saturday and lasting through early next week.

The college has made preparations for the potential effects of Hurricane Florence and will continue with normal operations. Dining services will operate on a regular schedule. The Shelton Learning Commons will be closed on Sunday.

The college leadership team continues to monitor the situation closely and will do so throughout the weekend. While we hope to maintain regular operations on Monday, Sept. 17, it will be dependent on conditions next week.

Updates will be posted to the website and shared through email, social media, and/or the Emergency Alert System. If you have not already done so, students, faculty, and staff can sign up at lmc.edu/eas. Participants can choose to receive alerts via text message or phone.

For the most recent information about Hurricane Florence, please visit the National Hurricane Center and/or North Carolina Emergency Management.



Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 10:25 a.m.
At this time, all classes will be held as scheduled and we will continue normal operations. However, some events have been canceled or postponed. Check the campus security webpage for a full listing of impacted events.

The college leadership team is meeting daily to monitor changing conditions. Facilities staff are preparing campus for expected heavy rainfall. Dining services will ensure the availability of food and water throughout the weekend.

In the event that additional college operations are affected, information will be posted to the website and shared through email, social media, and/or the Emergency Alert System. If you have not already done so, students, faculty, and staff can sign up at lmc.edu/eas. Participants can choose to receive alerts via text message or phone.

For the most recent information about Hurricane Florence, please visit the National Hurricane Center and/or North Carolina Emergency Management.



Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 10:55 a.m.

In response to Hurricane Florence, a state of emergency has been declared for North Carolina. For safety, students are encouraged to stay on campus and in the area.

At this time, all classes will be held as scheduled. However, the following events have been canceled or postponed:

  • Admission Open House on Saturday
  • All athletic contests on Friday and Saturday
  • White Coat ceremony for nursing students scheduled for Friday evening.

In the event that additional college operations are affected, information will be posted to the website and shared through email, social media and/or the Emergency Alert System. If you have not already done so, students, faculty, and staff can sign up at lmc.edu/eas. Participants can choose to receive alerts via text message or phone.

For the most recent information about Hurricane Florence, please visit the National Hurricane Center and/or North Carolina Emergency Management.

The Lees-McRae College Campus Security team’s number one priority is your safety. We are dedicated to the security of our students, staff, faculty and property, and our goal is to provide a safe campus, living and learning environment.

We provide and support general and emergency services 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, and we enforce campus rules and regulations. Our officers work with and assist area law enforcement agencies with violations of North Carolina  and Federal laws both on and off-campus.

Report a Crime or Emergency

Call 911 and/or Campus Security (828.898.8756) if:

  • You see fire or smell smoke
  • You witness someone vandalizing property or stealing
  • You witness someone hurting another person
  • You see something suspicious
  • You have something stolen
  • Someone becomes injured or ill

Even if you aren’t sure security is needed, call anyway and let us assess the situation.

Emergency Contacts

Campus Security Supervisor HD Stewart
828.260.0505 or stewarth@lmc.edu

Campus Security Office
828.898.8756

Banner Elk Police Department
828.898.4300

Avery County Sheriff’s Office
828.733.3858

Cannon Hospital
828.737.7000

General Safety Tips

  • Avoid walking alone at night and always walk in groups
  • Keep your doors locked even when you are in your room
  • Always have your keys out and ready when you approach your vehicle or residence hall
  • Don’t let strangers follow you into your residence hall, and contact the security office if you have any safety concerns
  • Alert a friend or roommate of your whereabouts and your expected return whether you are leaving for a few hours or a few days
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife and never approach bears or other wild animals
  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings
  • Report any suspicious activity to Campus Security (828.898.8756)

Winter Safety Tips

Winter in Banner Elk is a beautiful time of the year, but it is also a time when winter storms and sub-zero temperatures pose a threat. We want to offer some winter safety tips to keep you safe during the winter season.

  • Wear proper footwear when walking on snow and ice. Boots or well-insulated shoes that are waterproof with non-slip tread are ideal.
  • Take small steps to keep your balance and avoid slipping.
  • Do not text or talk on your phone while walking on snow or ice.
  • Hold handrails when they are available for added support.
  • Avoid walking underneath icicles. As melting occurs, falling icicles are especially dangerous.
  • Walk on designated walkways as much as possible.
  • Avoid driving in snowy or icy conditions if at all possible. If it is necessary for you to travel, make sure that your tires are in good shape and that all essential features are working properly (lights, brakes, etc.).
  • Keep your gas tank as full as possible and your cell phone fully charged when traveling during inclement weather.
  • Keep a winter safety kit in your car that includes a flashlight, blanket, first aid kit, bottles of water and snacks.
If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact Campus Security at 828.898.8756.