View of MHCC Gresham Campus with Mount Hood in the background

Emergency Preparedness

If there's an emergency, you'll hear a loud alarm or get a message in person telling you to leave the area. College staff who are allowed to make these decisions will figure out if the situation is really dangerous for students, visitors, or workers. If it is, they'll use the alert system to let everyone know. Here’s how the college will communicate with you. 

  • Minutes: Email and text using RAVE Alert, building alarms, public address system where available, social media
  • Hours: Email and text using RAVE Alert, MHCC website, social media 
  • Days: Email and text using RAVE Alert, MHCC website, email, MyMHCC portal, social media 

MHCC has created a book with instructions for emergencies and safety. It explains what to do if there's a problem like a gas leak, ice storm, earthquake, or fire. 

View the MHCC Emergency and Safety Procedures Handbook

Incident Management 

MHCC prepares for and responds to all kinds of emergencies using a smart strategy. We use critical thinking skills and follow best practices from the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Our trained responders work within a system called the Incident Command System (ICS), which helps manage various types of emergencies. This system is also used by other government agencies, making it easier for everyone to communicate and work together. 

Download the Incident Command System Organization Chart 

RAVE Emergency Alert System 

RAVE Alert is a system that lets Mt. Hood Community College quickly send emails and text messages to all students and staff in case of an emergency. When there's a serious emergency that requires a public alert, the college's emergency dispatchers will collect the information needed and send the alert.

We send out emergency alerts for a few reasons. First, if the school is closed or opening late because of weather or other issues. Second, if there's a real danger to people or property, like natural disasters or threats at school, including active shooters. You might also receive test messages from time to time.

Rave alerts will be sent to Saints student or staff email accounts, and a text will be sent to the cell phone number the college has as a contact number.

No, information is private and will not be used or distributed in any manner. This information is exempt from public disclosure and will be used for emergency purposes only.

Active Threat Lockdown 

An active threat means someone is actively trying to harm people in crowded areas on campus. These situations can change quickly and need a fast response from the community and the police to protect everyone. 

You should be ready to protect yourself both mentally and physically. What you do when you encounter an active shooter depends on the situation. 

If you see someone with a weapon, hear gunshots, or feel that someone is an immediate danger to you or others find a safe place, call 911 right away, and then let campus public safety know at 503-491-7911. 

The public safety team has set procedures to help them respond to active shooters and handle lockdowns. 


  • When an active threat is in your vicinity, run. 
  • If there is an escape path, attempt to evacuate. 
  • Evacuate whether others agree to or not. 
  • Leave your belongings behind. 
  • Help others escape if possible. 
  • Prevent others from entering the area. 
  • Call 911 when you are safe. 

Hide (Lockdown) 

  • If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide. 
  • Lock and/or barricade the door. 
  • Silence your cell phone. 
  • Turn out the lights. 
  • Hide behind large objects. 
  • Remain very quiet. 
  • Your hiding place should be out of the shooter’s view, provide protection if shots are fired in your direction, and not trap or restrict your options for movement. 


  • As a last resort, if your life is in danger, fight back. 
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter. 
  • Act with physical aggression. 
  • Improvise weapons, such as using a chair or fire extinguisher to strike the shooter. 
  • Commit to your actions. 

When the police arrive, stay calm and do as they say. Keep your hands where they can see them, don't point or shout, and understand that help for the injured is coming. The first responders are not there to help the injured or evacuate, but to stop the shooter. They are well-trained for this.

Active Threat Educational Resources 

Want to learn more about how you can protect yourself? 

Take the IS-907: Active Shooter: What You Can Do FEMA Course 

Watch the videos below on responding to an active shooter crisis situation. 

MHCC Evacuation Guidelines 

Emergencies can happen unexpectedly, so it's crucial to be ready for them on campus. Keep in mind that you might not be at your usual spot when an alarm goes off. When you're in classes, meetings, or events, pay attention to your surroundings, like where the exits are and safe places to go if you need to leave. 

During an evacuation, everyone should aim to get to the nearest safe exit. If you can, find at least two ways to get out, either through an exit or to a designated safe area. Do not use elevators. Take the stairs. 

Evacuation Areas of Refuge 

Go to an area of refuge away from obvious danger. The safest areas of refuge are stair enclosures, balconies, or elevator lobbies. If you have a cell phone, call 911 and inform them of your location. Emergency responders will determine the necessity for evacuation. 

What if you cannot evacuate? 

If there's no safe area nearby, or if you're alone when an alarm goes off, you might need to stay where you are. Stay in a room with a window, a phone, and a strong door that can resist fire. You can identify fire-resistant doors by a label on the door frame or jamb. Non-labeled doors that are 1 ¾ inches thick made of solid wood and hung on a metal frame also provide good fire resistance. Let a friend or coworker know where you are and have them tell emergency responders when they get to the evacuation point outside.  

Call 911 and tell them where you are. The emergency responders will decide if you need to evacuate. If there's no phone, you can signal from the window by waving a cloth or something visible. 

These guidelines offer different choices and basic information. If you have specific questions about the best way to evacuate your building, contact the environmental health and safety (EHS) department at 503-491-7495. 

How do you evacuate people who need assistance? 

Whether you need crutches for a short time or have a permanent disability, it's essential to plan how you'd leave a building in an emergency. Talk to a friend or coworker and ask if they can help you during an evacuation. Make sure they know how to assist you and can tell emergency responders where you are and what you need in a crisis. Remember, only trained emergency responders should try to carry people. 

There are also outside organizations with guidelines for people with disabilities in emergencies. 

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