Emergency Preparedness

  • Baltimore City College Community College’s (BCCC) goal is to ensure that its students, faculty and staff can ALL learn and work in a safe environment. During an emergency, always follow BCCC recommended emergency procedures and directions.

    • If you see something that you believe may cause harm to students, faculty or staff or disruption to the campus learning environment, call BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700.

    Active Shooter
    Bomb Threat 
    Building Evacuation
    Campus Evacuation/Closure
    Fire & Hazardous Materials Emergencies
    Gas Leak Emergencies
    Hostage Situation
    Medical Emergencies
    Power Outage
    Suspicious Mail or Package
    Unusual, Disturbing or Suspicious Behavior
    Weather Emergencies


    Steps You Can Take to Be Prepared

    Be prepared for a campus emergency!

    Get familiar with BCCC exit routes from your office, classroom, floor, and building. Always know more than one route out of the building, if possible.  Read the following checklist in advance:

    Remember: it is easy to get disoriented during an actual emergency situation.

    • Save the BCCC Public Safety emergency telephone number: 410-462-7700 to your mobile phone.
    • BCCC Mobile Alerts: Register at bccc.edu/omnilert to receive real-time alerts, issued through the College’s free messaging service via Omnilert.
    • Always monitor BCCC Mobile Alerts on mobile phone, SMS messages, or
      e-mail alerts, as well as the BCCC website for current emergency information.
    • Learn how to use a fire extinguisher by reading the directions before an emergency occurs.
    • Become familiar with campus fire extinguishers locations.
    • Report any missing fire extinguishers by contacting BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700.
    • Be alert and report any criminal activity, suspicious packages, unsafe conditions, and improper behavior to BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700.

    BCCC Staff and Faculty:

    • Make sure that your students/staff are familiar with BCCC emergency procedures.
    • BCCC Mobile Alerts: Remind your students/staff to register at bccc.edu/omnilert to receive real-time alerts, issued through the College’s free messaging service via Omnilert.
    • If you are a manager, administrator or department head, develop a departmental calling tree (phone list) and have the list readily available at the office and at home.
    • If you are a manager, administrator or department head, know your critical operating activities and create a plan for recovery.

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    Active Shooter

    An active shooter is an armed individual who has used deadly force and continues to do so with unrestricted access. The incident can involve a single shooter or multiple shooters. It can be a close encounter or from a distance. It can be a targeted student, faculty/staff or random victims. It might involve just one room or multiple locations. No two situations are alike. A campus shooting can occur anytime, anywhere.

    What To Do:

    Have a survival mindset because the consequences can be catastrophic. Have a proper mindset and do your best to react with a purpose. You need to take direct responsibility for your personal safety and security.

    1. Be aware, prepare, and rehearse possible scenarios.
    2. If you are able, call BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700 or 911.
    3. When you call BCCC Public Safety, give your name, specific location, number of shooter(s), type of weapons, if known, description including clothing and the number of people with you.
    4. Keep calm, quiet and out of sight. Turn off computer monitors, radios and cell phones.
    5. Take adequate cover/protection i.e. concrete walls, thick desks, filing cabinets, etc.
    6. If the shooter confronts you and you cannot flee, you can hide or you may choose to play dead, if other victims are around you. Your last option may be to fight back. This is dangerous, but depending on your situation, this could be your last option.
    7. When the police arrive follow all their commands. Show them your hands and don’t argue with them. They are there to engage the shooter first, and will then assist injured or trapped people.

    If an active shooter is outside your building:

    If you can escape safely, DO SO. Run away from the threat if you can, as fast as you can.  If you can, take others with you.  Do not wait for those who do not wish to leave.

    1. If not, proceed to a room that can be locked, shut off lights, lock all windows, barricade doors and stay out of sight (lockdown).
    2. One person in the room should call 911.
    3. Consider risks before un-securing room.
    4. Remember, the shooter will not stop until engaged by an outside force.
    5. Do not leave until given instructions to do so by a police officer or BCCC Public Safety.

    If an active shooter is in the same building as you:

    1. If the room that you are in can be locked, follow the same procedures listed above.
    2. If your room cannot be locked, determine if there is a nearby location that can be reached safely and then secured or, if you can, safely exit the building.

    If an active shooter enters your office or classroom:

    1. Dial 911 if possible and give your location. If you cannot speak leave the telephone line open, so the police can listen to what is taking place.
    2. If you cannot escape, attempt to negotiate with the shooter. As a last resort attempt to overpower the shooter with force.
    3. If the shooter leaves the area, proceed immediately to a safer place and call 911 and provide information to the police.

    General Quick Response Guide:

    • Lock and barricade doors
    • Turn off lights
    • Close blinds
    • Silence mobile phones
    • Block/cover windows
    • Turn off radios and computer monitors
    • Keep occupants calm, quiet and out of sight
    • Keep yourself out of sight and take adequate cover, i.e.; concrete walls, thick desks, filing cabinets (cover may protect you from bullets)
    • If you can escape safely, do so. Run as far and as fast as you can.

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    Bomb Threat

    All bomb threats will be treated as a serious matter. To ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff, and the general public, bomb threats must be considered a danger to the campus environment until proven otherwise. In most cases, bomb threats are meant to disrupt normal activities. If you receive a telephone call concerning a bomb threat to any location within BCCC, try to keep the caller on the line to obtain as much information as possible. After the caller hangs up, call BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700 to report the information.

    The following procedures should be implemented regardless of whether the bomb threat appears real or not.

    What To Do:

    1. The person receiving the bomb threat should remain calm and attempt to obtain as much information as possible from the caller. (Complete Bomb Threat Checklist. See below.)
    2. Once the call has ended, DO NOT USE THAT PHONE AGAIN until you are told to do so by BCCC Public Safety.
    3. Once the call has ended, notify your supervisor and contact BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700.
    4. A public safety officer and the shift commander will interview you and obtain all the details. BCCC Public Safety will consult with the Baltimore City Police Department about the specifics of the bomb threat.
    5. If instructed to evacuate, move away from the building at least 600 feet.
    6. Do not re-enter the building until authorized to do so by public safety or police personnel.
    7. Do not use radios or mobile phones in the vicinity of the threat.

    Individuals receiving a bomb threat should attempt to obtain the following information:

    1. When is the bomb expected to explode?
    2. Where is it located?
    3. What does it look like?
    4. What kind of a bomb is it?
    5. What will cause it to explode?
    6. Did you place the bomb?
    7. Why?
    8. What is your address?
    9. What is your name?

    You are also asked to take notes on the following items:

    1. Exact wording of the threat.
    2. Sex of caller.
    3. Approximate age of caller.
    4. Length of call.
    5. Any distinguishing characteristics of the caller’s voice/speech.
    6. Any background noises.

    The decision to evacuate will be made by BCCC President/CEO. Students, faculty and staff will be advised to wait for evacuation instructions. Premature evacuation could cause harm and potentially put yourself and others at risk. The decision to evacuate will be made with consideration given to a variety of factors, such as:

    • Credibility of threat
    • The Safety of BCCC students, faculty and staff
    • Other general public safety matters

    After receiving orders to evacuate, the last employee to leave the work area should leave the door open and:

    1. Secure sensitive work materials, if possible.
    2. Evacuate the building using the nearest BCCC exit route as soon as possible, unless assisting others.
    3. Do not touch any suspicious object. If a suspicious object is found, notify BCCC Public Safety immediately at 410-462-7700.
    4. Do not turn on or operate any mobile phone or other communication device.
    5. Do not pull the fire alarm unless instructed to do so by arriving first responders.
    6. Proceed to a safe location far enough away from the building so as not to interfere with responding emergency personnel.

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    Building Evacuation

    In the event of a sudden emergency, such as a fire, natural gas leak, or hazardous materials spill within a building, you may have to be evacuated. Building evacuation plans with evacuation routes highlighted are posted near most elevators.

    What To Do:

    1. Determine in advance the nearest BCCC exit route from your work location, or classroom and the route you will follow to reach the exit in an emergency. Establish an alternate route to be used in the event that your route is blocked or unsafe.
    2. Building evacuation will occur when an alarm sounds continuously and/or upon notification by emergency personnel.
    3. Evacuate quickly.
    4. Follow instructions from emergency personnel.
    5. Check doors for heat before opening. (Do not open if hot!)
    6. Close the door as you exit your room or office.
    7. Take only essentials with you.
    8. Walk, do not run. Use stairways, not elevators.
    9. Evacuate to at least 500 feet from building and remain there.
    10. Keep noise to a minimum so you can hear emergency instructions.
    11. Assist people with disabilities.
    12. Alert public safety, police, or fire personnel about potentially trapped victims.
    13. Do not reenter until instructed to do so by public safety personnel.

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    Campus Evacuation/Closure

    Certain disasters, such as hurricanes, severe winter weather, or major power outage, as well as man-made disasters may cause a cancellation of classes and a closure of the College. BCCC officials will notify students, faculty and staff through the Omnilert alert emergency notification system if BCCC must be closed due to a disaster or emergency.

    What To Do:

    1. Check the BCCC website, e-mail or your mobile phone for an Omnilert alert
    2. When BCCC closes, all students, faculty and staff (except essential personnel) must leave the campus.
    3. Before evacuating, review emergency departmental checklists to secure offices and/or equipment.
    4. Campus evacuation routes may be specified according to the type of emergency. They may need to be changed for safety reasons.
    5. Follow any directions and instructions from BCCC Public Safety, Baltimore City Police or Fire department personnel.
    6. Updates and information on reopening will be sent out by the College via Omnilert alerts, the College website, and local media. You will not be allowed to return to the College until it officially reopens.

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    Fire & Hazardous Materials Emergencies

    In the event of a fire, smoke or hazardous materials emergencies within a campus building, it is necessary and safest for occupants to evacuate.

    When there is a fire, the Baltimore City Fire Department will respond.  No matter how small the fire, always notify BCCC Public Safety. The notification will result in the dispatch of an officer to the scene.

    • A fire or hazardous materials emergency exists whenever:
    • A building fire evacuation alarm is sounding.
    • An uncontrolled fire or imminent fire hazard occurs in any building, or area of the campus or learning sites.
    • There is the presence of smoke, or the odor of burning.
    • There is abnormal heating of any material.
    • There is an uncontrolled release of combustible or toxic gas or other hazardous material, or a flammable liquid spill.

    Call 911 and alert the fire department; then:

    1. Activate the nearest fire alarm pull station (if the alarm has not yet sounded).
    2. Close office doors.
    3. Immediately evacuate the building using the nearest safe exit as soon as possible, unless assisting others.
    4. If there is smoke, stay low to the floor and move to a safe area. Smoke will rise toward the ceiling.
    5. Feel closed doors for heat before opening them. It is best to use the back of your hand. If the door is hot, the fire may be on the other side of the closed door! Take another escape route if one exists. If not, open the door carefully to see if escape is possible.
    6. If escape is not possible, put signs in the windows and, if available use phones to alert first responders to your need for rescue. Don’t panic if trapped. Use a telephone or cell phone to notify BCCC Public Safety of your location.
    7. DO NOT USE the elevator or break windows.
    8. Only return to the building when directed by public safety personnel.
    9. When using stairwells, keep to the right to allow rescue personnel to ascend the stairs while you are evacuating.
    10. Once out of the building, notify public safety or fire personnel of anyone still in the building.
    11. Proceed to the appropriate point, far enough away from the building so as not to interfere with fire rescue personnel.

    For hazardous spills, releases or incidents beyond the abilities of faculty or facilities management personnel to contain and/or clean up, take the following steps.

    What To Do:

    1. Evacuate the affected area at once and seal it off, if possible, to prevent further contamination until the arrival of emergency personnel.
    2. Call BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700 to report the incident. Give your name, telephone number, and location of spill, name and quantity of the material, if known, and any injuries or damage.
    3. Anyone who is contaminated by the spill should wash off the contamination; remain in the vicinity, and give his/her name to emergency personnel. If needed, first aid can be started immediately.
    4. Unless you have been trained in the proper methods to do so, do not attempt to contain or clean up the spill and/or releases. Take appropriate steps to make sure no one evacuates through the contaminated area.
    5. Do not re-enter the area until directed to do so by emergency personnel.

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    Gas Leak Emergencies

    Although most BCCC buildings do not have a natural gas connection, whenever gas is detected in a building or other enclosed area, it should be treated as an emergency and immediately reported to BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700. Natural gas has the aroma of rotten eggs. Gas leaks, when left unreported, can result in an explosion with subsequent injuries or death to members of the College community.  To limit the possibility of an explosion, avoid using light switches, fire, bells/horns, telephones, and appliances when gas is detected in an area.

    What To Do:

    1. If you smell gas (characterized by a rotten egg smell):
    2. Remain calm. Shut it off if the source of the leak is immediately apparent and can be easily corrected (e.g. Bunsen Burner, kitchen appliance, etc.).
    3. Evacuate the building/area when the source of the leak is not apparent.
    4. When evacuating: Do not activate the fire alarm, use the phone or turn on lights in the affected area. Verbally notify everyone in the affected area and proceed to the closest exit and evacuate the building.
    5. Notify BCCC Public Safety from an unaffected area.

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    Hostage Situation

    If you observe a hostage situation, the following are recommended actions:

    1. Leave the immediate area without causing suspicion.
    2. Proceed to a safe area and notify authorities (911).
    3. Inform the authorities of the location of the hostage situation, who was taken as hostage(s), the number of captors, and whether the captors are armed.
    4. Provide your name, location, and telephone number.
    5. If you are unable to leave the area, stay calm and avoid discussing the situation with anyone else, if possible, until the authorities arrive.
    6. Whenever possible, leave negotiations with the captor(s) to trained negotiators.
    7. Anyone who has established communication and rapport with the captor(s) must stand by and brief the trained negotiators upon their arrival. Continue to stand by in the event that additional assistance is required with negotiators.

    If you are taken hostage, the following are recommended actions:

    This involves an armed and dangerous individual who may or may not have already used deadly force. In most cases, his access will be restricted causing containment of the offender and victim(s). The motive can vary between substantive or expressive.

    1. Call BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700, if possible.
    2. Remain calm.
    3. Follow directions.
    4. Maintain eye contact (but do not stare).
    5. Find the middle position (not too assertive/passive).
    6. Personalize yourself.
    7. Don’t argue.
    8. Don’t be a nuisance.
    9. Remain calm, be polite, and cooperate with your captors.
    10. Do not attempt escape unless there is an extremely good chance of survival. It is safer to be submissive and obey your captors.
    11. Speak normally. Do not complain, avoid being belligerent, and comply with all orders.
    12. Avoid drawing attention by making sudden movements, statements, or hostile looks.
    13. Observe the captors and try to memorize their physical traits, voice patterns, clothing, or other details that can help provide a description later.
    14. Avoid getting into political or ideological discussions with the captors.
    15. Try to establish a relationship with your captors and get to know them. Captors are less likely to harm you if they respect you.
    16. If forced to present captors demands to authorities, either in writing or on tape, state clearly that the demands are from your captors.
    17. If released or escape, be prepared to calmly, quickly and accurately provide police with:
    • Name of suspect(s), if known.
    • Number of suspects
    • Description of suspect(s)
    • Location of suspect(s)
    • Number and types of weapons carried by suspect(s)
    • Number of hostages and any injuries
    • Follow any police commands

    During a rescue operation:

    1. Do not run. Drop to the floor and remain still. Make no sudden movements.
    2. Wait for instructions and obey all instructions you are given.
    3. Do not be upset, resist, or argue if a rescuer is uncertain whether you are a captor or hostage.
    4. Even if you are handcuffed and searched, do not resist. Wait for the confusion to clear.
    5. You will be taken to a safe area, where proper identification will be determined.

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    Medical Emergencies

    Injuries and illness can occur at BCCC. They can range from minor illness to life threatening incidents.

    What To Do:

    Whenever you observe or are informed of a medical emergency:

    1. Immediately call 911 first and BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700, if possible. Report you have a medical emergency. Give the building and room number as well as any other information requested by the communications officer. Send someone to meet the responders and direct them to your location. If the incident involves blood or other bodily fluids, ensure that responders are aware of that fact.
    2. Stay on the line with medical personnel and follow any instructions.
    3. Keep the ill or injured person as comfortable as possible while waiting for the officer or medical assistance to respond. Do not move an injured person unless not doing so may cause serious injuries or death.
    4. Administer first aid to the level of your training. Use personal protective barrier devices when rendering first aid where there is a chance of an exposure to bodily fluids (blood, vomit, saliva, etc.).
    5. Provide the responding officer and shift commander with your version of what happened after the ill or injured person’s needs are taken care of and the incident has concluded.

    Basic Medical Emergency (First Aid or CPR)

    Your actions during the first minutes following the onset of a medical emergency can save lives. In the event of a basic medical emergency requiring first aid and/or CPR, occupants should:

    1. Stay calm.
    2. Check if the victim is breathing.
    3. Check if the victim has a pulse.
    4. If there is no pulse, activate the Emergency Medical System (EMS) by calling 911, and then contact the BCCC Public Safety if time permits.
    5. If trained, render appropriate first aid and/or CPR.
    6. If you are not trained for CPR, obtain assistance from someone who can provide care. Do not exceed your level of training.
    7. Limit direct exposure to bodily fluids from the victim. If possible use gloves if the victim is bleeding. Apply direct pressure and elevation to stop persistent bleeding.
    8. Do not move the victim unless absolutely necessary.
    9. Check the victim for emergency medical ID tags and/or medications. When first responders arrive, inform them of what you found.
    10. Stay with the victim until help arrives.

    In the event of a widespread medical emergency involving multiple injured victims, notify emergency response personnel and BCCC Public Safety (410-462-7700).

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  • Power Outage

    BCCC does not maintain auxiliary power units to provide emergency power. During a power outage, please remain in the room until advised to leave the building. Generally, the power will come back on after a few minutes.

    What To Do:

    If a building in your area has a power outage:

    1. Remain calm.
    2. If you are teaching a class, have the students remain seated and stand by for instructions from BCCC Public Safety officer or a Facilities Management staff member who will move through the hallways to provide information and assistance.
    3. Provide assistance to visitors, students and other staff in your immediate vicinity. Give special attention to persons who may require an elevator to exit the building.
    4. If you are stuck in an elevator, use the Elevator emergency button to notify BCCC Public Safety of your presence therein.
    5. Leave the building in an orderly manner when directed to do so by a BCCC Public Safety officer or Facilities Management staff member.

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    Certain emergencies require the opposite of evacuation: to remain inside in an attempt to avoid potentially harmful conditions. In certain instances, immediate evacuation of a facility is not in the best interest of its occupants, and sheltering the occupants in the building may reduce the risk of injury. To "shelter-in-place" means to make a shelter of the building that you are in until the "all clear" announcement is made. Lockdown is simply sheltering in place, but taking those additional steps to secure and lock an office or classroom door, turn out the lights and remain quiet. These lockdown procedures are generally taken during a violent incident (workplace violence, active shooter).

    When an event occurs that makes sheltering in place/lockdown necessary, occupants will be notified by any one, or all the following methods:

    • Omnilert alert emergency notification system (everyone e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, SMS text, website, CSM intranet).
    • BCCC Public Safety or local authorities.
    • Faculty (in the classrooms), and/or staff.

    Occupants cannot be forced to comply with shelter-in-place/lockdown orders. Therefore, it is imperative that all building occupants understand the importance of compliance in order to maximize their safety.

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    Suspicious Mail or Package

    The following recommendations were collected from various federal agencies to help you safely and effectively handle these types of incidents.

    What To Do:

    All campus personnel should maintain an enhanced awareness of receipt of suspicious letters or packages. If you are concerned about a particular envelope or package, DO NOT OPEN IT. There is little risk of a release of materials or risk of exposure to you if the envelope or package remains intact. Call BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700 and inform them that you have a suspicious envelope or package. Some common things to look for include:

    1. Packages with no return address or excessive postage.
    2. Misspellings of common words or restrictive markings such as “personal” or confidential”.
    3. Items protruding from the envelope or package, wet areas, openings, or strange odors.
    4. Unusually heavy envelope and/or the presence of small bulges of powder or granules.

    If you open an envelope or package and you find a letter that contains a threatening message or states that you have been contaminated with anthrax or some other biological substance, and no substance is found:

    1. Place the letter in the envelope and place the envelope in a plastic bag.
    2. Wash your hands with soap and water.
    3. Call BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700 and remain at your work location until they arrive.

    If you open an envelope or package and you observe some type of powder, or powder spills out.

    1. Slowly and carefully put it on a table or the floor, leave the material alone and call BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700.
    2. If there is material on your clothes, do not brush it off as this may disperse material into the air. Remain in place, carefully remove your outer clothing, and leave them on the floor.
    3. Wash your hands with soap and water.
    4. Do not walk around the office to show other people or ask co-workers to come in and take a look.
    5. Do not clean up the material.
    6. Put up a sign to warn others to stay away.
    7. Remain near your work location until BCCC Public Safety arrives.

    If there is a small explosion or release of material from a package:

    1. Walk out of the space immediately, close the door, and put a sign on the door to prevent others from entering.
    2. Call BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700 and remain nearby to provide information to the public safety officers when they arrive.
    3. Treat yourself and your clothing as mentioned above.

    People who may have been present in the room, but did not directly contact the letter or substance, are at minimal risk for exposure. Individuals not in the room at the time when the envelope or package was opened are not at risk.

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    Unusual, Disturbing or Suspicious Behavior

    Maryland law prohibits person(s) from disturbing or preventing the orderly conduct of activities, administration, or classes at institutions of higher education. Additionally, the College has a Student Code of Conduct printed in the College Catalog. When followed, the code allows the teaching and learning process to move forward without disruption.

    Baltimore City Community College is concerned about the safety, health, and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors. It is very important that everyone report Student Code of Conduct violations or concerning student behavior, to ensure campus safety and the proper level of help and resources can be made available to students in distress.

    The underlying cause of a disruption can usually be dealt with after the incident. What matters most during the incident are the real victims of the disruption – other students. Therefore, it is important to deal with the disrupter’s actions in a formal manner by first addressing the problem through verbal direction and then documenting the incident on an “Incident Report Form”.

    Whenever disruptive individuals fail to comply with faculty/staff directions, BCCC Public Safety should be immediately contacted at 410-462-7700.

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    Weather Emergencies

    Hurricanes, Severe Thunderstorms and Tornadoes

    If you are asked to take protective action due to severe weather (hurricanes, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes) or some other type of natural disaster, remain indoors until further notice.

    What To Do:

    1. If the warning is for your area, you should take shelter immediately.
    2. A public safety officer will notify building occupants of the warning. The Omnilert alerts emergency notification system may also be used to notify students, faculty and staff.
    3. Locate a basement or corridor shelter location in your building away from windows, outside doors, large open areas (auditoriums, gymnasiums, theaters, atriums, etc.). In a high rise (four stories or more) building, vacate the top floor and move to a lower floor or to the basement. Position yourself in an interior corridor away from glass. Assume a sitting position and cover your head.
    4. Do not go outside. Avoid automobiles.
    5. If caught outside with no time to seek shelter in a building, lie flat face down in the nearest ground depression such a ditch or ravine. Do not enter a storm drain or pipe, as flooding might occur.
    6. Once the storm has passed, assist others that may be injured and report injuries and damage to the BCCC Public Safety at 410-462-7700.

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