Reporting an Emergency

If you encounter an emergency situation while at CUNY:

  • Stay calm.
  • Call 911 and Public Safety.
  • Give your name, location and follow instructions provided by emergency services and Public Safety.

How To Report a Crime off Campus

This section provides information about how to report a crime in progress or a crime that has already happened. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911. You can report a crime and receive assistance from the police regardless of your age or immigration status. Click here to more about the rights of crime victims

While Abroad

To find out what to do if you are a student in need of emergency assistance while aboard, click here.

Reporting Sexual Assault and Other Unwelcome Sexual Behavior

For more information, please visit the CUNY Title IX Website.

Earthquake Procedures

  • Drop down onto your hands and knees so the earthquake doesn’t knock you down.
  • Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect yourself from falling debris by crawling under a sturdy desk or table.
  • Hold on to any sturdy covering so you can move with it until the shaking stops.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls.
  • If you are in a laboratory or shop, end activities and secure hazardous materials. Follow your laboratory/studio emergency shutdown procedure if you are able to do so safely.
  • Be prepared to follow evacuation instructions once the shaking stops.

Evacuation / Shelter-in-Place Procedures

In the event of an emergency, if there is evidence of possible harm to students, faculty, staff, and visitors, instructions for protecting yourself in your current location or to evacuate may be given.

Evacuation Actions

  • Safely stop all work.
  • Occupants should use the nearest and safest EXIT when an evacuation order is given. Do not push or panic.
  • Evacuate calmly, close doors as you leave to contain fire/smoke.
  • Persons requiring evacuation assistance shall assemble near designated areas for rescue by first responders.
  • Notify first responders of any persons with disabilities who may still be in the affected area or building.
  • Based upon the type of emergency, occupants may be asked to move farther away from impacted areas.

Shelter-In-Place Actions

  • The Fire Life and Safety Director and/or Public Safety will provide instructions.
  • Stay in your current location. If outside, move away from the area and await further instruction.
  • Encourage all individuals to stay inside of the buildings and rooms.
  • Close and lock doors and windows. Keep path of entry doors clear for emergency personnel.
  • Notify first responders of any persons with disabilities who are in the shelter.
  • Do not leave the shelter area until an “All Clear” announcement is received from emergency personnel.

Fire Response Procedures

For fire and smoke conditions – pull fire alarm, call 911 and Public Safety.
  • Evacuate immediately when fire alarm is activated. Do not assume a false fire alarm. Do not attempt to save personal possessions at the risk of personal injury, but if it is safe to do so, take emergency personal items such as keys, wallets and identification.
  • Evacuate the area using the NEAREST SAFE EXIT. Do not use elevator unless authorized by emergency personnel.
  • Before opening a doors, place your hand against it. If the door feels hot or smoke is visible, don’t open it. If the door is cool, brace yourself against it and open it slowly.
  • Stay low to avoid the heaviest smoke.
  • Close all doors, windows, and other openings behind you as you evacuate.
  • Once outside, move away from the building and allow first responders to enter.
  • Persons requiring evacuation assistance shall assemble near blue striped wall near the elevators for rescue by first responders.
  • Notify first responders of any persons with disabilities who may be in the affected area.
  • Never go back into a burning building.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Fire Safety Tips

Click here to learn more about fire safety tips.

Hazardous Material Spill / Release Procedures

  • Call Public Safety to report any injuries or exposures
  • Isolate area of spill/leak. Do not attempt to clean.
  • Alert others in immediate area.
  • If known, note any characteristics about the spilled material.
  • Follow CUNY Alert Emergency Notification System messaging for shelter-in-place or evacuation instructions.


Environmental, Health, Safety and Risk Management
205 East 42nd Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Medical Emergency Procedures

Step 1: Recognize that an Emergency Exists
Emergencies can happen to anyone, anywhere. Before you can give help, however, you must be able to recognize an emergency. You may realize that an emergency has occurred only if you become aware of unusual noises, sights, odors and appearances or behaviors. Examples include the following:

  • Unusual noises
  • Unusual sights
  • Unusual odors
  • Unusual appearances or behaviors

Step 2: Decide to Act
Once you recognize that an emergency has occurred, you must decide how to help and what to do. There are many ways you can help in an emergency, but in order to help, you must act. Sometimes, even though people recognize that an emergency has occurred, they fail to act. The most common factors that keep people from responding are:

  • Panic or fear of doing something wrong
  • Being unsure of the person’s condition and what to do
  • Assuming someone else will take action
  • Type of injury or illness
  • Fear of catching a disease
  • Fear of being sued
  • Being unsure of when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number

Step 3: Activate the EMS System

  • Activating the EMS system by calling 9-1-1 is the most important step you can take in an emergency. Remember, some university buildings require you to dial a 9 or some other number to get an outside line before you dial 9-1-1.
  • When your call is answered, an emergency dispatcher will ask for your phone number, address, location of the emergency and questions to determine whether you need police, fire or medical assistance. You should not hang up before the call taker does so.
  • Once EMS personnel are on the way, the dispatcher may stay on the line and continue to talk with you. Many dispatchers also are trained to give first aid instructions so they can assist you with life-saving techniques until EMS personnel take over.
  • As a general rule, call 9-1-1 if the person has any of the following conditions:
    • Unconsciousness or an altered level of consciousness, such as drowsiness or confusion
    • Breathing problems (trouble breathing or no breathing)
    • Chest pain, discomfort or pressure lasting more than a few minutes that goes away and comes back or that radiates to the shoulder, arm, neck, jaw, stomach or back
    • Persistent abdominal pain or pressure
    • Severe external bleeding (bleeding that spurts or gushes steadily from a wound)
    • Vomiting blood or passing blood
    • Severe (critical) burns
    • Suspected poisoning
    • Seizures
    • Stroke (sudden weakness on one side of the face/facial droop, sudden weakness on one side of the body, sudden slurred speech or trouble getting words out or a sudden, severe headache)
    • Suspected or obvious injuries to the head, neck or spine
    • Painful, swollen, deformed areas (suspected broken bone) or an open fracture

Step 4: Give Care Until Help Takes Over
In general, you should give the appropriate care to an ill or injured person until:

  • You see an obvious sign of life, such as breathing
  • Another trained responder or EMS personnel take over
  • You are too exhausted to continue
  • The scene becomes unsafe

Moving an Injured or Ill Person
One of the most dangerous threats to a seriously injured or ill person is unnecessary movement. Moving an injured person can cause additional injury and pain and may complicate his or her recovery. Generally, you should not move an injured or ill person while giving care. However, it would be appropriate in the following three situations:

  • When you are faced with immediate danger
  • When you have to move a person with minor injuries to reach someone needing immediate care.
  • When it is necessary to give proper care. For example, if someone needed CPR, he or she might have to be moved from a bed because CPR needs to be performed on a firm, flat surface.

If  someone is experiencing emotional and/or mental distress and could pose immediate danger to self or others.

  • Call 911 and Public Safety.
  • Attempt to calm the distressed person if you are able.
  • Do not leave the suicidal person alone.

Free, Confidential Mental Health Crisis Services

NYC Well
1-(888) 692-9355 or
Text WELL to 65173

Severe Weather Response Procedures

  • Go to your secure location if you hear a severe thunderstorm warning. Damaging wind or large hail may be approaching. Take your pets with you if time allows.
  • Stay away from windows if you are in a severe thunderstorm warning and damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums or auditoriums.
  • If your outside, go inside a sturdy building immediately if severe thunderstorms are approaching. Taking shelter under a tree can be deadly. The tree may fall on you. Standing under a tree also put you at a greater risk of getting struck by lightning.
  • Being in a vehicle during severe thunderstorms is safer than being outside; however, drive to closest secure shelter if there is sufficient time.
  • Stay updated about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings via  local news or a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Check for any CUNY Alert emergency notifications via email, text alerts, or University and/or College website or social media for additional safety information or updates regarding closings, delayed openings or other restrictions.

Severe Weather Safety Procedures

If You See Something, Say Something

The City University of New York is a partner with The “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign to help reach the public across the nation. CUNY’s partnership helps to increase awareness by displaying the campaign’s messages and distributing outreach materials.

Together, we can keep our community safe. If You See Something Say Something. Report suspicious activity by calling 888-NYC-SAFE (888-692-7233)

New York City See-Say Brochure

Safeguard New York Initiative

Plan Now NYC – Types of Terrorist Attacks

Suspicious Package Handling Procedures

If you receive a suspicious letter or package:

  • Avoid handling
  • Don’t shake or bump
  • Isolate and look for indicators
  • Don’t Open, Smell, or Taste
  • Treat it as Suspect! Call 911


If you have handled the package, wash you hands with soap and water immediately. Read the US Postal Service’s tips for identifying suspicious packages.