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Columbia University Public Safety Preparations

Columbia has emergency procedures in place that are reviewed and reevaluated regularly. In addition, Public Safety senior staff members are in frequent contact with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to gather the most updated information and advice on how to respond to risks. For large-scale emergencies, government emergency services agencies will have primary responsibility for emergency management. The University has made arrangements for full cooperation and coordination with such agencies.

Determining Level of Risk

Columbia maintains frequent contact with local, state and federal law enforcement authorities. The New York City Police Department provides University Public Safety personnel with timely briefings on terrorist and other potential threats. These sources advise us as to the level of risk and our best plan of action under the circumstances.


Campus building evacuation plans can be triggered by the sounding of fire alarms or by public announcement. Upon evacuating a facility, members of the community will receive instructions from University Public Safety personnel. If there is an emergency that requires that a campus be evacuated, the New York Police Department will assist in conducting the evacuation. If there is an emergency elsewhere in Manhattan, members of the Columbia community should remain on campus unless directed otherwise by Public Safety personnel.


The University very rarely closes. However, if it becomes necessary for the safety of our community to close, the University will notify faculty, students and staff through the Columbia homepage (www.columbia.edu) and recorded messages at 212-854-1754. The University will also notify local television and radio stations.

Reporting an Emergency

On the Morningside campus, call the Public Safety Emergency Hotline at 212-854-5555, or x99;

On the Medical Center campus, call 212-305-7979;

At the Lamont or Nevis campus, call 911.


Published: July 26, 2004
Last modified: Jan 10, 2005

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