Emergency Procedures

Need Help? Call DPS 24/7, 365 days a year at 315.443.2224.

You can also reach the Department of Public Safety (DPS) by dialing #78 (#SU) from your cell phone, dialing 711 from a campus landline, long distance toll free at 1.855.443.2224, sending an email or text message to 711@syr.edu or via the Orange Safe app, which can be downloaded and connected to Syracuse University.

The DPS office on Main Campus is located at 005 Sims Hall, and is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also speak with Public Safety employees at security desks and other locations around campus.

Below you will find basic procedures to follow for emergency situations at Syracuse University. In the event of an emergency, it will serve as a quick reference guide on what to do and what department(s) to notify.

Incident Guides:

In the event that you receive a bomb threat:

  1. Remain calm and attempt to obtain as much information from the caller as possible. Try to write down or remember:
    1. Words the caller used
    2. What the caller wanted
    3. Person the caller asked for
    1. Keep the caller on the line as long as possible. Listen for:
      1. Tone and characteristics of the caller’s voice
      2. Your familiarity with the caller’s voice
      3. Gender/age of the caller’s voice
      4. Background noise
    2. Call the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 711 from a University phone or 443.2224 from any other phone (avoid using a cellular phone if possible) and provide the dispatcher with:
      1. Your name
      2. Your location
      3. Your phone number
      4. Details of the situation
      5. Time you received the call
    3. Notify your supervisor/department head
    4. Look for anything unusual in your work area. DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING UNUSUAL. If you spot something unusual, point it out to any responding Public Safety officer or Safety officer.
    5. Follow all directions of the DPS officer or Safety officer responding to the scene.
    6. If instructed to evacuate, move at least 500 feet away from the area (take your keys and personal belongings with you) and await further instructions from emergency personnel.
    7. Do not re-enter the building until instructed by emergency personnel.

                In the event that you are the victim of or witness a crime in progress, immediately:

                1. Call the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 711 from a University phone or 443.2224 from any other phone and provide the dispatcher with:
                  1. Your name
                  2. Your location
                  3. Your phone number
                  4. Details of the situation
                2. Get away from the suspect; do not attempt to confront the suspect.
                3. When it is safe to do so, provide DPS with a clear description of the suspect/incident:
                  1. Height and weight
                  2. Gender
                  3. Hair color/length and presence of any facial hair
                  4. Race/complexion
                  5. Clothing description
                  6. Approximate age
                  7. Vehicle type, color, and plate (including state)
                  8. Direction of travel
                4. Follow all instructions of the responding DPS officer or Syracuse Police Department
                5. Notify your supervisor/department head.

                              1. Before
                                1. Know where emergency exits are located on your floor.
                                2. Know where fire extinguishers are located on your floor.
                                3. Know where your fire alarm pull stations are located.
                                4. Know your evacuation meeting location.
                              2. During
                                1. How to Report a Fire:
                                  1. Alert other persons on your way out and close all doors behind you to confine the fire (see evacuation procedures).
                                  2. Do NOT use elevators.
                                  3. If fire or smoke is seen, leave the area immediately and pull the fire alarm as you evacuate the building.
                                2. After evacuating, call the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 711 (campus phone) or 315.443.2224 (all other phones) to report the fire and give the following information:
                                  1. Building name
                                  2. Floor/area of fire/smoke
                                  3. Any details of the fire
                                  4. If you have specific information, notify the Department of Public Safety officers, Safety officers, or firefighters as they arrive on the scene.
                                3. Audible Fire Alarms Response:
                                  1. When the fire alarm sounds, all persons are to evacuate the building.
                                  2. Do not use elevators.
                                  3. Shut/lock doors behind you as you leave.
                                  4. Take keys and essential personal items.
                                  5. If instructed to evacuate, move at least 500 feet away from the area (take your keys and personal belongings with you) and await further instructions from emergency personnel.
                              3. After
                                1. Do not re-enter building until instructed by emergency personnel.

                                        1. In the event of a chemical spill or release of toxic or hazardous material that presents a potential for or has already caused:
                                          1. A personal injury
                                          2. A chemical overexposure
                                          3. An exposure to a chemical of unknown health risk, including the detection of a noxious odor
                                          4. An adverse environmental impact
                                          5. Any other situation immediately dangerous to life, health, or property
                                        2. Immediately notify all personnel in the affected area of the spill or release and evacuate all personnel from the affected area.
                                        3. Call the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 711 (campus phone) or 443.2224 (all other phones) from a location not affected by the spill. DPS will dispatch the appropriate response personnel.
                                        4. Be prepared to give the DPS dispatcher the following information:
                                          1. Your name, phone number, and location from which you are calling from
                                          2. The nature of the incident
                                          3. The location of the incident (building, floor, room number)
                                          4. The name or type of substance (if known)
                                          5. The quantity of substance (estimate)
                                          6. The hazards (flammable, explosive, toxic – if known)
                                          7. Advise if there are injuries
                                          8. Suggest a secure location to meet emergency responders
                                        5. Stay in the secure area to meet emergency responders.
                                        6. Do not re-enter the spill area to perform rescue operations or participate in cleanup.

                                                      If a person becomes ill or is injured and requires immediate assistance:

                                                      1. Call the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 711 (campus phone) or 443.2224 (all other phones) and give the following information:
                                                        1. Building name
                                                        2. Floor/office number
                                                        3. Details of the illness/injury
                                                      2. Stay on the phone for further instructions
                                                      3. Do not move the injured/ill person.
                                                      4. If you are not trained, do not attempt medical assistance before trained assistance arrives, unless the circumstances require immediate steps to preserve the life or health of the injured person before the arrival of such trained assistance.
                                                      5. If possible, assign someone to meet emergency personnel at the closest entrance.
                                                      6. Remain with the victim until first responders arrive. Limit communication with the victim to no more than quiet reassurances.
                                                      7. Report all information to emergency personnel (Department of Public Safety/Environmental Health and Safety Services Office/Syracuse University Ambulance).

                                                          Wild animals, alive or dead, can spread disease and may pose potential physical hazards. Avoid all contact with wild animals.

                                                          Contact includes:

                                                          1. Bite, scratch, or kick from a wild animal
                                                          2. Exposure of eyes, nose, mouth and non-intact (cut, scratched, burned, etc.) skin to animal blood or animal saliva

                                                          At Syracuse University, only designated, trained individuals may handle and remove wild animals (alive or dead).

                                                          If there is nuisance wildlife in your work area:

                                                          1. Notify your supervisor and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) immediately (711 from a University phone or 443.2224 from any other phone.
                                                          2. Do not attempt to remove or disturb the animal.
                                                          3. Depending on the incident, Physical Plant/Housing will respond and/or contact a pest management vendor.

                                                          If there has been potential contact with nuisance wildlife, notify your supervisor and DPS immediately.

                                                          Be prepared to tell DPS your name, phone number and location from which you are calling, and the nature of the incident (type of animal, animal behavior, injuries sustained).

                                                          For more information and non-emergency questions, contact the Environmental Health and Safety Services Office (315.443.4132).

                                                          1. Before - Wherever you are, be prepared:
                                                            1. Know where your flashlights and batteries are.
                                                            2. Have a flashlight app for your phone.
                                                            3. Make sure you have a fully charged portable power bank.
                                                            4. Have ice ready to keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
                                                          2. During
                                                            1. Remain calm
                                                            2. Turn off any unnecessary appliances, computers, office equipment, tools, etc. Leave lights on as an indicator of the return of power.
                                                            3. Provide assistance to individuals not familiar with the area.
                                                            4. Remain indoors and in the vicinity of your normal work area. Evacuate if told by authorities to do so.
                                                            5. During an extended power outage, call Physical Plant at 315.443.1234 for a status report.

                                                              NOTE: Many campus buildings are equipped with backup power (generator power), which will either completely or partially restore power to the buildings.

                                                          3. After
                                                            1. Check electrical equipment for damages.
                                                            2. Throw away food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or if it has unusual odor, color or texture.


                                                            1. Extreme Cold
                                                              1. Before
                                                                1. Regularly stay informed by following the news.
                                                                2. Check the forecast as part of your regular routine to be prepared.
                                                                3. Adjust your schedule to avoid being outside during the coldest part of the day in the early morning.
                                                                4. Dress for outdoors even if you won’t be outside much.
                                                                5. Keep a stock of non-perishable food.
                                                              2. During
                                                                1. Stay indoors and wear warm clothes. Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, and warm clothes.
                                                                2. Eat and drink regularly to keep the body fueled and prevent dehydration. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
                                                                3. If you must go outside:
                                                                  1. Walk carefully on snowy and icy sidewalks.
                                                                  2. Cover your face and mouth to protect yourself from severely cold air.
                                                                  3. Watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
                                                                  4. Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently.
                                                              3. After
                                                                1. Avoid traveling until conditions have improved.
                                                                2. Check on friends and neighbors.
                                                                3. For more information on signs of frostbites and hypothermia, click here.
                                                            2. Extreme Heat
                                                              1. Before
                                                                1. Regularly stay informed by following the news.
                                                                2. Close curtains or blinds on windows exposed to sun.
                                                                3. Be aware of both the temperature and the heat index.
                                                                4. Check A/C unit to make sure it is working properly.
                                                                5. Refrigerate water bottles.
                                                                6. If you do not have air conditioning, visit places (schools, libraries, theaters, malls) where you could get relief from the heat.
                                                              2. During
                                                                1. Drink plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid caffeine or alcohol.
                                                                2. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothing.
                                                                3. Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the midday. Postpone outdoor games and activities.
                                                                4. Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have A/C.
                                                                5. Keep your animals indoors and out of the heat.
                                                              3. After
                                                                1. The National Weather Service provides additional information on heat injuries.
                                                            3. Flood
                                                              1. Before
                                                                1. Regularly stay informed by following the news.
                                                                2. Create a communication plan with your family and friends in the event of a disaster including identifying a main contact and place to meet.
                                                                3. Assemble an emergency kit.
                                                                4. Sign up for emergency notifications.
                                                              2. During
                                                                1. If you are in an area that will flood and feel uncomfortable, do not wait for the order to leave; evacuate yourself.
                                                                2. Watch local news for the latest information.
                                                                3. Do not walk, swim, or drive through floodwater. Six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
                                                                4. For areas subject to flooding, get to higher ground immediately.
                                                                5. If told to evacuate, do so immediately. If time permits, disconnect utilities and appliances.
                                                                6. DO NOT go near areas if water covers electrical outlets or power cords are submerged.
                                                              3. After
                                                                1. Continue listening to local news for the latest updates.
                                                                2. Communicate with friends and family to let them know you are safe.
                                                                3. If you evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
                                                                4. Standing water hides many dangers including toxins and chemicals. Watch for debris under the water and know the road surface may have been compromised. Take it slow.
                                                                5. Stay away from disaster areas, your presence may hamper rescue and other emergency operations.
                                                                6. Pay attention to road closure and other cautionary signs as they are put in place for your safety.
                                                                7. Do not enter a flood-damaged building until you are told it is safe by authorities.
                                                            4. Snow
                                                              1. Before
                                                                1. Regularly stay informed by following the news.
                                                                2. Be prepared! Don't let a winter storm take you by surprise, have the following in your emergency kit:
                                                                  1. Flashlight and extra batteries.
                                                                  2. Extra non-perishable foods and bottled water.
                                                                  3. Extra prescription medicine.
                                                                  4. First-aid supplies.
                                                                3. If you need additional heat source, consider using a fireplace, wood stove or space heater. Please note: make sure they are properly ventilated to prevent a fire.
                                                              2. During
                                                                1. If you are outside:
                                                                  1. Find shelter to stay dry and cover your exposed body parts.
                                                                  2. Move your body to keep blood circulating and keep warm. However, avoid overexertion as sweat could lead to a chill and hypothermia.
                                                                2. If your heat source stops working:
                                                                  1. Don’t waste heat! Close off unused rooms.
                                                                  2. Stuff towels or sheets in cracks under doors.
                                                                  3. Keep the heat in by closing blinds or curtains.
                                                                  4. Be sure to eat and drink. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat. Drinks lots of water and other non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages to prevent dehydration.
                                                                  5. Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing that is easily removable to avoid overheating, perspiration, and subsequent chill.
                                                              3. After
                                                                1. Check local news for updated information on road conditions.
                                                                  1. Watch out for black ice. It is most dangerous in the early morning.
                                                                  2. Avoid unnecessary travel to allow for quick and efficient snow removal.
                                                              1. Thunder and Lightning Storms
                                                                1. Before
                                                                  1. Regularly stay informed by following the news.
                                                                  2. Check the forecast regularly to see if you are at risk for severe weather such as National Weather Service (NWS) Binghamton.
                                                                  3. Have a meeting place designated ahead of time in the event of an emergency.
                                                                  4. Pick a safe spot away from windows, skylights, and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail.
                                                                2. During
                                                                  1. Listen to local news for updates. Watch for signs of a storm like darkening skies, lightning flashes, the rumble of thunder, or increasing winds.
                                                                  2. Go to a secure location if you hear a severe thunderstorm warning.
                                                                  3. Keep away from windows.
                                                                  4. If you are outside, do NOT take shelter under a tree, go inside a sturdy building immediately.
                                                                3. After
                                                                  1. Never drive/walk through a flooded roadway. The water may be deeper than you think.
                                                                  2. Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
                                                                  3. Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
                                                                  4. Assist others who may require additional aid, such as infants, children, the elderly, and disabled.
                                                                1. Tornados
                                                                  1. Before
                                                                    1. Follow the local news.
                                                                    2. Identify an underground shelter, basement, or safe room. If none are available, a small windowless interior room or hallway, on the lowest level of a sturdy building, is the safest alternative.
                                                                    3. Find a local emergency shelter and know the best route to get there.
                                                                  2. During
                                                                    1. Seek shelter in an underground shelter, basement or sturdy building.
                                                                    2. Avoid being near windows and do not go to large open rooms such cafeterias, gymnasiums, or auditoriums.
                                                                    3. Stay away from bridges/highway overpasses.
                                                                    4. Do not go outside until the warning has passed.
                                                                  3. After
                                                                    1. Continue to listen to local news for updated information and instructions.
                                                                    2. If you evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
                                                                    3. Let friends and family know you are safe.
                                                                    4. Alert local authorities if you see down power lines. Do NOT enter damaged buildings.
                                                                    5. If you come across people that are injured and you are properly trained, provide first aid to victims, if needed, until emergency responders arrive.