Frequently Asked Questions

How are students alerted of an emergency?

In the event of an active emergency on campus students will receive alerts through the Orange Alert System.

What is the best way to stay informed during an emergency?

Information will be put out on these different platforms:

Other Services

What should a student or staff member do when they receive an emergency notification?

Follow instructions given in the message. Common Actions include:

  • Shelter in Place
  • Lockdown
  • Evacuate
What is the role of Syracuse University’s Office of Emergency Management?

Emergency Management is responsible for development, implementation, and maintenance of policies and programs related to general emergency preparedness and business continuity planning for the University. This includes the coordination and integration of activities necessary to build, sustain and improve the capabilities to prepare for, respond to, recover from, or mitigate against threatened or actual disasters or emergencies impacting campus. Coordination is among University departments, as well as local first responder and emergency support organizations.

What does ‘Shelter in Place’ mean?

Shelter-in-place events are usually weather related emergencies. When it is necessary to shelter-in-place, you will be safest by moving inside to a building space that protects you from the danger. Select a small, interior room, with no or few windows, and take refuge there. Remain in place until the danger has passed or conditions warrant an immediate evacuation. The University will use the Orange Alert system to make an “all clear” announcement.

What is the difference between a weather advisory watch and weather warning?

Advisory – Highlights special weather conditions that are less serious than a warning. They are for events that may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

Watch – A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.

Warning – A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property.

What should be in an Emergency Supply Kit and where do I find these items?
  • Personal identification, including any allergies, dietary, or medical needs
  • Key phone numbers, including your primary-care physician and a family member
  • Cash and change, phone card
  • Prescription medications
  • First aid kit, including aspirin and non-aspirin pain reliever, adhesive bandages, antibiotic/ burn ointment, sterile gauze pads and a handbook
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Extra layer of clothing
  • Food – Enough for a couple of days: Nutritious items that have a long shelf life and that require little preparation
  • Mess kit or utensils – knife, fork, spoon, cup
  • Extra pair of contacts or eyeglasses
  • Water – a couple of jugs kept outside your kit pack (one gallon per person per day is a safe estimate)
What is a Family Communication Plan?

Staying in contact with family and friends is critical during an emergency. Not all ways of communicating will work after a disaster or emergency, so it is imperative to have a plan of how you will communicate.

  • Designate a single family contact outside your area – be sure family, friends and/or roommates know who this contact is and how to reach them.
  • Notify family or friends if you are affected by an emergency so they know where you are – if you can’t reach them, notify your family contact person.
  • Do not call 911 or DPS unless you need immediate assistance (Police, Fire, Ambulance)

Remember to check in at home to let your family know you’re safe, regularly and especially in an emergency situation. They may have heard about it on the news and be worried about you. In a very large disaster in the U.S.; if you cannot reach family members, consider using a system such as the American Red Cross Safe and Well List to search for missing family members/friends. Consider adding the entry ICE (“in case of emergency”) to your cell’s phonebook with the number of the person to be contacted in the event of an emergency. Find out more about developing a Family Emergency Plan here.