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Barnard Emergency Preparedness Information

World events have again focused attention on the need, both in our own homes and while away from home, to think carefully about the resources needed to keep us safe and secure in the case of an emergency or unforeseen event.

While there is no way to fully anticipate the exact nature of the emergencies and challenges that we as a community may face, at Barnard we have focused our efforts on improving basic emergency management procedures in the event of an unforeseen event. We are also indeed very fortunate that New York City has one of the most advanced and responsive public safety systems in the world.

Barnard College’s Emergency Plan

Barnard has taken the following steps to increase our emergency preparedness:

  • Barnard’s Emergency Management Plan has been updated, and provides for a clear communications protocol, and the formation of an Emergency Management Team to respond to large-scale campus and citywide emergencies Senior members of the staff remain in regular contact with local, state and federal agencies and receive the most up to date information and advice on the nature of the risks and the precautions to be taken. Our Director of Security attends regular briefings offered by the NY City Police concerning the City’s emergency preparedness.
  • Senior staff members participate in Columbia University’s Emergency Management Operations Team, and we have agreed to share resources, information and support services as needed. Read Columbia’s latest statement on emergency preparedness.
  • Primary and backup emergency centers have been designated on campus (Barnard Hall 1st Floor and Milbank Hall Room 101) and a third backup center is being considered on the Columbia University Campus. These areas will be used to direct the College’s activities in the event of a major disruption. These areas have backup utilities and equipment, communications capabilities, copies of critical college documents, rosters, building plans and other essential contact information.
  • The LeFrak Gymnasium, the Hewitt Dining room and lower level McIntosh will be used as staging areas in the event that campus buildings are evacuated and cannot be reoccupied.
  • The College has, on the advice of emergency planning experts, been increasing its on-campus nonperishable food and water supplies in order to maintain a three-day supply of food and water.
  • Columbia University and Barnard College are in the process of creating an automated, multi-user call-in number that can be used to disseminate basic information about campus, neighborhood, and citywide conditions.

Building Evacuation Procedures/"Shelter in Place"

In the event of a large-scale emergency, residents and occupants of buildings may be instructed, by alarms or announcements, to evacuate buildings. Should this occur, please follow the following instructions.

  • Immediately leave the building as signaled/instructed, closing the door to the room or office you are leaving.
  • Proceed carefully and quickly to the nearest exit to the outdoors. Do not use elevators.
  • Residence Life Staff and Security personnel will be there to respond to the emergency, and to provide direction and assistance.
  • In the event that it is necessary to leave a building or buildings for an extended period, the College has designated the following locations for assembly:
LeFrak Gymnasium Hewitt Dining Room Lower Level McIntosh

Residents and occupants of Brooks, Hewitt, Reid, and Sulzberger Halls.

Occupants of Altschul, McIntosh and Lehman Halls.

Residents of 600, 616, and 620 W. 116th Street, 601 West 110th Street, and 210/212 West 104th Street.

Residents and occupants of Plimpton and Elliott Halls.

Occupants of Milbank and Barnard Halls.

Should any of these locations be inaccessible, you should proceed to one of the other available areas designated for assembly. Once you are assembled, College officials and others will, depending on the nature of the emergency, advise members of the community of the options and resources available to them, including alternate sleeping arrangements, meals, medical treatment, communications options, and other services.

Experience has shown that certain members of the College population will voluntarily leave campus under emergency conditions. Some will go to relatives or friends, while others will attempt to get home. For this reason we strongly suggest that you let your family know ahead of time if there are alternative sites that you may relocate to, and to provide them with as much contact information as possible.

Please also understand that there are certain emergency conditions under which it is advisable that people remain inside. This is often referred to as "shelter in place." In such instances, you will be advised by College or public safety officials to remain indoors with doors and windows closed. That is why it is particularly important that you follow the directions of campus officials and other public safety workers. Read an explanation of the direction to "shelter in place".

There are a number of helpful resources available online to assist you in any personal preparations you may wish to make. The following are some websites that are often recommended as a good starting point for basic emergency preparations:

If you have any comments, suggestions or concerns about the College’s Emergency Management Plan, please contact the General Counsel's office.