Be Prepared

Tips for Responding to Emergencies

Before an emergency happens, be sure to sign up for emergency text messages from the University. Columbia recognizes that timely communication is critical to the safety of our faculty, staff and students; in addition to optional text messages, we also email the University community during emergencies. We also recommend you become familiar with Public Safety's Emergency Response protocols.

During a national, regional or citywide emergency, it is vital to remain calm.

If you are in immediate danger, contact Columbia Public Safety at 212-854-5555/Morningside or 212-305-7979/Medical Center (emergency calls), or call 911. For additional emergency numbers, see the Emergency Contacts page.

Knowing your community’s preparedness plan in case of emergency will allow you to react quickly and safely. During an emergency:

  1. Check this site, the Columbia University homepage at, and your Columbia email account frequently
  2. Limit use of cell phones or University campus phones, to help make sure lines of critical communication are available for the University to contact you
  3. Follow campus emergency guidelines for specific situations
  4. Share accurate information with others
  5. Follow the additional tips in Communications and Staying in the Know

The other pages in this section offer information about different kinds of campus emergencies, and what to do during particular national, regional or local disasters.