Other Emergency Incidents

Power Outage

New York City has experienced widespread and prolonged power outages over the past few years. Power disruptions can occur in summer in the midst of high electrical demand or due to severe winter storms or hurricanes. NYU buildings in New York depend on both Con Ed and its own co-generation plant for electric power.

All NYU buildings in New York have legally required emergency lighting designed to provide assistance if emergency egress is necessary. In addition, during a power outage, it is likely that some NYU buildings may still have power, so if your building is dark consider going to a lighted NYU facility, such as Bobst Library.

Wherever you are, be prepared:

  • Know where to find your flashlights and batteries.
  • Have a battery powered radio.
  • Download a flashlight app for your phone.

When the power goes out:

  • Do not use candles, only use a flashlight.
  • Unplug any electronics such as computers, televisions, and stereos.
  • If you are at work, await instructions from building staff.
  • If you are cooking, turn off the oven and stove.
  • Do not touch any downed power lines.

Additional resources:
The NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM): click here

The American Red Cross: click here


Evacuation of NYU facilities can be directed for a variety of reasons ranging from fire to hazardous materials release. If an evacuation is necessary, it is important to try and remain calm to ensure your safety.

Consider the following when directed to evacuate:

  • If possible, make sure you have your keys, identification, and purse or wallet.
  • If you are in a lab, secure any hazardous materials or equipment before you leave.
  • Close the door behind you.
  • Do not attempt to use an elevator.
  • If directed by officials, proceed to a designated evacuation location. Wait at that location until an authorized official tells you it is safe to return.
  • If you are unable to evacuate a building due to disability, notify someone exiting the building of your location. In New York notify Public Safety at 212-998-2222 of your location or call 911.
  • Do not attempt to re-enter the building until directed to do so by an authorized official.

Hazardous Material Incidents

The range and quantity of hazardous substances used in laboratories requires pre-planning to respond safely to chemical spills. The cleanup of a chemical spill should only be done by knowledgeable and experienced personnel. Spill kits, absorbents, reactants and protective equipment should be available to clean up minor spills. A minor chemical spill is one that the laboratory staff is capable of handling safely without the assistance of safety or emergency personnel. All other chemical spills are considered major chemical spills. For further information on chemical spills, click here.

Additional resources:
NYU Environmental Health and Safety: click here

Disease Outbreaks and Biological Events

New York City regularly monitors and responds to disease outbreaks and biological events. In the event of a health emergency, the City may open Points of Dispensing (PODs), which are special clinics to distribute antibiotics or vaccines. If PODs are activated, you may locate the one closest to you by listening to local media, calling 311 or visiting 311 online.

In the event of a health emergency:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay home if experiencing cough or fever.
  • Frequently wash hands with soap or an alcohol-based cleaner.
  • Tune in to local TV and radio for health officials' announcements.
  • For emergency information at other sites around NYU’s global network, contact the site director.

Additional resources:
The NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM): click here

Center for Disease Control: click here

United States Department of Health and Human Services: click here