Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness Plan


This Plan is intended as a guide. The College reserves the right to modify its actions both prior to and during an emergency to ensure the proper functioning of the College.

This document refers to emergencies and disasters that occur on property owned, leased, or operated by Barnard College only.

Statement of Purpose

This document and associated materials constitute the Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness Plan (hereinafter referred to as the "Plan") of Barnard College.

This Plan is to be implemented in the event of a major emergency or disaster (as defined in Section C and/or as declared by the President of the College.)

The purposes of this plan are:

  • To protect the lives and property of the Barnard College community during emergencies.
  • To preserve the orderly functioning of the College community during emergencies.
  • To establish clear lines of authority and communication among College departments and with external constituencies during an emergency.
  • To coordinate decision making and effective use of available manpower and resources in the event of an emergency.
  • To identify the College’s role in coordinating emergency operations with outside agencies.

Emergency Plan Activation


This Emergency/Disaster Plan shall be activated under the following circumstances:

  1. When civil authorities declare a State of Emergency that affects the College, either local, citywide, regional, statewide or national.
  2. When the President or her designee declares a College Emergency.
  3. When an occurrence, potential or actual, seriously disrupts the overall operation of the College or threatens the health or safety of members of the College community.

Note: Unless otherwise directed by the President of the College, operational management of minor emergencies, i.e., incidents, potential or actual, which do not seriously affect the overall functioning of the College, depending upon the nature of the incident, rests with either the Public Safety and Emergency Management Department, or the Facilities Services Department, in consultation with related department heads and in accordance with established protocols.

Types of Emergencies

Types of emergenices and disasters covered by the Emergency/Disaster Plan include but are not limited to: bomb threats; significant breaks in heat, power or water services, contagious illnesses; contamination of air, water or food; violent crime; explosion; fires; natural disasters such as severe snow storms, hurricanes and earthquakes; external disasters such as train or airline crashes; chemical spills, and civil disturbances.

Activation of the Plan

In the case of a perceived College-level emergency Public Safety should be notified. The Public Safety Department supervisor must notify the President of the College or her successive designees in the order that appears below. The President or the designee reached will declare if a College-level state of emergency exists and activation of the Plan is in order. If the College declares a state of emergency, the first designee reached activates the communication tree. The first designee reached is responsible for maintaining a log of who on the Emergency Management Committee has been reached and who has not been reached. All members of the Emergency Management Committee, if reached, must report back to the designee within one half hour of activation of the tree.

Emergency Management Team Contact List – Attachment A

In the case of a State of Emergency declared by civil authorities, all designated emergency personnel should attempt to report for duty and assume their defined roles if permitted by civil authorities, whether or not they have received official notification from the College.

Note: The College has the right to expect employees to make themselves available for work in the event of an emergency, to report promptly, and to remain as long as is deemed necessary.

Successive Designees for Determination of College Emergency:

  • President of the College
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Vice President for Campus Services
  • Provost and Dean of the Faculty
  • Dean of the College
  • Chief of Staff and General Counsel
  • Executive Director of Public Safety
  • Executive Director of Facilities Services
  • Other Officers of the College

Implementation of the Emergency Response Plan

The President or her designee has the responsibility to decide if the emergency response plan is to be activated, including the establishment of the Emergency Command Center, the recall of College officials or their alternates to campus during non-work hours, and the identification and recall of other College administrators who could assist in the emergency response effort.

Emergency Management Team

In the event that a campus emergency is declared, the President or her designee will initiate the notification of the Emergency Management Team. At the earliest possible time, all available members of the Emergency Management Team are to assemble at the Emergency Command Center or, if not accessible, at the Secondary Emergency Command Center. Once assembled, the Assistant to the President, if present, or a person designated by the President will assume the responsibility of keeping an accurate log of all actions taken by the Team.

The Emergency Management Team consists of:

  • President or her Designee
  • Provost and Dean of the Faculty
  • Dean of the College
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Vice President for Campus Services
  • Vice President for Public Affairs
  • Vice President & Counsel to the President
  • Vice President for Development and Alumnae Affairs
  • Vice President of Human Resources
  • Executive Director of Public Safety*
  • Executive Director of Facilities
  • Associate Dean for Student Life
  • Executive Director of Health Services**
  • Associate Dean of Campus and Residential Life
  • Associate Dean of College Activities

*The Director of Public Safety is responsible for informing the Columbia University Public Safety Department of a campus emergency.

**During the summer recess, Barnard's Health Service is closed.   Medical assistance should be requested from the Columbia Health Service, or from St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital.

In addition, the Assistant to the President will be contacted along with the Emergency Management Team, and will provide administrative assistance to the Committee.

First Administrator on the Scene

If the emergency occurs during non-office hours, the individual(s) assuming the most responsibility will be in the following descending order.

  1. A member of the President’s Council
  2. The Executive Director of Public Safety
  3. The Executive Director of Facilities
  4. The highest ranking administrator present from the Public Safety Department
  5. The highest ranking administrator present from the Facilities Services Department;
  6. The highest ranking administrator present from the Residential Life area.

The first member of the Emergency Management Team to arrive on the campus assumes responsibility for directing activities after reporting to the Security Supervisor on duty until the President, her/his designee or a senior officer arrives. Alternates or staff of other senior officers will report to the Team member and/or senior officer on the scene. Once notification of the President or her designee has occurred, full responsibility for directing College efforts rests with the President or her designee

Emergency Command Centers

The primary Emergency Command Center is located:

Elliott Hall, 49 Claremont Avenue

In the event that the primary site is inaccessible, a secondary Emergency Command Center is located:

Milbank Hall, Campus Services

Both Primary and Secondary Emergency Command Centers will include:

  • Copies of the Emergency Management Plan
  • Access to four or more phones, one of which is a not a Columbia University Rolm phone
  • Access to a computer (w/email and internet access)
  • Barnard College Press Release Stationery
  • Access to photocopying equipment
  • Access to radio and television
  • Fax Machine
  • Copies of the following:
    • Contact Information for Emergency Management Team Members
    • Directors/Department Heads/Chairs Contact List

In addition, the College Offices designated below shall maintain the following current information which can be made readily available to the Committee in the event of a campus emergency:

Contact Information on the following:

College Insurers
College Insurance Agents

Campus Services

College Bank affiliates


Local Media Contacts


College Attorneys
Mayor’s Office
Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management
City Council Representatives
Borough President’s Office
Members of the Board of Trustees

General Counsel

Reasonably up-to-date lists with home address, telephone and emergency contact information for:

All Students by Resident/Commuter


All Faculty, Staff and Administrators

Human Resources

Available information on all campus buildings including:

Access/Egress (who has keys for what)
Number of rooms and residents in each residence hall
Locations of boilers, electrical closets, valves, gas lines,
computer lines, telephone hubs
Fire and Smoke Alarms
Functions performed in the building
Storage or existence of Hazardous Materials
Particularly valuable items or data
Special resources available (e.g. food supplies, evacuation space)

Facilities/Public Safety



Primary and Secondary Emergency Equipment Storage Sites

In addition to the Command Center, emergency supplies will be stored in the basement of 600 West 116th Street.

Stored at these sites are the following materials:

  • Battery-Operated Lighting
  • Bull horn
  • Generator
  • Pump
  • Emergency Medical Equipment Bag
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sign-Making Material
  • Tape/Tacks/Rope
  • Food and Water

The Director of Public Safety, Public Safety Supervisors, Director of Facilities, and Facilities Managers/Supervisors shall have access to these sites.

Operations Plan Priorities


The Emergency Management Team will, upon assembly:

  1. assess the situation
  2. determine resources needed and/or available to address the emergency
  3. issue staff assignments
  4. establish necessary communication with outside agencies and civil authorities
  5. monitor progress and continue assessment
  6. when appropriate, declare end of emergency status
  7. designate one of its members as keeper of a Log of Events/Actions. This person will normally be the Assistant to the President.

Priority Goals

The essential goals of the Emergency Management Team will be, in order:

  1. preservation of human life and welfare
  2. preservation of human health and safety
  3. protection of College property and, where possible, personal property
  4. maintenance of College programs and operations
  5. respond to external community needs.

Priority Locations

The campus buildings and areas that will receive priority attention with regard to normal operation (restoration of services, maintenance, and use), in order, are:

  1. Emergency Command Center
  2. Public Safety and Maintenance Areas
  3. Residence Halls
  4. Health Service (during the academic year)
  5. Facilities housing animals
  6. Administration Building and Other Administrative and Academic Facilities
  7. Recreational Facilities

The Emergency Management Committee will prioritize locations within these categories and among all remaining locations.

Priority Objectives

The objectives outlined below relate to the Priority Goals above. "Priority I Objectives" relate to preservation and safety of human life; "Priority II and III Objectives" relate to preservation of property and restoration of normal operations. Effort and action will focus on Priority I Objectives until substantially met. Priority II and III Objectives will be addressed as resources are available.

Priority I Objectives

  1. Establish emergency communications.
  2. Assess damage, injuries, and location of major problems.
  3. Evacuate affected locations pending additional assessment.
  4. Isolate dangerous areas until judged safe for reentry.
  5. Establish medical triage and first aid areas and transport seriously injured to medical facilities if necessary.
  6. Repair utilities and lifelines to prevent further life/safety hazards.
  7. Identify and Rescue persons trapped in damaged facilities.
  8. Control secondary hazards.

Priority II Objectives

  1. Communicate critical information and instructions to campus, the public, families and students.
  2. Shore up damaged facilities that pose safety hazards.
  3. Provide emergency food and shelter as needed.
  4. Conduct rapid structural engineering assessment of campus facilities.
  5. Track status of all injured and missing College students and personnel.
  6. Restore College telecommunications systems as soon as possible.
  7. Assess local transportation conditions and advise campus regarding viable routes.
  8. Secure closed facilities.
  9. Contain/control/preserve animals and critical research areas.
  10. Begin documentation of damages.

Priority III Objectives

  1. Initiate Data Recovery Plans.
  2. Identify and secure valuable College materials.
  3. Normalize flow of supplies and equipment from off campus.
  4. Provide psychological and personal assistance to staff, faculty, students and others impacted by the event.
  5. Re-allocate residential, academic and administrative operating space, if necessary.
  6. Provide space to external agencies, if necessary and possible.

Unit Responsibilities


Under a declared emergency, the Emergency Management Team will assign responsibilities to operating departments and offices. Departments and offices may be directed to suspend day-to-day operations that do not contribute directly to emergency management. Individuals not in specified emergency areas, may be temporarily reassigned to assist in emergency operations.

Job Assignments

Job assignments to College departments and offices defines the specific responsibilities expected to be assumed by specific personnel.

Security Department

  1. Maintain communication with local public safety agencies.
  2. Maintain liaison with fire protection services to assist in their operations.
  3. Request initial fire protection services, rescue operations and emergency medical services and provide assistance to them in obtaining access to emergency sites.
  4. Coordinate crowd and traffic control.
  5. Provide and/or coordinate protection for life and property at emergency and related sites.
  6. Provide emergency access to buildings and offices for College administrative staff.
  7. Provide or coordinate transportation services.
  8. Provide general safety advisories.
  9. Collect, inventory, and secure personal property left at the emergency site and return such property to the rightful owners, unless needed as evidence.


  1. Maintain liaison with utility providers to coordinate continuation of services.
  2. Maintain and provide as needed information on building infrastructures, maps, construction descriptions, etc.
  3. Coordinate any surveys of utilities or buildings for damage and/or securing of buildings and areas.
  4. Direct services restorations, cleanup operations.
  5. Compile and submit reports required by federal or state law, regarding hazardous materials, etc.
  6. Provide health and safety assessments to the Emergency Management Team.
  7. Provide emergency repairs and fuel supplies for College apparatus and equipment in use during an emergency.
  8. Identify, evaluate and monitor the presence of hazardous materials and other public health hazards.
  9. Act as site liaison with regulatory agencies as necessary during hazardous materials incidents.

Administrative Computing

  1. Assure the integrity of the telecommunications infrastructure and data systems and implement data disaster recovery plan.
  2. Provide Emergency Management Team with evaluation and assessment of communications and data retrieval capabilities.

Dean of the College/Director of Student Life

  1. Manage all student services.
  2. Provide information and communication to students and their families in coordination with the Office of Public Affairs.
  3. Direct and manage housing and food service programs for both emergency and non-emergency related students and personnel.
  4. Provide and/or direct counseling and psychological support and services to students and other members of the College community dealing with immediate and longer-term emergency generated trauma.
  5. Assist other College units in field triage, evacuation, and cleanup or wherever the Emergency Management Team identifies manpower needs.


  1. In consultation with members of the Emergency Management Team, coordinate and provide information about the College’s situation and response to the emergency to the College community and the general public.
  2. If necessary, establish and maintain, with the assistance of authorities, if necessary, appropriate, restricted "press areas" to provide regular information updates to the media.
  3. In consultation with the Emergency Management Team, coordinate and provide information to the media.
  4. Assist the Dean of the College and the Residential Life staff with the provision of information to students and the families of students and staff.

Health Services

  1. Provide and/or coordinate first aid, either at the Health Services facility or at alternate campus locations, as necessary.
  2. Provide psychological support to campus community in conjunction with other student affairs personnel.
  3. Provide liaison services with area hospitals, re: medical records of students, lists and conditions of those hospitalized, etc., as needed.
  4. Treat minor injuries at Health Services, if necessary.

General Counsel

  1. Review and clear all Public Relations and student affairs statements or reports concerning the possible cause of accidents or emergencies, potential liability for accidents or injuries, and all other legal concerns or problems.
  2. Assist the Office of the Controller in the processing of all personal and property insurance claims arising from the emergency.
  3. Coordinate the College investigation and reporting on the probable cause or nature of the emergency and the College’s response to it.

Supplementary Procedures and Policies

This document sets forth the operational and governance responsibilities in the event that the President of the College declares a campus emergency. Existing protocols, policies and procedures that address safety, campus access, campus disturbances, notification of parents, students in distress, and the like, remain in force unless otherwise specified as "suspended due to emergency" by the President, his/her designee, or the Emergency Management Team. These existing Procedures and Policies include, but are not limited to:

In addition, the Public Safety Department, Barnard Hall Room 104, has operational responsibility for the College’s Security and Fire Safety Procedures. A member of the Public Safetymanagement staff has been designated as the College’s Fire Safety Officer.

Development and Implementation of Supplementary Emergency Procedures

Whenever necessary, departments shall develop supplementary emergency procedures based upon the priorities and responsibilities outlined in this document.

Reporting to Campus

In the event of an emergency, administrative directors of departments should be prepared to report to the campus, if during non-working hours, unless directed otherwise by a member of the Emergency Management Team. Other administrators and faculty should await notice from their department directors, unless supplementary plans indicate otherwise.

Emergency Management Team

  1. Provide and/or coordinate first aid, either at the Health Services facility or at alternate campus locations, as necessary.
  2. Provide psychological support to campus community in conjunction with other student affairs personnel.
  3. Provide liaison services with area hospitals, re: medical records of students, lists and conditions of those hospitalized, etc., as needed.
  4. Treat minor injuries at Health Services, if necessary.
    • Residence Hall Evacuation Plan and Drill Procedures
    • OSHA Chemical Hygiene Plan/Hazardous Chemical Releases and Spill Procedure
    • Hazardous Materials Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures Plan