Major Threat or Emergency Incident in NYC

A major incident in New York City or the tristate area such as a terrorist related incident, a nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological release, or even a severe health emergency will significantly impact communications, utilities and transportation within the New York City area.

Cornell Tech has access to various emergency management officials and offices within NYC and will obtain current information to help keep everyone informed. Cornell Tech will comply with directives given by public officials in the event of such an incident. Depending upon the severity of the situation a determination may be made to have the campus community Shelter in Place or evacuate.


Directives for the Cornell Tech Community

In the event of a significant emergency the gathering of information is critical.

  • Turn on a radio or TV to any local news station for current news.
  • Stay alert for information and directives from Cornell Tech via PA systems, website updates, and TechALERT notifications.
  • Cornell Tech will provide all available information to the Cornell Tech community including information on class cancellations or the closing of Cornell Tech.
  • Depending on the specifics of the emergency the first important decision is whether to shelter in place or evacuate. Use common sense and all available information to determine if there is immediate danger. Cornell Tech will advise a suggested course of action based on local government recommendations.


Shelter in Place

Whether at home, Cornell Tech or elsewhere, there may be situations when it is best to stay where you are during an emergency. Shelter in Place means to stay indoors because of dangerous conditions outside the building. This unsafe condition could be due to environmental issues, falling debris, utility emergencies or other unsafe conditions.

  • Cornell Tech will broadcast a TechALERT to Shelter in Place via the Rave emergency notification system. If necessary, this message will instruct those enroute to avoid the Cornell Tech campus and to seek shelter.
  • Everyone should proceed to a classroom, office or other similarly protected area.
  • Turn off air conditioners and ventilation systems. Close and stay away from all windows.
  • Stay alert for current news and official instructions.
  • Do not open windows or doors. Remain in protected areas until advised by government officials or via a TechALERT message that it is safe to exit shelter.


There may be conditions under which you will decide to evacuate or are ordered to leave. Plan in advance of an emergency how you will assemble with your family or friends and anticipate where you will go. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency. Assure family and friends have emergency contact phone numbers readily available.


If Instructed to Evacuate

  1. Stay alert for current news and official instructions.
  2. Gather valuables, identification and any personal items you may need, including:
    • Medication
    • ID, cash, credit cards, cell phone
    • Blanket or sleeping bag
    • Appropriate clothing and personal hygiene items
  3. Within NYC vehicle traffic will experience significant gridlock conditions. Consider walking or taking public transportation.
  4. If you are in a vehicle close the windows and air vents and do not operate the air conditioner.
  5. Leave the city by routes designated on news broadcasts. You may be advised to go directly to the home of a friend or relative or to stop at a public reception center or temporary shelter.