Emergency Event Planning

The following information is intended as a guide to assist you in preparing for and in times of an emergency. The resources listed below are available to aid you in your planning. Please take advantage of them.

Students are encouraged to download the LiveSafe app for emergency notifications and services, which can be found on the Yale Public Safety website.

If you have specific questions, please contact one of the University resources listed for additional information.

This page covers the following information:

Additional information on emergency preparedness for persons with disabilities may be found on the Yale Emergency Management Website.

Being Prepared

While preparing does take time and effort, it pays off in times of disaster. Begin your planning today. The more you do, the more confident you will be that you can protect yourself.

Students: Email the Student Accessibility Services office. They can help you through the planning process. The following section has the activities that together you will try to identify.

Faculty and staff: Talk to your supervisor, a building manager or the University’s Office for Equal Opportunity Programs to help you through the planning process using the following suggestions.

  • Identify appropriate shelter in place locations in buildings you frequent. Be sure you know the official room number and are able to describe your location accurately to authorities.
  • Carry on you at all times emergency health information containing your critical health information and emergency contacts. Emergency health information communicates to emergency and rescue personnel what they need to know about you if they find you unconscious, confused, in shock, or unable to provide information. Make multiple copies of this information to keep in your: emergency supply kits, car, work, wallet (behind driver’s license or official identification card), wheelchair pack, etc.
  • Get involved in emergency and evacuation planning. You need to be a part of the discussion regarding emergency planning and evacuation. You are the best provider of information regarding your specific abilities and limitations and how best to provide you with appropriate and effective assistance.
  • Practice: it increases skill and instills confidence in one’s ability to cope in an emergency.
  • Know your surroundings and how to get to all the exits.
  • Report safety hazards (i.e. fire extinguishers that need servicing, exits which are not kept clear, furniture and other items that block barrier-free passages): call Facilities Customer Service at 203-432-6888 for Central Campus or 203-737-2841 for the Medical Campus.
  • Train your support network to assist you in appropriate ways:
    • How to operate your equipment in an emergency, including how to disengage the gears of a power wheelchair.
    • If you are hard of hearing or deaf, practice having co-workers communicate important information to you through gestures.
    • If you have a visual impairment, have co-workers practice guiding you.
    • If you use a service animal, be sure you include the animal in all drills.
    • Check the selected area to verify cell phone coverage.

Shelter in Place

Taking shelter in times of Emergency can be critical.

Sheltering is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment, or other location where you are when emergency strikes. If possible elect a small, interior room in your current building with no or few windows and take refuge there.

Examples of situations where you might need to shelter in place include:

  • Chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants accidentally or intentionally released into the environment,
  • Threat of physical harm (gunman or a severe weather event)

Should this occur, information will be provided through the Yale Alert system and other means of notification. It is imperative that you follow instructions of authorities if they advise you to shelter-in-place.

Yale ALERT can reach students, faculty, and staff with time-sensitive information during unforeseen events or emergencies using voice, e-mail, and/or text messaging. Please make sure that you keep your contact information up to date. Students update your information through the Student Information System (SIS) and staff; please keep your information up to date with Human Resources.

Steps to follow if instructed to shelter in place

When authorities provide directions to shelter-in-place, they want you to take those steps immediately, where you are, and not drive or walk outdoors. You should stop classes or work, or close business operations.

  • Select interior room(s) above the ground floor, with no or few windows or vents. It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room(s) you select - cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency. Close and lock all windows, exterior doors, and any other openings to the outside. If you are told there is danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains.

*Note: Avoid selecting a room with mechanical equipment like ventilation blowers or pipes, because this equipment may not be able to be sealed from the outdoors.

  • Unless there is an imminent threat, call your emergency contact to let them know where you are and that you are safe. Call 911 if emergency assistance is needed.
  • Wait in the safest location possible until you are given the “all clear” or told to evacuate. University and local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.


If an evacuation has been called and you are unable to evacuate on your own:

  • Ask for assistance to the nearest exit, enclosed stair case or remain in your location or location near a window where you can signal for help. If you know today that you would need assistance in evacuation, let the people around you know so that together you can plan for it, and together you can work out any issues.
  • CALL 911 or 203-432-4400 or hit the large, top right button, labeled “Police”, on the nearest Campus Blue Phone and let emergency responders know your exact location inside the building.
  • If you are unable to call, signal for help by waving a brightly colored cloth or shining a flashlight at the window.
  • Ask someone leaving the building to notify emergency responders of your location.

Suggested Items for An Emergency Kit

Have an Emergency Kit available in key locations. It should contain the following items:

  • Life sustaining supplies such as medication, insulin, etc.
  • Emergency health and contact information
  • Flashlight with batteries
  • Brightly colored cloth for signaling out of the window
  • Towel to seal the gap under the door or to shield your face in the event of smoke. If it is possible, dampen towel for extra protection.
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency whistle or air horn
  • Non-perishable snacks such as hard candies, pre-wrapped crackers with cheese or peanut butter
  • Duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal in a doorway and windows

For additional information, go to Special Event Emergency Planning or Yale Emergency Management.