Emergency Information

Bomb Threat | Chemical Spill | Civil Disturbance | Earthquake | Elevator Entrapment | Explosion | Fire | Flooding | Hostage | Medical | Power Outage | Seasonal Flu | Severe Weather | Shooter | Suicide Attempt | Suspicious Package | Contact

Basic Emergency Instructions for Students, Faculty, & Staff

Call 911 (dial 9 first if calling from a Cooper phone) if you believe there is a serious emergency. If in doubt, err on the side of making the call.

Contact a security desk.

Foundation building: x180 (212.353.4180)
41 Cooper Square: x270 (212.353.4270)
Dorm: x4050 (212.353.4050)

Stay on the Scene only if you can do so with no risk to yourself. If possible, stay until the arrival of: Fire/Police/Person in Charge (Director of Public Safety or Engineer on Duty).

General telephone: 212.353.4100

How to speak to 911

1. Stay calm. Someone's life may depend on it.

2. Give vital information:

  • Your name
  • The phone number you are calling from
  • The exact location of the emergency-street address, floor, and room number
    7 East 7th Street (not Foundation Building)
  • Cooper Square (not New Academic Building)
  • Third Avenue (not Residence Hall)
  • State the nature of the emergency.
  • Do not downplay the severity of the emergency.
    Describing an injury as a cut may yield a 45-minute response time by an EMT. Describing an injury as a 'severed finger' may yield a 3-minute response time from a (more highly trained) paramedic.
    Particulary important: chest pain, heavy bleeding, difficulty breathing, unconscious.

3. Follow the dispatcher's directions. Don't hang up until directed to do so.

In the event of a localized emergency, you may be directed to relocate between buildings:

Washington Square Park
Fifth Avenue & Washington Square North
Under the "Arch" at the north end of the park, weather permitting.

Particular Emergencies

Bomb Threat

  1. Call 911.
  2. Contact a guard.
  3. Wait for further instructions.

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Chemical Spill

  1. Evacuate the area.
  2. Contact a guard.

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Civil Disturbance

  1. Avoid the area of disturbance.
  2. Avoid provoking or obstructing the demonstrators.
  3. Stay away from glass doors or windows.
  4. If a class or lecture is disrupted, the offending person(s) should be asked to leave. If they refuse, call the police at 911.
  5. Stay away from glass doors or windows.
  6. Wait for instructions.

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  1. "Duck/cover/hold"—under a desk, table or chair, between rows of seats in classrooms, against a corridor wall.
  2. If you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped.
  3. If safe to do so, turn off and disconnect power to equipment containing hazardous materials unless needed to keep process or experiment safe.
  4. Stay away from glass doors or windows.
  5. Make note of any unsafe conditions, trapped personnel or other hazards to be reported when you evacuate.
  6. Stay away from glass doors or windows.
  7. Wait for instructions.


  1. Evacuate after the shaking stops, if directed to do so.
  2. Stay away from glass doors or windows.
  3. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS. If there is a fire and the alarmhas not triggered, pull a pull station.
  4. Do not use plumbing, light switches, or gas until utility lines have been checked.
  5. Stay away from glass doors or windows.
  6. Wait for instructions.

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Elevator Entrapment / Malfunction

  1. Do not try to force the doors open or attempt to get out of the elevator on your own.
  2. Use the emergency call button and report the situation. Pressing this button places a call to a 24 hour emergency dispatcher (the elevator company)—specify which building you are in and which elevator.
  3. Push the alarm button. This audibly notifies Cooper staff of a problem.

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If inside the building:

  1. Seek cover under a desk, table or other heavy furniture which can provide protection from flying glass and debris.
  2. Remain inside the building until it is safe to exit. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.
  3. While exiting: check for fire, pull the fire alarm if necesary, note other hazards and any remaining personnel.
  4. Take emergency supplies, keys and other personal items, if it is safe to do so.

If trapped with the exit blocked:

  1. Call 911.
  2. Be prepared for additional explosions, crawl under a desk or table for protection.
  3. Stay away fromwindows,mirrors, overhead fixtures, filing cabinets, bookcases and electrical equipment.
  4. Do not use matches or lights.

If smoke or fire is present:

  1. Wedge cloth material along the bottom of the door to keep out smoke.
  2. Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire.

If outside the building:

  1. Stay clear of buildings and other falling hazards.
  2. Call 911.

If trapped in debris:

  1. Stay calm.
  2. If a window is available, place an article of clothing (shirt, coat, etc.) outside the window as a marker for rescue crews. If there is no window, tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are.
  3. If possible, use a flashlight to signal your location to rescuers.
  4. Cover your nose and mouth with anything you have on hand. (Dense-weave cotton material can act as a good filter. Try to breathe through the material.)
    5. Shout only as a last resort.

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  1. Call 911.
  2. Contact a guard.
  3. Stay away from glass doors or windows.
  4. Wait for further instructions.


  1. Pull a pull station (if the fire alarm has not triggered).
  2. Call 911.
  3. Contact a guard.
  4. If you can do so from a safe vantage point, pull doors shut, use a fire extinguisher. Pull pin / Aim at base of fire / Squeeze nozzle / "Sweep."

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Flooding or Water Damage

  1. Contact a guard.
  2. If you can do so safely, shut off all non-essential electrical equipment.
  3. Evacuate the immediate vicinity.

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Hostage Situation

  1. Remove yourself from danger.
  2. Call 911 with the following information:
    • Location of incident.
    • Number and description of hostage takers.
    • Number and description of hostages.
    • Your name, location and phone number.

    If you are taken hostage:

    • Remain calm, be polite and cooperate with your captors.
    • Speak normally.
    • Observe the captors and try to memorize their physical traits, clothing or other details that can help provide a description.
    • Try to establish a relationship with your captors and get them to know you. You want the captor to think of you as a person not as an object. Captors are less likely to harm you if they respect you.
    • If forced to present terrorist demands to authorities, state clearly that the demands are from your captors.
    • Avoid making a plea on your own behalf.
    • Try to stay low to the ground or behind cover away from windows or doors.
    • Do not complain, avoid being belligerent and comply with instructions.
    • Do not draw attention to yourself with sudden body movements, statements, comments or hostile looks.
    • If possible, dial 911 and leave the connection open.

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  1. Call 911 and wait for an ambulance (DO NOT self-transport or provide transportation to others).
  2. Contact a guard.
  3. Administer first aid, AED/CPR if trained to do so, and comfortable doing so.
  4. Stay away from glass doors or windows.
  5. Wait for EMS to appear. If no prompt response of EMS, call 911 again.
  6. Stay away from glass doors or windows.
  7. Report injury as per instructions on Incident Report Form.

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Power Outage

  1. Contact a guard.

For labs:

  • Keep lab refrigerators/freezers closed during outage.
  • Secure all vital equipment, records, experiments and hazardous materials if safe to do so.
  • Store all chemicals in their original or marked containers and fully open all fume hoods if the emergency generator does not work.
  • If this is not possible, or natural ventilation is not adequate, evacuate the area until power is restored.

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Seasonal Flu and Pandemic Influenza

Seasonal flu occurs every year, typically in the fall and winter. Pandemic flu is different. It is a global outbreak of the influenza disease that occurs when a new influenza virus appears in the human population. Because people have little or no immunity to the new strain, serious illness can occur, and the virus can spread easily and rapidly from person to person with no vaccine immediately available. In the event that a pandemic poses a threat to the Cooper community, campus officials will issue regular updates through the use of the Emergency Notification System (ENS), email, telephone and other media. There also will be regular updates via Cooper’s home page http://www.cooper.edu.

  1. If you are sick, stay home.
  2. If you have a temperature, stay home.
  3. The best prevention is to wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water.
  4. Avoid close contact with those known to be ill.
  5. Stay away from glass doors or windows.
  6. Cooper provides hand sanitizer in each of its buildings. Use them.

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Severe Weather

  1. Wait for instructions
  2. Check your email
  3. Check this website

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  1. Call 911.
  2. Contact a guard if safe to do so.
  3. Shelter-in-place—do not evacuate.
  4. Wait for instructions.
    Shelter-in-place means:
    • Turn off lights.
    • If there are interior blinds, close them.
    • Move heavy furniture against doors.
    • If you cannot speak, leave phone lines open.
    • Do not leave cover until told to do so by authorities.
    • Avoid overcrowding— if in a common space/corridor, spread to several rooms if feasible.
    • If already in a room, stay there.
    • Close shades/blinds.
    • Prefer interior rooms above first floor.
    • Do not sound fire alarms (unless there is a fire)— this may put people in harm’s way.

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Suicide Attempt

  1. Call 911—specify "individual attempting suicide."
  2. Contact a guard.

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Suspicious Package/Mail

  1. Keep handling of package to a minimum.
  2. Remove yourself from the area.
  3. Call 911.
  4. Contact a guard.
    Look for:
    • Protruding wires or aluminum foil
    • Strange odors or stains.
    • An unusual amount of tape.
    • Buzzing, ticking or a sloshing sound.
    • Irregular shape, soft spots or bulges.
    • Excessive weight for its size.
    • Letter bombs may feel rigid or appear uneven or lopsided.

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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.