MSM Emergency Response Plan

"What Do I Do If..."

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In the event of a fire, stay calm, notify the fire department (911), and follow the directions of fire department or School personnel. If immediate action is required, use your judgment as to the safest course of action, guided by the following information:

Fire Department Information Centers

Every building on campus is equipped with a Fire Department Information Center (FDIC). The FDIC contains an emergency pre-plan which provides details regarding the physical aspects of the building, impediments to evacuation, and floor plans. The FDIC in each building is:

  • In the Main Building, the Rahm Boardroom
  • In the Main Building, the main entrance at 130 Claremont Avenue
  • In Andersen Hall, the main lobby

Within each FDIC, Campus Safety has placed copies of all personal emergency plans (including names, room numbers, and contact information) for those persons who have submitted one. It has also placed data from the Confidential Self-Identification Questionnaire in the FDICs. The Director of Facilities and Campus Safety updates the FDICs semesterly.

Before Any Incident, Be Prepared

  • Know the location of the nearest red fire alarm pull box.
  • Know the location of at least two exits from your work place, dorm room, or classroom.
  • Count the doors or work spaces between you and the exit. In a power failure or smoke condition, it may be necessary to evacuate in the dark.
  • School policy mandates total building evacuation whenever the building interior fire alarm sounds, unless fire department authorities order otherwise.

Immediate Actions – Evacuating a Building

  • Remain calm.
  • Do not spend time looking for other people or gathering up your things.
  • Feel any door prior to opening. If it is cool, crack the door open to look for fire, smoke or other signs of danger. If the handle is hot, do not open the door but stay in the room until rescued. Directions for how to await rescue are immediately below.
  • If you can leave the room, close (but do not lock) doors and windows as you go.
  • Take your keys, in case you need to return to the space.
  • Immediately activate the fire alarm. If you are in an elevator, press the “call” button, and say what floor you are on.
  • If a corridor is passable, stay low to the floor, travel to the nearest enclosed interior stairwell (marked “Exit”), and leave the building immediately. Beat on doors and yell “Fire” as you go, to warn other occupants.
  • Use the stairs; NEVER, NEVER use the elevator.
  • IF conditions allow, provide assistance to persons with disabilities in leaving the building or getting to an interior stairwell or Area of Rescue Assistance so that emergency responders can assist them. Attempt assistance only if there is no immediate danger to you.

Immediate Action – Once You are Outside

  • Once you are safe, call 911 and report the exact location(s) and description of the fire to the operator. Also notify 911 if persons with disabilities are still in the building and need relocation or rescue – or if anyone else is injured or trapped within the building.
    Go to your building’s designated safe assembly area away from the affected building(s). Stay there.
  • Keep streets, fire lanes, hydrant areas, and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and workers. If requested, assist staff of the Fire Department, Police Department, or Campus emergency personnel as necessary.
  • NEVER, NEVER return to an evacuated building until given the “all clear” by Fire, Police, or School authorities.

Awaiting Rescue If You Cannot Exit a Room or Building

  • Remain calm.
  • Call 911; provide your name, phone number, and location; explain the condition preventing you from leaving.
  • Open – NEVER break – a window.
  • Hang or wave a sheet or towel out of the window to attract the attention of firefighters.
  • Stay at the window breathing fresh air as it enters.
  • If smoke enters the window from outside, close the window and stay close to the floor where the air is less contaminated with smoke. Breathe through your nose or shirt.
  • Periodically call out, loudly, for help so that emergency personnel can locate you.
  • Close door, seal cracks under door, and seal air ducts to prevent smoke from entering.

If a Person’s Clothing Catches Fire

  • If a person’s clothing is on fire, RUNNING will only fan the flames and cause a more serious burn.
  • If necessary, knock the person to the floor and roll the person over to smother the flames.
  • If you can, place the person under a cold shower, utilize a hose, use a fire extinguisher, or wrap him/her in a blanket (or whatever is available) to smother the flames.
  • If possible, then wrap the person warmly to avoid shock and immediately get emergency medical assistance by calling 911.

Using a Fire Extinguisher

  • If the fire is small, and ONLY if you have had training, use the proper type of fire extinguisher to control and extinguish the fire.
  • Do so ONLY after the fire alarm has been activated or the Fire Department called.
  • If you decide to use the fire extinguisher remember to position yourself between the fire and the exit.

When using an extinguisher, the key concept to remember is “PASS”

  • Pull the pin
  • Aim for the base of the fire
  • Squeeze the handle
  • Sweep from side to side

If use of a fire extinguisher does not immediately reduce the fire, do not keep trying. Immediately exit the area and, if possible, evacuate the building.

Follow the lead of the Manhattan School of Music “Fire Wardens”

In order to increase the ability of community members to exit the building in the case of a fire, MSM has selected Fire Wardens on each of its floors in both the Main Building and Andersen Hall. This team of wardens is trained twice annually by Corker Fire Drill company. These fire wardens will be strategically placed in key areas of each floor at MSM, aiding community members to find the most appropriate exit from the building.

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Medical Emergency

When you encounter a person in need of medical attention, immediately call 911 or Campus Safety at 917-493-4444. Within Andersen Hall, you can also contact Residence Life at 917-858-9915 or 917-858-9892.

  • Provide the operator with your name, exact location, and information regarding the nature and magnitude of the medical emergency.
  • Stay at the scene; do not leave the person needing medical attention until help arrives.
  • If you call 911, ALSO call Campus Safety or Residence Life after hanging up with 911.

If you are trained, provide appropriate first aid while awaiting the arrival of emergency responders.

  • If the operator instructs you to administer first aid while help is on the way, follow the operator’s instructions to the best of your ability.
  • Ask someone else to call Campus Safety, or Residence Life personnel who can also be of help in administering immediate first aid.

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Power Outage (Localized or City-Wide)

Immediate Actions, Wherever You Are

  • Remain calm.
  • Notify 911 and then immediately call Campus Safety (917-493-4444). Please note that Campus Safety may not be able to answer in case of a power outage.
  • During a power outage, elevators may not be used except under supervision of emergency personnel.
  • Provide assistance to persons with mobility-related disabilities or other disabilities that may prevent them from evacuating the area. Notify 911 or Campus Safety that you or another person has mobility-related or other disabilities and need to be relocated.
  • Provide assistance to other individuals in your immediate work or living area.
  • Secure files, turn off computers, unplug electronic equipment, and lock windows and doors as you leave.
  • Proceed cautiously to an area that has emergency lights.
  • Do not light candles or use any types of flames for lighting.

If You Are Trapped in an Elevator

  • Remain calm.
  • Notify 911 or Campus Safety about your situation and building location.
  • Campus safety and/or the New York City Police Department will be dispatched to your location to assist you.

What to Report to Authorities about a Power Outage

  • Report your location, name, and cell phone number, as well as the location of the power outage.
  • Report the extent of the power outage, if known.
  • Report any persons with disabilities who are in the area and may need to be relocated.

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Active Shooter or Armed Threat

If you find yourself in an Active Shooter event, your survival may depend on whether or not you have a plan. The plan doesn’t have to be complicated. There are three things you could do that make a difference: Run. Hide. Fight.

Run: If you can get out, do. Always try and escape or evacuate, even if others insist on staying. Encourage others to leave with you, but don’t let them slow you down with indecision. Leave your belongings behind and try to find a way to get out safely. Do NOT pull the fire alarm. Once you are out and safe, try to prevent others from entering the danger zone and call 9-1-1.

Hide: If you can’t evacuate safely, hide. Act quickly and quietly, try to secure your hiding place the best you can. Turn out lights and if possible, remember to lock doors. If the door does not lock, improvise and use large furniture/equipment to barricade yourself in. Silence your ringer and vibration mode on your cell phone.  If you can’t find a safe room or closet, try to conceal yourself behind large objects that may protect you. Do your best to remain quiet and calm.

Fight: As a last resort, if your life is at risk, whether you’re alone or working together as a group: Fight. Act with aggression. Improvise weapons and disarm the shooter. Commit to taking the shooter down, no matter what.


Try to be aware of your environment. Always have an exit plan. In an incident like this, victims are generally chosen randomly. The event is unpredictable and may evolve quickly. The first responders on the scene are not there to evacuate or tend to the injured. They are well trained and are there to stop the shooter.

Your actions can make a difference for your safety and survival. Be aware, and be prepared. Remember: Run. Hide. Fight.


  • If there is an escape path, attempt to evacuate.
  • Evacuate whether others agree to or not.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Help others escape if possible.
  • Prevent others from entering the area.
  • Call 9-1-1 when you are safe.


  • Lock and/or blockade the door.
  • Silence your cell phone.
  • Hide behind large objects.
  • Remain very quiet.

Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of the shooter’s view.
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction.
  • Not trap or restrict your options for movement.

Fight – As a last resort, and only if your life is in danger:

  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression.
  • Improvise weapons.
  • Commit to your actions.

When Law Enforcement Arrives:

  • Remain calm and follow instructions.
  • Keep your hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid pointing and yelling.
  • Know that help for the injured is on its way.

No one wants to consider the possibility of an armed threat, but you can protect yourself by knowing how to “Lockdown” and also by familiarizing yourself with these other strategies. For more information on response to an Active Shooter/Armed Threat, go to All Hazards Guide – Lockdown or Lockout.
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Bomb Threat or Suspicious Package

Bomb threats or suspicious packages present potentially very dangerous situations and should always be reported to authorities as soon as possible. It is important, however, to handle such situations properly in order to reduce the risk of serious injury to yourself or others.

What Are Some of the Things that Could Make a Package “Suspicious”?

  • Wrapped with an excessive amount of tape or string.
  • Rigid or bulky; lopsided or oddly shaped.
  • Protruding wires.
  • Strange odor, stains, discolorations, powder, or crystallization on envelope, box, or wrapping.
  • Arrives unexpectedly or comes from someone unfamiliar to you.
  • Sent with excessive postage, handwritten or poorly typed addresses, has incorrect titles, or uses only titles with no names, or has misspellings of common names.
  • Addressed to someone who is no longer at that location (or is otherwise outdated).
  • No return address given or uses a non-verifiable address.
  • Unusual weight for the size of the letter or package.
  • Displays delivery restrictions such as “Personal for” or “Confidential.”

If You Observe a Suspicious Object or Potential Bomb

  • Remain calm.
  • STOP! Do not touch the object!
  • Do not turn on lights or use any electronics or signal-generating appliance, other than landline phone; do not use a cellphone.
  • Secure the immediate area around the object to prevent others from touching the object.
  • Evacuate the immediate area if you can.
  • Notify 911 or Campus Safety immediately BUT DO NOT USE A CELLPHONE
  • Law enforcement will decide if the building should be evacuated; if so, use general evacuation procedures (go to “All Hazards – Evacuation”).

If You Receive a Suspicious Package by Mail or Messenger

  • STOP! Do not open the item any further.
  • Do not touch it or smell it.
  • Do not move the item or place it in water.
  • Do not shake it or open the contents.
  • Do not turn on lights or use any electronics or signal-generating applicance, other than landline phone; do not use a cellphone.
  • Secure the immediate area around the object to prevent others from touching the object.
  • Evacuate the immediate area if you can.
  • Notify 911 or Campus Safety immediately BUT DO NOT USE CELLPHONE.
  • Law enforcement will decide if the building should be evacuated; if so, use general evacuation procedures (go to “All Hazards – Evacuation”).
  • Wash your hands with soap and water. Others who have touched the object should also do so.
  • Provide information to authorities about the package, how you handled it, and who came into contact with the package.

If You Receive a Bomb or Attack Threat by Phone

  • Take a deep, calming breath.
  • If your phone has caller ID, record the number displayed.
  • Try to keep the caller on the line long enough to obtain the following information:
    • When is the bomb going to explode? When will the attack occur?
    • Where is the bomb located or the attack to occur?
    • What does the bomb look like?
    • What type of bomb is it?
    • Why was the bomb placed or attack planned?
  • Try to record the exact words spoken by the caller.
  • Make note of when the call came; the caller’s voice; the exact language used; and any background noise.
  • Call law enforcement at 911 or Campus Safety IMMEDIATELY after your call (or have someone else do it during your call) – but DO NOT USE A CELLPHONE.
  • Law enforcement will decide if your building or any of area of campus should be evacuated; if so, use general evacuation procedures (go to “All Hazards – Evacuation”).
  • Follow the directions of law enforcement.

If There Is an Explosion

  • Take cover under sturdy furniture or leave the building if directed to do so by law enforcement or Campus Safety.
  • Stay away from windows. Don’t light matches. Don’t use any electronics or turn light switches on or off.
  • Move well away from the site of the hazard (if known). Leave doors and windows open.
  • Use stairs; never use elevators.
  • Call 911 as soon as possible.

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Severe Weather/Natural Disaster

Severe Weather Preparedness

Some weather events and natural disasters are preceded by warnings and directives by federal and local emergency management personnel, as communicated by media sources. Others, like tornadoes and earthquakes, may occur suddenly and without warning.

When severe weather threatens, please check frequently for school and event closings at news sources, on the MSM website, and on your e-mail and SMS system. MSM will initiate notifications when severe weather bulletins are issued for the immediate area according to its Emergency Communications Strategy.

Please keep in mind that, during nearly any weather event, the safest place to be is inside a secure structure. Most injuries during a weather event or natural disaster occur as a result of broken glass, flying debris, wind, water, or cold.

Do not leave the safety of a building or initiate a building evacuation once severe weather strikes, without first consulting Campus Safety and determining whether evacuation is safe and recommended.

Different Weather Situations

Any kind of weather “watch”

During a “watch,” normal School operations will usually continue. Students and employees should keep a close eye on changing weather conditions and be prepared to take action when necessary. It is also advisable to plan what you will do and what items you will need should the storm arrive. Updates, including class and event cancellations, will be posted on the School’s website and sent out via email according to MSM’s Emergency Communications Strategy.
Weather “warnings”

  • When a tornado, thunderstorm, or wind “warning” has been issued, this means that one of these hazardous conditions has been spotted or identified on the radar or by observers on the ground. In other words, severe weather is imminent or already occurring in the area.
  • When thunderstorms or high winds immediately threaten the campus, the School will implement its established Emergency Communications Strategy and coordinate with building coordinators, as appropriate, to update the campus.
  • In the event a tornado has been spotted or Doppler radar indicates one is in the immediate vicinity, TV, radio, and emergency channels will broadcast information, the School will send electronic notifications if time permits, and P.A. systems will be used to notify those on campus to seek shelter and stay inside.


  • If authorities issue a tornado warning for our campus area, take shelter inside immediately.
  • Shelter in a designated shelter area, such as a basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If a building has no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level of the building (such as a closet or an interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck. Do not open windows.
  • Stay away from lobbies, walkways, atriums and other large glassed-in areas, and large open areas with a long roof span.
  • If you are outdoors, do not get under an overpass or bridge.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado, even in a car or truck. Leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter. If you cannot get out of a vehicle when a tornado hits, stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat, or other cushion.
  • Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

Heavy snow or blizzard

  • If a blizzard warning is issued, do not travel unless absolutely necessary; shelter in a sturdy building with reliable heat and a supply of food, water, and necessary medications.
  • Where blizzards threaten, please pay close attention to information as set forth on the School’s website or as broadcast by news outlets. These events are usually preceded by significant warning and opportunity for planning.
  • Check for school closings through news sources, MSM website, your email, and texts. Because of the dangers and difficulties of travel during blizzards or blizzard warnings, classes may be cancelled or School operations limited during the period of an active blizzard or until streets have been cleared and City operations fully resumed.


  • A hurricane “watch” means that an Atlantic hurricane (with sustained winds of at least 75 mph, substantial rain, hail, and possible tornadoes) may possibly reach our area within a few days; a hurricane “warning” means that such conditions are imminent.
  • If you are in a Manhattan School of Music building when a tropical storm (39-74 mph winds) or hurricane (75 mph winds) strikes, School or civil authorities will advise you whether and how to evacuate or shelter-in-place by utilizing MSM’s Emergency Communications Strategy.


Although earthquakes are an unusual occurrence in New York, they can happen. When they do, they occur without warning and may be so violent that you cannot run or crawl. The initial impulse may be to evacuate a building, but often it is not advisable, or even possible, to evacuate yourself from a building until the initial quake stops. In addition, recent studies of injuries and deaths caused by earthquakes in the U.S indicate you are much more likely to be injured by falling objects than crushed in a collapsed building.

Usually, the best strategy is to stay inside and “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”:

  • DROP to the ground or floor:
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
  • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

When Indoors: How to Drop, Cover, and Hold On

  • Drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it firmly. Be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.
  • If you are not near a desk or table, drop to the floor against the interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. If you are in bed, stay there.
  • Avoid exterior walls, windows, hanging objects, bookcases, mirrors, tall furniture, large appliances, and kitchen cabinets with heavy objects or glass. These may break or fall on you.
  • Do not try to go outside.
  • If you are in a high-rise, do not use the elevators.
  • Do not be surprised if sprinkler systems or fire alarms activate.
  • Once the shaking stops, Campus Safety or law enforcement will determine whether an evacuation or other emergency measure should be undertaken. If you are directed to do so, evacuate using general evacuation procedures.

In a Theater or Performance Space:

  • Spectators should stay where they are and protect their heads and necks with their arms. Performers and backstage personnel should follow directions for drop, cover, and hold on using indoor directions above.
  • Sprinkler systems and fire alarms may activate.
  • Stay indoors and do not try to leave until the shaking is over. Then follow directions from School personnel or law enforcement and, if directed to evacuate, walk out slowly watching for anything that could fall in the aftershocks.
  • Elevators should not be used.
  • School personnel should assist individuals, including audience members, with disabilities that may prevent evacuation from the building. Contact emergency personnel if any such individuals cannot exit the building or if anyone is injured.

When Outdoors or Driving

  • Move to a clear area if you can safely do so.
  • Avoid power lines, trees, signs, buildings, vehicles, and other hazards.
  • Pull over to the side of the road as soon as possible; stop; and set the parking brake.
  • Avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs, and other hazards. Leave your seat belt on and remain in the vehicle until the shaking is over. If a power line falls on the car, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.

What NOT to do in an earthquake

DO NOT run outside. Trying to run in an earthquake is dangerous, as the ground is moving and you can easily fall or be injured by debris or glass. Running outside is especially dangerous, as glass, bricks, or other building components may be falling. You are much safer to stay inside and get under a table.
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Gas Leak, Fumes, or Vapors

General Information About Gas and Gas Leak Risks

  • Natural gas, of the type piped into home heating and stove systems, is lighter than air and will rise.
  • Natural gas is odorless. To make it detectable, an odorant similar to the odor of rotten eggs is added. The odorant is noticeable when there is as little as 1% gas in the air.
  • Natural gas is highly flammable! It becomes flammable and will ignite if as little as between 5% and 15% gas is in the air and an ignition source is present. Ignition sources include pilot lights, sparks, matches, electrical switches, static electricity, and motors.
  • Liquefied petroleum gases (e.g., bottled propane) are heavier than air and will travel along the ground. They are also highly flammable.

Immediate Actions If You Suspect a Gas Leak

  • If a gas leak of any type is suspected, call 911 or Campus Safety (917-493-4444) from a SAFE, UNAFFECTED AREA. Do not call from the area of the potential leak.
  • Tell the operator who you are, where you are and where you smelled the odor.
  • Provide any information you may know about the odor, or any other hazardous materials possibly in the building.

What Else To Do

  • Remain calm. Shut off the source of the gas leak if immediately apparent, if it is easy to do (e.g., kitchen appliance, portable heater). But ONLY shut down the leak source if you have the knowledge and ability to do so without jeopardizing your personal safety.
  • Immediately evacuate the building/area.
  • Identify persons with mobility related disabilities; help them exit the area if possible but, if not, immediately notify authorities that they need relocation.
  • Leave ventilation systems operating when you evacuate.
  • Open windows and ventilate the area, if possible, but do not break windows.
  • When possible, use enclosed stairways to exit if you are not on the building entrance level.


  • DO NOT use a land-line phone, touch anything electrical, or touch light switches.
  • DO NOT activate the fire alarm system.
  • DO NOT use elevators in the area.
  • DO NOT return to the evacuated area until it is declared safe by fire and safety officials.

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Civil Disturbance/Demonstration

Most campus or nearby demonstrations such as marches, meetings, picketing or rallies will be peaceful and non-obstructive and should not be interfered with. Most will not trigger any level of concern. However, an immediate notification should be made to Campus Safety (917-493-4444) or 911 if any of the following occurs:

  • Interference with normal operations of the School.
  • Prevention of access to office, buildings, or other School facilities.
  • Threat of physical harm to persons or damage to School facilities.

Peaceful, Non-Disruptive Demonstrations

  • Notify Campus Safety with details and information.
  • Do not interrupt or become involved with the participants.
  • Efforts should be made to conduct School business as usual.

Non-Violent but Disruptive Demonstrations

  • Notify Campus Safety with details and information.
  • Do not interrupt or become involved with the participants.
  • In the event that a demonstration blocks access to School facilities or interferes with the operation of the School, Campus Safety or law enforcement will ask the demonstrators to terminate the disruptive behavior.

Violent, Disruptive Demonstrations

In the event that a violent demonstration in which injury to persons or property occurs or appears imminent:

  • Notify 911 and Campus Safety (917-493-4444).
  • Do NOT interrupt or become involved with the participants.
  • If you are indoors, use a “Lockout” approach. Close and lock all doors and windows, lower blinds, stay in groups, and await updates from the School. If evacuation is necessary or ordered, follow instructions and announcements from the School or law enforcement.
  • If you are outdoors, immediately leave the area, stay in groups, and seek shelter indoors.
  • The School will alert and update the campus community on developments and conditions of the event via e-mail, text, and on the website. It will implement its “Emergency Communications Strategy.”

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Major Water Leak/Flood

Immediate actions

  • Identify the source.
  • If you know the source of the water and are confident of your abilities to stop it (e.g., unclog drain, turn off water), do so cautiously.
  • Remember that the biggest risks in a flooding situation are drowning; illness from contaminated water; or electrocution. How you respond depends upon whether or not any of these risks appear to be present. Unless evacuation presents an imminent risk, leave the area immediately.
  • Campus security or law enforcement will assess the situation and determine whether further emergency measures (such as evacuation or Shelter-in-Place) are warranted.

Contact Authorities

  • Call 911 and Campus Safety (917-493-4444) in the event of a dangerous flooding situation; call Campus Safety (917-493-4444) for facilities operations if a leak does not appear to pose a present threat.
  • What to report: your name, your phone number, and the location and severity of the leak or flood; location of any individuals needing evacuation assistance; location of any valuables needing relocation.

Provide assistance

Provide assistance to persons with mobility-related disabilities or others who need help. Immediately notify Campus Safety (917-493-4444) if persons with mobility-related disabilities or others are in a flooding area and need to be relocated.
Use EXTREME Caution

  • If there are electrical appliances or outlets near the flooding area, use extreme caution.
  • If possible, turn off electrical circuit breakers to the area.
  • Avoid standing in flood water, as it can carry electrical current.
  • If there is ANY possible danger, evacuate the area.
  • Flood water can be contaminated. Avoid contact with sewer water, as it poses a serious health risk.
  • Avoid walking through moving water. As few as six inches of moving water can knock a person down.

Stop to protect items from water damage only if it is safe to do so

  • Only stop to protect property if the leak or flood does not threaten physical safety of you or others.
  • Cover items with plastic sheeting, if you are able to do so.
  • Carefully remove small or light objects out of the emergency area.

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Suicide Threats and Psychological Emergencies

A person suffering a psychological emergency or considering suicide may display pre-violent behavior before acting out. These behaviors can vary greatly depending on an individual’s personality, resolve for destruction or even level of intoxication, thus making it difficult to describe. The signs may not be obvious to a stranger or only detectable because of a level of intimacy shared with a person in crisis.

Anytime you encounter behavior that you believe might imminently lead to violence toward the person or others, call 911 immediately. You also should not hesitate to contact the C.A.R.E. team here if you are concerned but do not think the situation is an emergency.

If you are with a person who appears solely intent on self-destruction, remain with him or her only if you believe it is safe to do so. While keeping an eye on him or her, call 911 and describe for the Operator the person’s behavior. If at any time you feel threatened, you should leave the person alone and go to a place where you can safely call 911.

Stay on the phone with the 911 operator until the Operator ends the call. Provide information requested, including the identity of the person at risk, your location, the location of the person at-risk, and the basis for concern.

If such an emergency occurs in Andersen Hall, you should also feel free to contact a Residence Life representative or Campus Safety (917-493-4444).

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Serious Behavioral Concerns

Emotional and mental wellness is an enormous concern within the campus community. There are far too many examples of what can happen when stress, physical abuse, substance abuse, chemical imbalances, and other issues overwhelm others, leading them to lose the ability to function – or even act destructively toward themselves or others.

Often, people caught in such a struggle will indicate their situation through behaviors like:

  • Noticeable changes in personality, mannerisms or appearance
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and disinterest in once pleasurable activities
  • Reduced productivity or performance, persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating
  • Increasing moodiness, irritability or hostility
  • Expressing feelings of despair

What to do if you are concerned

  • Concerns about the behavior or emotional stability of a classmate or colleague should be communicated to the C.A.R.E. Team, to the Dean of Students, to the Vice President for Administration and Human Relations, to Residence Life, or to Campus Safety. During off hours, students can contact Dr. Shara Sand at 917-734-9168.
  • Early intervention and support may help a person struggling with issues to avoid long term problems, better manage his or her condition and reestablish behavioral stability. In serious situations, early intervention may even avert suicide or violent behavior towards others.
  • Some faculty, staff, or students hesitate to report behavioral concerns, fearing that such reports are prohibited by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or other privacy laws. But laws such as FERPA include exceptions permitting reporting of information about students who have demonstrated concerning behaviors. It is in everyone’s best interest to intervene quickly to prevent potentially tragic consequences.
  • If you have immediate health and safety concerns surrounding a person’s behavior because of written or spoken threats, previous violence or abuse, violations of the law or School policy, possession of firearms or other weapons, or observations of concern, you should call Campus Safety (917-493-4444) or 911.

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Sexual Misconduct

Manhattan School of Music is committed to creating an environment in which students and employees feel safe to live, work, and focus upon education and art. The School is strongly committed to minimizing the occurrence of sexual misconduct, to providing needed support to individuals who have been impacted by sexual misconduct, and to providing prompt and equitable investigation and resolution of allegations. To review the School’s complete policy, please go to Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy.

If you believe you have been the victim of sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault), you have many reporting options and options for obtaining support, treatment, and resources

  • If you wish to make a police report, call 911.
  • If you believe you are the victim of violence, get to a safe place and get help. You have the option of calling 911 or contacting Campus Safety, the Title IX Coordinator, Residence Life, or any other office at the School.
  • The Title IX Coordinator is charged with providing information, support, and resources to a victim or complainant of sexual misconduct. The Coordinator, Carol Matos, may be reached at 917-493-4450 or In the off hours, students should reach out to MSM’s trained official by calling 917-493-4161 and asking for April Jenkins.
  • You have the option of pursuing a criminal complaint and/or filing an internal Title IX complaint with the School, if the incident falls under the School’s Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy. You also may elect not to file either or both complaints; you will still be supported and be provided resources as set forth in the School’s Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  • If you want or need medical care, also call 911 or contact the School’s Title IX Coordinator for support and options. You may also go to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital or another hospital near you for help and to preserve evidence. Please see the Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy for more information about medical help, complaint process, and interim resources and support.

Further assistance is available from

  • The Dean of Students, the Vice President for Administration and Human Relations, or the Director of Residence Life.
  • MSM’s Counseling Staff located on the 6th Floor of Andersen Hall (Dr. Shara Sand: 917-734-9168).
  • Other resources identified in the Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy.

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Communicable Disease

In the event of an epidemic or outbreak of communicable disease, the School will work closely with public health and civil authorities to determine whether social distancing plans should be implemented, including but not limited to class cancellations, closure of public venues, and other appropriate protective measures. The School’s goal is to keep the campus community healthy and safe.

The School will update the campus community through a combination of website and social media postings, electronic notifications, and other methods, should any such emergency procedures or public health notifications be warranted. In the case of a flu outbreak, please check the School’s website frequently and follow guidance on changes to campus operations.

Serious respiratory illness like influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread by coughing or sneezing and unclean hands. General tips for reducing your risk during a flu or any other epidemic may include:

  • Engaging in preventative hygiene measure such as covering cough and washing hands.
  • If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Put your used tissue in a waste basket.
  • Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing, by washing with soap and water. If washing your hands is impossible, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • You may consider wearing a surgical mask to protect others.
  • Getting a vaccination, if you are deemed eligible, in accordance with public health guidelines.
  • Protecting yourself and others by contacting your healthcare provider and staying home if you are feeling ill.
  • Taking safety precautions when traveling to areas affected by disease.

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