Emergencies are unpredictable events that can arise from a variety of circumstances. Accordingly, when frequenting School buildings or venues, members of the Manhattan School of Music community must be prepared to take action during any emergency to protect their well-being.
Although emergencies can vary greatly in terms of the damage they cause, many of the safety procedures taken in response to the emergency remain consistent. The following section describes four safety procedures that School students, faculty, staff, and visitors can take to promote their safety in an emergency situation.
Some procedures will be appropriate for certain hazards; other hazards may require the use of more than one – or a combination of procedures. The incident-specific procedures described below indicate which of these procedures, or combination of procedures, is most appropriate to the circumstance. But choosing the proper procedures should be done in consideration of your circumstances at the time.
Evacuation means to exit a facility as directly and safely as possible. Evacuation is appropriate when conditions inside a structure pose a threat to the health and safety of building occupants, and leaving the facility is safer than remaining inside of it. Fire or unsafe conditions within a building are examples of situations in which evacuation may be necessary.
Evacuation should occur through the nearest exit but, depending on the circumstances, an alternate or secondary evacuation route may need to be used.
Strategies for an Effective Evacuation
The goal of evacuation is to leave the premises as quickly and safely as possible. The following strategies MAY promote an effective evacuation:
Notifying Building Occupants
The School notifies its community of an emergency using a combination of notification systems, including fire alarms, P.A. announcements, personal notifications, website postings, and electronic notifications. However, due to the fast-moving nature of the event, it may not be possible to notify building occupants in a timely manner. Therefore, evacuation may be prompted by signaling of fire alarms or notification from building coordinators, law enforcement, or other building occupants that are aware of the immediate danger.
If you feel your safety is jeopardized and evacuating is an appropriate strategy given your circumstances, you do not have to wait for an official notification to evacuate.
Staff/Faculty Procedures for Evacuation
After an emergency evacuation, the procedure for accountability of employees is as follows: when each staff supervisor or faculty member (or their designee) evacuates their area or classroom, they should make best efforts to bring with them a complete listing of their employees and students, including their work stations. If students or employees are not accounted for, they should make best efforts to report the identity and last known location of missing persons to emergency responders for search and rescue operations.
Employees from each department will report to their Supervisor upon evacuation. Students should report to their faculty member, if applicable. Or, they should report to either the Dean of Students or the Director of Residence Life.
Evacuation for Persons with Disabilities
During an event that requires evacuation, a person with disabilities may have the following evacuation options:
Individuals with mobility impairments may not be able to exit a building without help from emergency response personnel. Persons who are unable to evacuate should await evacuation assistance in designated rescue locations, such as an Area of Rescue Assistance.
Safe Outside Assembly Locations
After evacuating, you should report to a pre-designated assembly area outside the building and wait for further instructions. Assembly areas are designated safe locations away from buildings or the hazardous location, where emergency officials can debrief regarding the incident.
MSM has one pre-selected site off-campus where community members are to meet:
If reporting to the assembly area is not safe or feasible, contact your supervisors, campus security, or resident assistants to inform them of your safety and location.
It is important to be aware of the nearest exits and building emergency evacuation routes prior to an emergency. Employees and students should take note of primary and secondary building evacuation routes before an event occurs, so that you will be equipped to act fast and ensure your safety.
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“Lockdown” is a temporary sheltering technique used to limit exposure of building occupants to an imminent hazard or threat. When “locking down,” building occupants will shelter inside a room and prevent access from the outside. “Lockout” is a variation, in which a hazard is known to be outside the building and access into a building is blocked by locking outside doors.
Lockdown and lockout are safety techniques typically used only in a sudden, extreme emergency involving a serious physical threat to building occupants, such as from an armed threat. They may also be used for protection from a dangerous emergency circumstance (such as a suspected explosive or chemical spill, where evacuation is not advisable).
Strategies for Effective Lockdown
No room can be made to be 100% inaccessible from an outside entrance, but below are a few strategies that can make a room more feasible for a lockdown:
If possible, the School will notify its community of an emergency using a combination of P.A. announcements, electronic notifications, sirens, personnel, law enforcement, social media, news outlets, or any other available communication method. Situations requiring lockdown, however, are typically fast-moving and sudden, so it may not be possible for the School to notify building occupants in a timely manner. The emergency may be prompted by signaling of fire alarms, activation of sprinkler systems, or notification from building coordinators, law enforcement, campus security, or other building occupants of an immediate danger.
“Lockout” or Restricted Access versus “Lockdown”
“Lockout” or restricting access to a building is different from a “lockdown” – a lockout involves ensuring that all entrances into a particular building or facility are inaccessible. The intent of lockout is to prevent an outside threat from entering a secure facility. When lockout procedures are activated, it is not necessary for internal doors to be locked and fortified – only external entrance ways need be locked.
“Lockout” and “Lockdown” in the Context of an Active Shooter Threat
Please consult the Active Shooter/Armed Threat Policies for how to react in the event of a lockdown or lockout scenario due to an active shooter on or around MSM’s campus.
Notifying Law Enforcement – Call 911 when you are safe to do so
If an event warrants locking down, notify law enforcement as soon as possible, but only if it is safe for you to do so. Call 911 or alert Campus Safety by dialing 917-493-4444.
Interacting with Law Enforcement
When law enforcement arrives on the scene in a circumstance involving suspected armed intruders or violent threat, their primary goal will be to neutralize the threat, not to assist injured victims. Victims will be treated when feasible by emergency medical personnel.
Law enforcement arriving on the scene will have limited information as to the location of the threat or the identity or description of any armed offender(s). Accordingly, when you interact with law enforcement, you must:
Providing Information to Law Enforcement
You may be in the position to provide information to law enforcement, either during a lockdown or after you have evacuated to safety. Information to be provided, to the extent known, to law enforcement as soon as possible in an armed intruder situation include(s):
“Shelter-in-Place” means to take immediate shelter where you are – at home, work, or school. When you are sheltering in place, the facility or structure where you are located will provide protection from elements outside (debris, chemical release, severe weather conditions etc.). A multitude of hazards can require sheltering in place; but, in general, sheltering-in-place is appropriate when conditions outside are unsafe and a higher degree of protection is available inside than through an evacuation.
A tornado or extreme wind event are two examples of an emergency that can require sheltering-in-place.
Strategies for Effective Sheltering-in-Place
To shelter-in-place effectively, you must first consider the hazard and then choose a safe place in the building to shelter. For example, in a tornado, a room should be selected that is in a basement or interior of the building. For a flood, you would move higher in the building. The following bullet points are general recommendations that may increase the effectiveness of sheltering-in-place:
How Long to Remain, and What to Do Next
Notification of Building Occupants
If possible, the School will notify its community of an emergency requiring shelter-in-place using P.A. systems, electronic notifications, social media, or website postings. Depending upon the circumstances, civil authorities, law enforcement, or news organizations may also provide notice. However, due to the fast-moving nature of the event, it may not be possible to notify building occupants in a timely manner using these electronic means of communication. Therefore, the need to shelter-in-place may be prompted by notification from building coordinators, campus security, law enforcement, or other building occupants that are aware of the immediate danger.
Shelter-in-Place for Individuals with Disabilities
Individuals with mobility impairments have the option of sheltering within an Area of Rescue Assistance. For additional information about how individuals with disabilities should protect themselves in an emergency, go to Emergency Information for Individuals with Disabilities
“Social distancing” is a public health safety intervention used to reduce the likelihood of transmitting communicable disease. Social distancing involves minimizing exposure to infected individuals by avoiding large public gathering venues, adhering to spacing requirements in the workplace, and following proper personal hygiene practices.
Social distancing is typically employed upon recommendation of public health officials during an epidemic or outbreak of communicable disease. It will usually be initiated only after discussions with public health officials, medical personnel, and civil authorities.
Strategies for Effective Social Distancing
The goal of social distancing is to limit exposure to infectious bacteria and viruses during a communicable disease outbreak. The following strategies may be useful in conducting social distancing:
Notifying the Campus
A social distancing protocol will most likely be communicated through electronic notifications, website postings, and communications by School administrators, civil authorities, and public health authorities.
Consult with a physician for recommendations on obtaining medical prophylaxis such as antibiotics or vaccine.
Closures or Cancellation of Performances or Venues
One strategy used for social distancing is to close venues or cancel events where large amounts of people may congregate. For information on closings of venues, cancellation of performances or public events, or other social distancing measures at the School, refer to the School’s website. Individuals should also consult public health entities’ websites for closings of any public or private venues in the area. Human Relations or Student Life may also assist with questions about telecommuting or other social distancing strategies.
Personal Protective Equipment
Recommendations for wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves or masks will be issued by public health authorities. If used correctly, such equipment may limit some exposures. They should not, however, take the place of other preventive interventions such as proper hygiene practices.
Individuals with compromised immune systems are encouraged to consult with their personal physicians to assess the safety of the workplace, classroom, or residence halls during an event that warrants social distancing. In the case of a student becoming immunocompromised, that person will be encouraged to remain in isolation in his or her dorm room until a sound medical plan can be established.
All Hazard Guide
Incident-Specific Emergency Directions
Individuals with Disabilities
Preparedness, Prevention, and Recovery
Precollege Reunification Plan
MSM Summer Reunification Plan