The building has an integrated fire alarm detection and notification system capable of detecting fires and smoke condition and initiating alert signals to the building occupants.

In the event of a fire alarm activation, employees should follow the instructions of their floor Fire Wardens and any announcement from the Fire Command Station through Emergency Announcement System.

There are several fire detecting and fighting devices located throughout the building like smoke detectors, sprinkler head devices, strobe lights, heat sensors, pull stations, fire extinguishers, stand pipe, etc. Employees can obtain emergency preparedness guides from the University Police Desk.


In the event of an emergency requiring evacuation from the building, the evacuation gathering areas (muster points) are:

  • Primary location – Grace Plaza at the corner of 43rd Street and 6th Avenue
  • Secondary location – Rockefeller Plaza on 6th Avenue between 48th and 50th Streets
  • Tertiary location – SUNY Global Center on 116 East 55th Street between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue

Should there be any patient or visitor with physical disability who will not be able to use the staircase unaided during an evacuation, the assigned floor evacuation personnel should relocate such individual(s) into the Handicap Holding Room and inform the Fire command Station or UPD of the location of such people needing assistance. UPD will respond to assist with the evacuation of such persons with disability out of the building safely.

Bomb Threats

Often times there are telephone notifications to convey the threat of an explosive device in a building. Should any member of the college community receive such threat, they should follow the steps below:

  • Keep the caller talking on the phone as long as possible to be able to obtain answers to 5 critical questions:
    • When will the bomb explode?
    • Where is the bomb located?
    • What kind of bomb is it?
    • What does it look it?
    • Why did you place the bomb?
  • Immediately after the caller hangs up the phone, they are to initiate a call trace by dialing 9*57, to place a trace on the call.
  • If you are in the area identified as being the floor where the bomb is presumed to be located, DO NOT USE YOUR CELL PHONE OR PAGERS.
  • Notify UPD at extension 5555, using the landline
  • Notify your supervisor
  • Follow directives issued by UPD in response to the threat

Bomb Threat Report Form

Violent Critical Incidents

Violent incidents such as Active Shooter incidents, Armed Intruder incidents, Barricaded persons or hostage situations, and violent felony offenses are covered in the college’s emergency response plan.

Employees are encouraged to be vigilant and to report suspicious behaviors to University Police Department.

The College policy and procedure on Sexual Harassment, Workplace Violence Prevention and Domestic Violence Prevention are available in the Personnel Office on the 9th floor.

Employees should be aware that Social Worker services are available in the buildings, should they need to consult with the Social Worker about problems they may be dealing with. Another resource available to NYS employees is the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and NYS Balance for referrals.


The threat of terrorism and terrorism related incidents are realities in today’s world. As such our emergency response plan covers threats of chemical explosives, radioactive threats, and the concept of sheltering in place.

Whenever the environment outside the college is contaminated and emergency alerts are advising occupants of our neighborhood to Shelter in Place, the following actions will be taken;

  • University Police will broadcast instructions on the Emergency Announcement System to relocate to the staging areas on the floor you are on.
  • For bio-chemical threats: occupants of the building will be relocated above the ground level to the safe holding areas.
  • For radiological or dirty bomb threats: Occupants will be relocated below the ground level to the safe holding area.
  • Facilities will shut down the air handling system in the building.
  • University Police will shut down the elevators and secured the entrances into the building
  • Everyone will be sheltered inside the building until an all-clear alert is received from local emergency responders to let people back out into the streets.

Severe Weather Emergencies

If the college will be impacted by severe weather and the college will be closed or classes canceled and/or clinical operations will be suspended, the president of the college, after due consultation, will issue closure or cancellation notices through the following outlets:

  • College website
  • Recorded message on the College’s main telephone number (212) 938-4000
  • Electronic Mail – Office 365 News Alerts
  • SUNY Optometry Emergency Notification System

Civil Disturbances

While this department recognizes and appreciates the significance of the provisions of the 5th Amendment, which guarantees the freedom of speech, the department will ensure that the nature of the disturbance is not in any way violating established rules and regulations. UPD will provide protection to both participants and members of the college community. If needed, the New York City Police Department will be notified to provide additional support and enforcement.

Environmental Hazards

Any type of hazards in the environment outside of the college premises may require an emergency response procedure to Shelter in Place. The college has developed shelter-in-place procedures in this regard and the details can be found in the College’s Emergency Response Plan.

Shelter in Place is an emergency response procedure where it will be prudent to remain indoors in a sealed and safe room or area when the environment outside the building is contaminated and deemed unsafe. This response procedure will be triggered upon notification from local emergency response agencies.

Pandemic Flu Planning

Resources about Pandemic Flu planning and the SUNY Response can be found at:

Emergency Communication/Notification

Notification to members of the college community during any emergency affecting the college will be made using the following outlets:

  • SUNY Optometry Emergency Notification System
  • In-house Emergency Announcement System
  • College website
  • Electronic Mail – Office 365
  • Recorded message on the main college telephone line (212) 938-4000
  • Word of mouth/phone tree/posted alert notices