Emergency Preparedness

For emergency assistance in the event of a fire, serious injury, major chemical spill or urgent police matter, call extension 100 (from a campus phone) or 617-253-1212.

This page serves as a reference point for information about various types of emergencies that could affect members of the Biological Engineering Department and Center for Environmental Health Sciences at MIT. During an actual emergency it is important to follow any incident-specific information provided by MIT, emergency responders, or government organizations. Information on current emergencies at MIT can be found on MIT's Emergency Page.

Emergency Preparedness Plan training slides and video are available on our BE EPP Training page.

MIT Emergency Number  (x100 or 617-253-1212) 

  • Hours: 24/7
  • Call for the following:
    • Police - theft, intruder, suspicious activity, vandalism, suspicious, package, workplace, violence, bomb threat
    • Ambulance - Lifethreatening injury or exposure
    • Fire Department – Fire, explosion, major chemical spill

MIT Medical Urgent Care (617-253-4481)

  • Hours: 24/7 advice line; 8 am – 8 pm daily for walkin at Bldg E23
  • Call for Non-emergency medical advice or to report coming in for medical attention

Facilities Emergency Number (617-253-4948; FIXIT)

  • Hours: 24/7
  • Covers buildings managed by MIT, including bldgs. 16,26, and 56
  • Call for Emergency building issues such as:
    • HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning)
    • Water leaks
    • Wet floor
    • Fume hood/BSC problem
    • Cold/warm room issue
    • Natural gas odor
    • Non-chemical odors
    • Fire Alarm questions
    • Door/lock issues
    • Broken windows
    • Bathroom overflows
  • Also use to contact EHS after hours - request EHS on-call person.

EHS Office (617-452-3477; 2-EHSS)

  • 8AM – 5 PM (after hrs dial 617-253-4948 and request EHS on-call)
  • EHS issues requiring immediate attention such as:
    • Minor chemical spill advice
    • Biological or radioactive material spill assistance
    • Strong odor or other air quality concern
    • Exposure concern
    • Report extinguished fire
    • Report chemical release to drain (small qty)

Evacuation Locations

Building NE47 Evacuation Locations

  • A. Primary Location: Technology Square
  • B. Backup Location: North Court (Green Area Behind the Koch Institute)   
  • C. Primary Inclement Weather Location: 46 Lobby (Picower/McGovern)
  • D. Backup Inclement Weather Location: 76 Lobby (Koch Institute)


Building 16 and 56 Evacuation Locations

  • A. Primary Location:  Eastman Court
  • B. Backup Location: Green area between 26 & 32 
  • C. Primary Inclement Weather Location: Stata Student St.  
  • D. Backup Inclement Weather Location: 76 Lobby (Koch Institute)


Building 26 Evacuation Locations

  • Primary Location:  Green area between 26 & 32 
  • Backup Location: Eastman Court 
  • Primary Inclement Weather Location: Stata Student St.  
  • Backup Inclement Weather Location: 76 Lobby (Koch Institute)

Building 76 (KI) Evacuation Locations

  • Primary Location:  North Court (Grassy Area in Courtyard by KI)
  • Backup Location: In front of Biology (Bldg 68) along Ames Street
  • Primary Inclement Weather Location: Stata Lobby
  • Backup Inclement Weather Location: Biology (Bldg. 68) Lobby

Table of Contents: Click on a topic to go directly to that section of the page.

Emergency Procedures

Roles and Responsibilities

Communications and Alarms

Useful Links

Emergency Procedures


EMERGENCY EVACUATION/INSTRUCTIONS:  Please refer to the emergency evacuation maps posted in the corridors for emergency escape routes, fire alarm pull stations and designated meeting locations.

Do not run if your clothes catch fire.  Drop to the floor and roll back and forth to smother flames.  Call for help.  

  1. Activation of Building Fire Alarm:
    1. To launch the building fire alarm, activate a fire alarm pull station located next to exit doors at hallway stairwells and the building entrance/ exit.   
    2. ALWAYS assume there is a fire when the alarm activates.
  2. When the alarm activates, or if instructed:
    1. Evacuate immediately using the nearest enclosed EXIT stairwell or EXIT if on ground floor.
    2. Before opening EXIT door(s), check if door or knob feels hot, which may indicate a fire in the stairwell, corridor, or next room.
    3. After checking for temperature, slowly open the door and check for smoke.  If necessary, close door and proceed immediately to another EXIT stairwell.
    4. WALK, never run.  Keep to the right of hallways and stairwells.
    5. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS. The shaft may act like a chimney, and the car may stop at the floor(s) where the fire is located.  Elevators may also act like giant pistons, pushing smoke and fire to other portions of the building.  
    6. Continue to leave the building, even if the alarm stops. 
    7. Leave the building, including lobby areas.  Failure to do so is considered interference with fire-fighting operations; violators of this Massachusetts State Law are subject to a fine, imprisonment, or both.
    8. Once outside, move away from the building to allow room for the firefighters and their equipment.  Proceed to designated meeting location. 
  3. Please complete the following as you leave, if it is possible to do so safely and quickly:
    1. Alert others around you.
    2. Shut off heat-producing electrical appliances in the lab and in offices.
    3. Stop your work. If possible lower fume hoods and turn off electronics.
    4. Close your office door and window and leave the lights on.
    5. Gather your personal belongings, keys and/or medications in the event you are not allowed to re-enter the building for an extended period of time.
    6. Assist any special-needs people in evacuating.
  4. Once at the designated meeting location:
    1. If the building has been evacuated for a chemical or other spill, do NOT leave the designated meeting area until cleared by Cambridge Fire Department or the MIT Incident Commander.  If the possibility exists that individuals were exposed or contaminated, medical follow up may be necessary.
    2. Give any information you have about the fire, any injuries, or anyone who might still be in the building, to any of the following:  your EHS Representatives, your EHS Coordinator, Department/Building Emergency Coordinator,  emergency volunteers, supervisor, Incident Commander (IC), Fire Department, MIT Emergency Response Team (ERT), or MIT Campus Police.  Look for the "white hat."  The Cambridge Fire Department IC and MIT's ERT IC will both have white hats.  More information on the roles of emergency responders is in the "Roles and Responsibilities" section of this page.
    3. Do not re-enter the building for any reason until the Cambridge Fire Department, MIT Campus Police, or the MIT EHS Office indicate it is safe to do so.    
  5. If you can not leave the building because all exits are obstructed:
    1. If there is dense smoke, crawl or stay low to the floor where there is cleaner and cooler air.
    2. Get to a phone in a smoke-free room, dial 100 or (617) 253-1212, and let the dispatcher know where you are. 


If your area experiences a flood from a ruptured plumbing line, natural disaster, or uncontrolled leak from an overhead or adjacent room, follow these steps:

  1. Do not make contact with the water.
  2. If possible, shut off electrical equipment.
  3. Evacuate the building in a direction that is away from the flooding source.  
  4. From a safe location, report the incident to the Operations Center (617-253-1500) or contact 617-253-4948 (FIXIT) if the flooding source is from a plumbing or building structural source.

Water/Steam Outage

Effects of water and steam outages:

  1. Loss of water will compromise fire suppression systems and safety showers/eyewashes.  
  2. A steam outage will compromise comfort heat along with cooling systems for laboratory equipment.  

Actions to take - water outage:

  1. Occupants in laboratories or other spaces where flammable, corrosive, toxic or reactive chemicals are used should evacuate in the event of loss of water.
  2. An attempt should be made to stabilize or power off experiments provided this can be done without compromising the individual's personal safety.  

Actions to take - steam outage:

  1. In the event of a steam outage, laboratory operations reliant on this utility for cooling should be stabilized or powered off.  

Building occupants should follow the real time guidance available through http://emergency.mit.edu or from MIT Alert messages for water/steam outages if the event is not resolved within one hour's time. 

Gas Leak or Ventilation Outage

If you smell natural gas:  

  1. Cease all operations immediately.  
  2. Do not switch lights on or off.  
  3. Evacuate area as soon as possible.  
  4. Call Department of Facilities from outside the area (617-253-1500 or 617-253-4948).  

If you smell odors coming from a ventilation system:

  1. Immediately notify the Facilities Operations Center (617-253-1500) and the EHS Office (617-452-3477) and request that the ventilation be turned off.  
  2. If necessary, evacuate the building and go to the emergency evacuation location.  
  3. If smoke is present, pull the fire alarm station.   

Power Outage

A major power outage may not in itself be destructive, but a resulting panic or fire could endanger life and property.  Panic can be averted by a public announcement explaining the situation, a prompt decision on the need to cancel classes or meetings in progress, or a decision to evacuate the building.  

Power outage in lab:

  1. In laboratory buildings, fume hoods do not operate during a power outage and most laboratories should not be occupied until power is restored.  
  2. Fume hoods should be closed when power is out.  

Stuck in elevator:

  1. Use the emergency telephone to call for assistance.  
  2. If the elevator does not have an emergency telephone, activate the emergency alarm to signal your need for help.

General power outage procedures:

  1. Do not use candles for light. Use flashlights.
  2. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors close to prolong lifespan of food inside.
  3. Turn off or disconnect eqlectrical equipment that could be damaged during a power surge.
  4. Dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Buildings and houses may get excessively hot or cold depending on the outsde conditions. Emergency shelters may be set up for prolonged outages. Monitor the MIT website and local government websites for notifications of available emergency services.
  5. Pay attention to any instructions provided by MIT, local government, or emergency personnel. 

When power is restored, check equipment and any experiments that were running when the outage started. Report any potential power problems to Facilities and any non-emergency safety issues resulting from the outage to be-ehs@mit.edu.

IT Outage

An IT Outage will be evaluated by the Desktop Team or IS&T.  If the outage is expected to be resolved within 30-60 minutes, staff will remain in the office.  If the outage is expected to surpass that timeframe those who are able to work remotely will do so, and those unable to will be relocated to a neighboring office. 

Note that during an IT outage emergency notifications to the MIT community may be delayed.

Severe Weather: Snowstorm, Ice Storm, Hurricane, Tornado

Severe weather can pose serious threats to university personnel.  In the event of a severe weather warning, it is important to REMAIN CALM at all TIMES.  

  • Before severe weather:
    • Listen for any evacuation directions in advance of a major weather event, and follow orders given by local and state authorities.    
    • When severe weather occurs, the MIT Administration will determine whether Institute offices will be closed.  Check the MIT web page, call 617-253-SNOW (x3-7669), or tune in to local TV and radio broadcasts for information.
    • Note that during severe weather events emergency responders, EHS, and Facilities personnel may be busy dealing with weather-related emergencies or may face weather-related delays in reaching you. If you work in a lab, do not conduct any experiments that could be immediately dangerous to life or health.
    • Power outages may occur during severe weather events. Prepare lab and office spaces for potential outages prior to sever weather when possible. VOIP campus phones will not work during power outages. 
  • Snowstorms and Ice Storms
    • Stay indoors during the storm.
    • Walk carefully on snowy or icy walkways. 
  • Hurricanes
    • Follow evacuation orders from local officials, if given.
    • Check the MIT emergency page (web.mit.edu/emergency) for MIT-specific instructions and information on Institute closings.
    • If a hurricane is approaching, shut down any experiments in preparation for potential power outages, floods, or extended Institute closings.
  • Thunderstorms and Tornados
    • If the weather appears threatening (e.g., the sky turns "green"/suddenly becomes very dark, or wind suddenly howls furiously, listen for an alert warning through a media device.
    • If you are outside, move inside as quickly as possible.
    • For tornado warnings:
      • Move to an interior room or basement.      
      • Avoid upper floors, large glass areas, and windows.
      • If the floor begins to shake, take shelter under a desk or heavy table and cover your head.     
    • Severe lightning/hurricanes:  
      • Move inside and stay away from trees, power lines and electrical equipment.  
      • Stay away from windows.   
  • FOLLOWING a severe weather event:
    • Dial 100 (617-253-1212) to report injuries requiring immediate medical attention.
    • Return to your location if it has been deemed safe to do so.
    • Survey your area and report any structural or equipment damage to your Department/Building Emergency Coordinator.
    • Report any safety-related damage or issues to EHS.
    • Watch for emerging gas leaks, electrical system damage, and sewer/water line damage.
    • Stay away from any downed power lines.
    • Do not handle live electrical equipment in wet areas.
    • Be sure power is off before entering flooded areas.  


During an eathquake

  • If indoors:
    • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Do not exit a building during the shaking. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
    • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
    • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
    • Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
    • Do not use a doorway except if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway and it is close to you. Many inside doorways are lightly constructed and do not offer protection.
    • DO NOT use the elevators.
    • Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
  • If Outdoors:
    • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
    • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
  • If in a vehicle:
    • Stop as quickly and safely as possible.
    • Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
    • Stay in the vehicle until the earthquake has stopped.
    • Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that the earthquake may have damaged.

After an earthquake

  • If there is a clear path to safety, leave the building and go to an open space away from damaged areas. 
  • If Trapped Under Debris:
    • Do not light a match.
    • Do not move about or kick up dust.
    • If you have a cell phone, use it to call or text for help.
    • Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing. Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
  • Be prepared to "drop, cover, and hold on" in the event of aftershocks.
  • Once safe, monitor news reports and the MIT Alert system for emergency information and instructions.

Public Health/Medical Emergency

Medical emergency:

  • FOR LIFE THREATENING SITUATIONS OR MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCIES, call campus police at x100 (campus phone) or 617-253-1212. Examples of life threating emergencies include but are not limited to serious injuries or burns, poisoning, unconsciousness, or shock. 
    • Please call from a safe location and remember to stay calm and be ready to answer the following questions:  
      • Where is the ill or injured person?  
      • What is the nature of the medical emergency?  
      • Give any other information that is relevant to the emergency, or may help responders.  
      • Do not hang up until instructed to do so by the dispatcher.  If calling, quickly and safely gather as much information as possible.  
      • Give the dispatcher a telephone number or location where the emergency responders can reach and/or meet you.  Then, wait for the responders at the specified location.  
  • For non-life threating situations dial MIT Urgent Care: 617-253-4481 (24 hours/day). Urgent care walk in service is from 8 am – 8 pm E23 first floor

Public Health Emergencies:

  • ​During a public health emergency, follow instructions provided by emergency responders, MIT, and the government regarding proper procedures to follow. The instructions will depend on the nature of the public health emergency. 

Active Shooter or Violent Intruder

If you are the victim of, are involved in, or are a witness to any on-campus violence such as assault, robbery, theft, overt sexual behavior, etc., do not take any unnecessary risks.  

Call the MIT Police at 617-253-1212 as soon as possible and try to provide the following information:  

  • Nature of the incident.
  • Location of the incident.
  • Number of people involved.
  • Descriptions of the people involved.
  • Description of the property involved.  

If a shooter or violent intruder seems to threaten the occupants of the building, please take the following actions:  

  • Alert all persons in the area of the current situation if safe to do so.
  • Lock all doors, windows, desks and cabinets.
  • Close all blinds.
  • If necessary, stop building/department operations.
  • Follow police directions if told to evacuate.  

For a violent intruder/active shooter, take defensive action:  

  • RUN if you are able.
  • If you are not able to run, HIDE.
  • If you are unable to hide, attempt to FIGHT the intruder with whatever means are readily avaialble, e.g., heavy object.  .
  • Refer to the following video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VcSwejU2D0

Bomb/Suspicious Package 

Notify MIT Police at 617-253-1212 or x100.  Explosives handling is a job strictly for trained professionals.  If you notice something you suspect may be a bomb, e.g., it is an unusual item in an area you are very familiar with - DO NOT touch it! Report it to the MIT Campus Police, Emergency Response Team personnel, or Fire Department personnel.  Be prepared to describe the item and its location.


  • Please act cautiously.  Do not handle or touch the package.  
  • Move to a safe location near a phone and dial 617-253-1212 from your cell phone or internally you may dial x100 to contact MIT PD.
  • Suspicious packages could have the following characteristics:  excessive postage, improper labeling, misspellings, incorrect titles, no names, no return address, stains, marked "foreign mail"/"air mail"/ "special delivery", contain excessive securing with tape, string, etc., or possess any other visual distractions.


  • Any person receiving a bomb threat over the phone should remain calm and try to obtain as much information as possible from the caller.  
  • Document an accurate description of what the caller said.  
    • Ask the following questions:  
      • If it is a time bomb, when is it set to explode?  
      • Where is the bomb located?  
      • What kind of bomb is it?  
      • Why is the caller doing this/what are their demands?  
    • Note details such as gender, any accents or distinctive speech including impediments, age, background noises, and unusual phrases.  
    • Record the number indicated in caller ID.  ​
  • Keep the caller on the telephone as long as possible.  
  • While you are on the phone, a second person, if available, should call the MIT PD by dialing 617-253-1212 via cell phone or x100 from any internal campus phone. Otherwise, call the MIT Police as soon as the caller has hung up. 
  • After the phone call instruct everyone in the area not to turn off any lights or electrical devices in the building.  
  • Do not touch any suspicious packages, boxes, or other items that are not familiar.  Please report any such unusual items immediately.
  • The person who receives the call should remain in the area to talk to the MIT Police Officers when they arrive.
  • Bomb threat evacuation:
    • A bomb threat evacuation is entirely different from a fire evacuation.  The use of a fire alarm is not recommended since it does not allow for a controlled evacuation.  
    • In this instance you will receive information from the Police, Cambridge Fire Department, or the emergency responders.  
    • If the evacuation is deemed necessary due to a bomb threat, evacuation procedures are the same as fire evacuation procedures except that it is permissible to use elevators.  The elevators, however, should be reserved primarily for those who are disabled, elderly, pregnant, have heart or respiratory conditions, or other medical problems.  Others should exit via the stairwells to expedite evacuation.  
    • Please follow the directions of supervisory personnel during this situation.  

Shelter in Place

Sheltering-in-Place is a defensive action that building occupants can take to protect themselves against airborne hazards originating outdoors, and for which there is forewarning.  A shelter is a pre-determined interior room or area of the building, which - with special provisions - can provide a barrier to protect the occupants from the external environment.  

Sheltering-in-Place procedures:  

  • Shut and lock all windows and doors in the room where you are sheltering.  
  • Turn off all air handling equipment if possible (heating, ventilation and/or air conditioning, both supply and exhaust).  Contact 617-253-1500 for instructions.  
  • Go to building sheltering room and/or adjacent conference room.  
  • Turn on the radio and listen for further instructions.  
  • Stay off the phone during the shelter-in-place action to keep lines free for emergency responders.
  • If you have an emergency in your shelter room, dial 617-253-1212 from a cell phone or dial x100 internally to summon for help.
  • When the "all clear" is announced, open windows and doors, turn on ventilation systems and go outside until the building's air has been exchanged with the now clean outdoor air.  
  • A shelter-in-place kit may be kept in each location.  A shelter-in-place kit consists of the following:  
    • Battery-operated radio with fresh batteries for use in the event of a power outage.  
    • Flashlight and fresh batteries.  
    • Available water to wet towels for sealing door bottoms as well as for drinking.  

Biological Spill

Evacuation of a laboratory room or work area in the event of a biological spill is dependent on the risk group (e.g., BL1, BL2, BL2+) and location of the spill. Evacuation is not generally required and alerting of nearby personnel to stay away from spill area would be sufficient.  However, a large volume of a BL2 agent, especially outside of a biological safety cabinet, may require evacuation of the room/area and a call to MIT Biosafety Program (x2-3477) for assistance. Report the incident also to your Principal Investigator (PI).

Seek medical attention (MIT Medical E23) in case of a possible exposure or cut.

Cleaning biological spills:

  • Assess the extent of the spill.  If the spill is in a biosafety cabinet, keep the cabinet running.
  •  Alert others in the lab and evacuate if necessary.
  • Replace or decontaminate your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and put on safety glasses/goggles.
  • Gather your spill kit and make fresh 10% final concentration of household bleach.
  • Remove any sharps using mechanical means (tongs, dust pan & broom, etc.) and place in biosharps container.
  • Cover the spill with absorbent material (paper towels).
  • Saturate the spill with dilute 10% bleach.  Start at the outer edges and work inward towards center of spill.
  • Let bleach stand for 20 minutes.
  • Clean-up spill with paper towels and use mechanical means to place in biowaste box.
  • Repeat steps 5-9. 
  • If the spill is in a biosafety cabinet, rinse work surfaces with 70% ethanol or sterile water to remove bleach residue and protect stainless steel finish.
  • Remove your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Dispose of gloves as biological waste.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 15-20 seconds.
  • Report the incident to your PI/Supervisor.

Chemical Spill

Major chemical spills or exposure must be immediately reported to MIT Emergency Response by dialing x100 (or 617-253-1212) to obtain immediate professional assistance and support for control and clean up. Never attempt to clean up a major chemical spill yourself as you put yourself and others at risk.

Major chemical spills are defined as posing a significant potential threat to safety, health, or the environment.  Major spills involve a material that meets any of the following conditions:  

  • It is an unknown.
  • It is toxic.
  • It poses a fire hazard.
  • It was spilled in excess of reportable quantities.
  • It is in a public area such as a common hallway.
  • It is released/poses a threat of release to the environment (e.g., floor drain).
  • You need advanced personal protective equipment (PPE) beyond basic lab PPE to clean up the chemical spill.

In the event of a major chemical spill:

  • Alert people in the surrounding area of the spill and evacuate the room.
  • If the material is flammable, turn off ignition and heat sources if it can be done safely on your way out.
  • Get the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), only if possible to locate quickly on way out of the room.  Otherwise, the SDS can be obtained after evacuating the room by going to a nearby safe area (e.g., nearby lab, at Bldg Fire Command Center, calling EHS Office). The SDS can also often be found online using a smart phone. Provide SDS to emergency response personnel.
  • Confine the hazard by closing doors when you leave the room.
  • Use eyewash and safety showers as needed to rinse/wash chemicals from body parts.
  • Evacuate the affected room. 
  • If the hazard will affect nearby rooms, the entire floor or building, activate the closest fire alarm pull box to initiate evacuation.
  • Notify MIT police of the chemical or material, and the spill location by calling x100 from a safe location. Report the following:
    • Name and telephone number of the caller.
    • Location of the spill, name, and quantity of chemical.
    • Injuries, if any.
    • Environmental concerns, such as location of drains
  • Report incident to your PI/Supervisor.
  • Have knowledgeable personnel or those who witnessed the incident standby to assist emergency personnel.

Radioactive Material Spill

In the event of a radioactive material spill, generally evacuation of personnel is controlled so as to minimize spreading and tracking of the radioactive material.  Follow these guidelines:

  • Alert others in area of incident
  • Assist contaminated or injured personnel and remove them from the spill.  If any potential for injury, then immediately obtain medical attention (Dial 100 for ambulance or non-emergency report to MIT Medical Dept, E23).
  • Isolate the spill area, prevent re-entry and minimize spreading and tracking
  • Assemble all potentially contaminated personnel in a safe area and carefully monitor each person’s shoes before allowing them to leave the area
  • Remove contaminated clothing and begin decontamination of exposed skin.  Continue to wash exposed skin until all contamination is removed or no further reduction in contamination levels is achieved.
  • Call the EHS Office at 617-452-3477 (or after hours/weekends call Campus Police at x100 or 617-253-1212) for assistance.  
  • Remain available at the spill site until contacted by EHS Office.
  • Report the incident to your PI/Supervisor.

Roles and Responsibilities

Emergency Management Office

  • Oversees and manages mass notifications in the event of a major campus emergency and coordinates campus-wide response.
  • Convenes the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the Campus & Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT).

MIT Police

  • Contact: x100 (MIT phones), 617-253-1212.
  • First responders to campus emergencies.
  • Establish boundaries into which responders only are allowed vs. building occupants or the campus public (i.e., establish perimeter control).  
  • MIT PD maintains public security and safety during an incident response.  
  • MIT PD may take control of a building after Cambridge Fire returns control to MIT.

Security Office

  • Maintains security surveillance and building access systems on campus.
  • Coordinates card and key access.

Environment, Health, and Safety Office (EHS)

  • Contact: 617-452-3477, environment@mit.edu.
  • Develop and maintain Emergency Preparedness Plan template to conform to OSHA standards; review Department plans; maintain catalog/archive of Department plans.
  • Review Evacuation Route Diagrams (ERDs); maintain and update list of evacuation assembly areas.
  • Develop uniform training materials and tools for Emergency Preparedness Coordinators.
  • Provide subject matter expertise in resolving campus emergenices (e.g., coordinate chemical spill/exposure response).


  • Contact: 617-253-4948.
  • Secures and reapirs/restores building mechanical, electrical, plumbing and utility services during an emergency.
  • Operates and triages emergency calls via the Facilities Operations Center dispatch.
  • Collaborates with EHS to produce Evacuation Route Diagrams (ERDs) and other Life Safety signage throughout campus .

MIT Medical

  • Contact: 617-253-4481.
  • Provides guidance, clinical care or referrals for medical concerns related to injuries or suspected exposures to chemicals or other hazardous materials associated with an incident or emergency.  
  • Oversees Student Emergency Medical Service (SEMS).

Facilities Manager

  • Provides knowledge to responders and Department members on building infrastructure and safety during an emergency.  This may include working with Department of Facilities trades to secure gas lines and power systems, and informing department members of the operational status of building ventilation systems.

Emergency Preparedness Coordinator

  • Contacts:
    • Roni Dudley-Cowans, 617-253-5870, dudley@mit.edu  (Bldg. 16, 26, and 56 labs)
    • Cammie Haase-Pettingell, 617-715-4152, chaase@mit.edu (Bldg. NE47 labs) 
    • Jennifer Lynn, 617-253-2463, jlynn@mit.edu (Bldg. 76 labs)
  • Communicate with Senior Staff and other key Department personnel during an emergency.
  • Facilitate communications between Evacuation Wardens and department personnel.
  • Provide information to emergency responders as requested.
  • Coordinates, instructs and familiarizes Evacuation Wardens and local personnel in evacuation, shelter-in-place or defensive action procedures.
  • Keep the Department Emergency Preparedness Plan up-to-date and communicate the plan to Department personnel.
  • Train Department personnel on the plan.

Evacuation Warden

  • In BE and CEHS space all people are Evacuation Wardens. In the KI each lab has at least 2 designated evacuation wardens.
  • To convey applicable information to Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, and upon request, to Fire Department personnel, MIT’s Emergency Response Team and/or MIT Police Department.
  • Remind occupants in their area that if possible they should close windows and doors, shut off equipment (if necessary) and to evacuate the building/area
  • Note location(s) of fire and/or smoke if seen, but not to search for it.
  • Do a sweep of their area to ensure everyone has evacuated safely.

Evacuation Assistant

  • During an emergency that requires evacuation or shelter-in-place, identifies to emergency responders individuals who require additional assistance due to mobility, sight, hearing, intellectual or developmental challenges.  
  • Works with Evacuation Warden and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator to ensure these individuals are placed in a safe location/area of safe refuge until designated emergency responders can reach them.

Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT)

  • Provides crowd/perimeter control and general support to emergency responders.

Cambridge Fire Department

  • Typically assumes incident command for campus emergencies involving fire, explosion or hazardous materials.  
  • Performs search and rescue functions on behalf of MIT during an emergency.  
  • Cambridge Fire is the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).  In these instances, Cambridge Fire takes control of affected MIT buildings and determines when it feels the hazard is brought under control sufficiently to turn control over to MIT.

Communications and Alarms

  • MIT Alert
  • MIT Emergency page  
    • http://emergency.mit.edu/emergency/
    • Major emergencies affecting one or more MIT buildings; international events with potential impact to MIT community members in the locale      
  • 3-down
    • 617-253-SNOW or 617-253-7669 
    • Partial or complete campus closings due to weather or other emergency        
  • Employee Self Service - Emergency Contacts
    • http://atlas.mit.edu
    • Notification to employee-specified emergency contact  in event of death, hospitalization or other personal emergency.  
    • On Atlas Main Page, select "About Me".  Under "My Profile"  select "Personal Information" to update contacts. 
  • MIT Blue Light Phones    
  • MIT Emergency Dispatch
    • x100 or 617-253-1212 
    • Report a fire or serious injury; suspicious person/activity; suspicious package; summon immediate medical assistance        
  • Facilities Customer Service Center 
    • Phone Line & Text - txtdof@mit.edu/617-253-4948
    • Report infrastructure issues (e.g. flooding); summon EHS assistance for hazardous materials incidents outside regular business hours via text message or by direct call        
  • MIT EHS Office 
    • 617-452-3477 (8:30am-5pm, M-F)
    • Odor calls; report injury not requiring urgent medical care; report hazardous materials incidents; report a fire that has been extinguished      
  • MIT Medical
    • 617-253-4481 (24 hours)
    • Urgent care walk-in service available 8 am - 8 pm.
    • Calls answered 24 hours for non-life threatening emergencies.  
    • In case of a mental heatlh emergency, serious injuries/burns. poisoning, unconsciousness or shock, dial x100 or 617-253-1212.        

Useful Links