Residential Emergencies

This page contains information on what to do in the case of a widespread or personal emergency on campus.

Important Numbers

  • University Police (emergency): 585 245-5222 (x5222)
  • Overnight nurse advice line: 585-245-5736 (x5736)
  • Local emergency services: 911
  • College-wide information line: 585-245-6666 (x6666)
  • Mental Health support: 211

After-Hours Medical Concerns

Like most college health centers, Geneseo's health and counseling offices are open Monday-Friday during the day with some early evening hours.

When medical concerns arise overnight or on the weekend (including injuries, illness, mental health crises, and excessive alcohol consumption), students are urged to seek help in the following ways:

  • Contact the overnight nurse advice line at 585-245-5736.
  • Contact the RA on duty (at any time of the night). RAs are at the service desk between 8-10 PM every night, and available by phone or in their rooms at other times.
  • Call University Police (585-245-5222 for emergencies) and request medical assistance. That will mobilize Geneseo First Response and the county ambulance service if necessary.
  • Call 911 for local emergency services. Placing an emergency call through University Police might help emergency services get to you faster, as they could need assistance from UPD to find their way around campus.
  • Students may visit the Noyes After-Hours Care Center for illnesses and injuries that might be treated in a doctor's office after the Geneseo health center is closed. Noyes is located at 50 East South Street (aka route 20A) in Geneseo. Coming from campus, students will find it on the right side of the road just past the cemetery. 

Hospital Transports

When EMTs and GFR personnel arrive at the scene, they will make an assessment of the ill or injured person's health and ability to care for him or herself independently; the EMTs will recommend transport to a local hospital, when appropriate. There are three hospitals within a 25-35 minute ambulance ride from Geneseo: Noyes Memorial in Dansville, Wyoming County Community Hospital in Warsaw, and Strong Memorial in Rochester.

The EMTs will contact parents of students who are under eighteen for permission to transport or to refuse transport. All students who are taken to the hospital by ambulance are encouraged to contact their families themselves. Because all medical transports originating on campus are reported immediately to the Dean of Students, when there are severe individual emergencies (e.g., life-threatening emergencies), the Dean of Students will notify families about a student's medical crisis.

Students are responsible for their own transportation back to campus. Cab Fares between the College and local hospitals are expensive, and many students do not have ready cash. Therefore those who need to call a taxi may choose the services of the companies that have arrangements with the College to put the cab charges on the student's college bill. Information about participating cab companies can be found on the College's Transportation website.

Responding to Widespread Emergencies

The College trains its personnel in emergency preparedness, but it's essential that students also know what to do in the case of an emergency.


SUNY Geneseo strongly recommends signing up for the NY-ALERT notification system, which is designed to notify subscribers by text, email and phone if their personal safety may be at risk.


If you hear a fire alarm sound (or are roused by a fire alarm strobe), leave the building immediately by the nearest safe exit, regardless of your belief that the alarm is a drill, a false alarm, or an alert about a real fire. While you should not hesitate, in most cases it is okay to stop and grab your shoes and coat.

Meet in your designated gathering place away from the residence hall and wait for the SUNY Geneseo University Police Officer to declare that it is safe to return to the building. In inclement weather, move to your secondary designated gathering place (this is often a dining hall—your AC will let you know at your first hall meeting) and wait for further directions.

If a fire has made it unsafe to return to your building, Student Life will immediately begin work on finding students alternative shelter. In such a case, we want to make sure everyone is accounted for, so if you wish to leave the area, make sure you check in with the staff set up for the emergency response.

Extraordinary Emergency Events

Residential students are notified of extraordinary emergency events, which may require shelter-in-place or lockdown, through a number of means. A New York Alert message will be sent to phones of those who have signed up for the service (we recommend that all students and staff sign up for NY Alert). An alert will likely also be placed across the top of the Geneseo website linking to a page with more information and directions.

For events such as those requiring shelter-in-place, Student Life staff will put yellow paper signs on exterior doors of residence halls to give those just approaching or leaving the building information about the emergency. Campus closed-circuit television monitors, such as those in the MacVittie Union or Milne Library, will switch to an emergency information slide.

Shelter in Place

Shelter in place events occur when it is unsafe for people to be exposed to the elements or the atmosphere, such as during a tornado warning or if there were a chemical spill on the roadway. Shelter in place means take shelter wherever you are. In the residence halls, people should seek secure, interior spaces away from windows (locking windows to secure them, if possible). If people come to seek shelter with you, you should let them in.


On a college campus, the term "lockdown" means something different from what it might mean for a K?12 school, where the buildings and rooms can literally be completely locked. A lockdown situation might happen on a multi?building college campus, for example, if a violent person showed up with a weapon. University Police, as well as police and state troopers from the surrounding community, respond immediately to any hint of a threat.

University Police will call for buildings to go into a "lockdown" mode during emergencies when people need to secure themselves from a threatening person, such as a person wielding a gun, bomb, explosives, or other weapon. During a lockdown in a residence hall, residents should go to rooms that lock securely, preferably with few windows and some means of communication. Because most lounges in residence halls do not lock, residents will not be able to gather in one place. Because all residents' rooms have windows, they should make sure that their windows as well as doors are locked and that they keep away from the windows. Lockdowns are distinguished from shelter-in-place events in that once locked in, residents should not unlock their doors for anyone until they receive word from University Police that the event has concluded. For this reason, it is essential that all roommates carry their keys and ID cards on them at all times.

Important Note for Lockdowns:

If a fire alarm sounds during a lockdown, occupants should not exit the building unless they clearly perceive threatening fire or smoke. Pulling a fire alarm during a lockdown could be a ruse by an active shooter to gain access to a building or to lure people out of safe spaces.

Your Safety is Primary

Regardless of drills and preparations, emergency situations will always have an element of chaos. Your cooperation with anyone who is organizing an emergency response will help keep everyone safe. While it is important that we all watch out for each other, you should never jeopardize your own safety in an attempt to assist others. Make sure you are safe, and ask what you can do to help.

If you need additional assistance or accommodation due to a disability, please see the EHS website on Emergency Evacuation Procedure for Persons with Disabilities