Frequently Asked Questions

How is the campus community alerted of an emergency?

Paul Smith’s College will send out a NY-Alert Emergency Notification on campus wide Emails, text messages and telephone calls to Paul Smith’s College students, faculty, and staff. Postings to websites and social media pages are used as well. Details of this process can be read here: www.paulsmiths.edu/emergencymanagement contact information can be updated by clicking the NY-Alert Update button.

What is the best way to stay informed during an emergency?

The Paul Smith’s College Emergency Information website http://www.paulsmiths.edu/campussafety/emergency-information/ will be updated with messages, information, and instructions. There will also be information on the emergency on the PSC ALERT emergency information line at 518-327-6419. Due to the demand on resources during emergencies, Paul Smith’s Campus Safety Dispatch will most likely be very busy and therefore not able to answer non-emergency calls.

Are parents able to be added to the Paul Smith’s College emergency notification system?

Yes. Parents numbers and emails can be added to any student or employees account as an additional contact.

What should a student or staff member do when they receive an emergency notification?
What are the most common emergencies on campus?

Although emergencies are a rarity at Paul Smith’s College, in the past there have been experiences with winter storms, fires, and various other events. More information on emergency situations and how to respond can be found here:http://www.paulsmiths.edu/campussafety/files/2016/04/paul_smiths_college_emergency_guidebook_with_links-2328kmm.pdf

What is the mission of Paul Smith’s College Emergency Management Planning Group?

To fulfill the college’s mission and commitments in the event of a disaster, the college strives to become disaster-resistant. Disaster resistance is achieved through recognition and analysis of the risks of natural and man-made hazards, mitigation of the human and economic impact of disasters and comprehensive planning for continuity of college activities.

Where should I go if I am told to evacuate?

Usually in instances where evacuation is necessary, building occupants will be directed to other large buildings on campus such as libraries or dining halls. It is a good idea to bring an Emergency Supply Kit with you.

What does Shelter in Place mean?

If a particular emergency occurs and the hazards are outdoors, there will be a request that you shelter in place. This means to find and enter the nearest building, to stay indoors and away from windows and doors. It is important to remain indoors until an official gives a notification that it is safe to leave.

What is the difference between a weather watch and weather warning?

A watch means conditions are right for dangerous weather. In other words, a “watch” means watch out for what the weather could do, be ready to act. This means that the storm is not yet happening, but that the weather could become severe quickly. A warning means that severe weather is already in the area and it is important to take shelter immediately.

What should be in an Emergency Supply Kit and where do I find these items?

Some basic necessities for an Emergency Supply Kit can be found on our website at

You can create your own kit by assembling these items together. These items can be found in grocery stores, pharmacies, camping stores, home center stores (Home Depot., Lowes, etc.), and big retail stores (Target/Walmart). Full supply kits can also be purchased, ranging from ten dollars to hundreds of dollars depending on the contents of the kit. You can find these at Sears, Costco, Walmart, BJ’s, Target, Lowes, and Amazon. They can also be purchased online at:

Emergency Supply kits should be kept in a dorm room, car, or place where it can be stored but easily accessed during an emergency. In a time of evacuation, it is important to take your kit with you!

What is a Family Communication Plan?

This is a way to stay in contact with family and friends during an emergency. Phones and the Internet may not always be accessible, so it is important to develop a plan of communication. Determine a single contact (usually a family member) outside of your area. Make sure friends and family know who this person is and how to contact them. If you are effected by an emergency, notify friends and family as soon as possible to let them know where you are/ how you are doing. If you cannot reach them, let your single contact person know.

It is also a good idea to program an In Case of Emergency (ICE) contact phone number into your mobile phone in case first responders (EMS personnel, fire fighters, policemen, etc.) are trying to reach someone in your family.

You can also register as “Safe and Well” on the Red Cross website at https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php to let others in your family know that you are out of harm’s way.

How do I get more information on responding to an emergency on campus?

You can contact the Emergency Management and Compliance Coordinator at 518-327-6451, email emergencymanagement@paulsmiths.edu, or submit a question by clicking the box on the right side of this page.

You can also get information for yourself and your family at ready.gov .

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