Emergency Information

In the event of an emergency, the SEAS and Harvard community will be notified by way of Web, e-mail, and voicemail.

In most cases, the Harvard University homepage, FAS, and/or SEAS will broadcast an alert outlining a response.

In response to a desire by the SEAS community to receive more text/mobile messages, the MessageMe system will now be deployed, selectively, to also announce possible closures/reductions in operational activities.

Reporting an Emergency

Call 911 for any situation that requires immediate police, fire or medical response to preserve life or property.

Important Phone Numbers

  • SEAS Communications Office: (617) 496-1351
  • SEAS Facilities Office: (617) 495-2840
  • SEAS Computing Help Desk: (617) 495-7777
  • Harvard University Police Department: (617) 495-1212
  • Harvard University Operations Center: (617) 495-5560

Emergency Guide

Fire Safety

Please take a moment to review the standard fire safety procedures as well as the Emergency Exit Routes that are posted in the hallways so that you're familiar with the primary and secondary exit routes and the designated meeting places for each building. Below are the designated meeting areas for SEAS buildings.

  • Gordon McKay Labs front lawn Pierce Hall
  • Pierce Hall front lawn Pierce Hall
  • Maxwell Dworkin front lawn Pierce Hall
  • Cruft Labs back parking lot Pierce Hall
  • ESL front lawn Conant Hall
  • 60 Oxford St. front lawn Perkins Hall

Laboratory Safety and Emergencies

The SEAS/Physics/EPS Safety Committee oversees laboratory safety. Its charter is to improve the safety environment for its constituent faculty, staff, and students. This is accomplished by providing training and by disseminating other pertinent information that helps ensure that research and teaching are conducted in as safe a manner as possible. 

The Committee is also responsible for ensuring that appropriate safety equipment is available and that prudent practices are employed in the operation of our laboratories.

Important Phone Numbers

  • Fire, Police, Medical: 911
  • Health Services: (617) 495-5711
  • Operations Control Center: (617) 495-5560
  • Harvard Police: (617) 495-1212 (urgent), 617-495-1215 (business)
  • Environmental Health and Safety: (617) 495-2060
  • Hazardous waste pick-up: (617) 496-3322
  • Bio-hazard waste pick-up: (617) 495-2345 (Sid Paula)

Harvard University’s Community Emergency Notification System

All members of the Harvard community may sign up for an automatic emergency alert system. We strongly encourage ALL members of the SEAS community to do so.


If you sign up for text message alerts you will be automatically notified in the event of an extreme emergency anywhere at Harvard University. A text message-capable cell phone and eCommons ID or Harvard University ID number is required to sign up. Please note that this system will only be utilized during extremely urgent situations that require instant communication.

Sexual Harassment and Assault

The Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Education (SHARE) portal consolidates in one location all the resources Harvard provides to respond to and support members of the Harvard community who have experienced sexual misconduct.

Snow/Travel Emergencies

With the possibility of inclement weather, especially during the winter months, SEAS members should familiarize themselves with the relevant policies.

SEAS follows the same inclement weather policies as the University and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In general, SEAS' teaching and research activities will continue during inclement weather.

The official inclement weather policy states that since most of Harvard’s student body and faculty live in close proximity to the college, Harvard rarely declares a University-wide weather emergency (that is, closes).

When there is bad weather, all members are expected to make every effort to be at work. When severe weather conditions make travel to work inadvisable or difficult (a concern for personal health or safety or responsibility for a child or other dependent, which, for example, may be complicated by school closings or elder-care placement problems), working remotely or an absence may be the most suitable course of action.

Please use your own discretion in such cases and, if appropriate, discuss your plans with your manager or adviser.

NOTE: Employees who choose to stay at home and not work will normally be expected to cover the absence with vacation or personal time. In such cases, a manager and staff member should agree as to how the absence will be recorded; that is, whether the time should be made up or taken as a vacation or personal day.

For the latest information about the status of university operations during inclement weather, please contact the University Weather and Special Conditions line at (49) 6-NEWS (6397) or (866) 866-496-NEWS (outside of Harvard) for information or visit the Harvard homepage at www.harvard.edu. No information means business as usual.

If you have any further questions regarding the inclement weather policies, please inquire with the Human Resources Office.