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Emergency Preparedness

In Case of Emergency, please call 617.879.7800


Emergency Notification System

Sign up for Rave, the emergency management notification system - enter your contact information and MassArt Public Safety will notify you in the event of an emergency that impacts the College campus.

emergency response guide

MassArt Public Safety and the Colleges of the Fenway have developed an Emergency Response Guide for various scenarios including: utility failure, medical emergencies, mental health emergencies, suspicious people, severe weather, fire, bomb threats, shelter in place, and active shooters. 

Download the Emergency Response Guide

What Is an Emergency? 

An emergency or crisis is defined as any major building fire, explosion, natural disaster, weather emergency, pandemic, or other unusual mishaps severe enough to necessitate the coordination of various College departments, with assistance from outside agencies.

Minor Emergency

A minor emergency is an incident, potential or actual, that occurs that is not likely to seriously affect the overall functional capacity of the College. During a minor emergency an Incident Command Post (ICP) may be established, as deemed necessary by the Chief of Police or a designated alternate.

Major Emergency

A major emergency is any actual incident that occurs which effect’s an entire campus building or a number of campus buildings, or where there is a life-safety issue that might significantly disrupt the overall operations of the College. During a major emergency the Incident Command Center will be established and the Rapid Response Team will meet.


A disaster is any event or occurrence that seriously impairs or halts the operations of the College. In some instances mass casualties or severe property damage may have been sustained. The emergency may be campus wide or citywide. Outside emergency services will be essential when available along with a coordinated effort of all campus resources will be required to effectively control the situation. MassArt’s Rapid Response Team will meet and major policy considerations.

MassArt's Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)

The Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is designed to enable students, staff and faculty to cope with emergency situations that may arise from either man-made or natural causes. While this plan does not cover every conceivable emergency situation, it does supply the basic guidelines needed to effectively manage most campus emergencies and establishes a chain of command for serious incidents that threaten health and safety of the campus community or disrupts its programs and activities.

This emergency plan contains procedures intended to protect lives and property through the effective use of College, campus community, state, local, federal government resources and other resources that are available and necessary.

In an emergency, the goals of the College are to protect life and safety, secure critical infrastructure and facilities, and to resume teaching activities as quickly and safely as possible. The response structure outlined in the plan helps to ensure that these goals are met.

The overall ability of the college personnel to respond to an emergency will rely primarily upon the procedures contained in this plan. The policies and procedures contained in this plan will be followed by all administrators, faculty and staff and it’s essential that MassArt’s Community members become familiar with, and cooperate fully with, MassArt’s Emergency Management Plan.

Implementation of Plan

When an emergency affecting the campus reaches such proportions that cannot be handled by routine measures, MassArt’s Rapid Response Team (RRT) will convene and determine if some or this entire emergency plan will be implemented to control the incident.

Flexibility of the Plan

Since an emergency may occur suddenly and without warning, the procedures of this plan must be flexible enough to accommodate conditions as they occur. While most of MassArt’s incidents are handled on the local level, there may be instances in which incident management operations depend on the involvement of multiple agencies, and outside first responders. These instances require effective and efficient coordination across MassArt’s many departments and administrator’s.

Emergency Communication with the MassArt's Community

During an emergency MassArt will use several methods to disseminate information to its community members.

  • Systemwide college email. It’s imperative that all MassArt community members use their college email to receive important emergency information
  • MassArt’s emergency phone broadcast. This information will appear on your office phone, indicated by the red flashing light on the telephone voice mail
  • Mass messaging (RAVE) system, cell phones, text messages, email
  • Public Safety Officers verbally notifying on campus members
  • Rapid Response Team 

Declaration of Campus State of Emergency

The authority to declare a campus state of emergency rests with the College President or her/his designee.

During the period of any major campus emergency, MassArt’s Rapid Response Team will meet and put into place the appropriate procedures necessary in order to meet the emergency, safeguard persons, property, and maintain college facilities. The Incident Commander or his / her designee shall consult with the President or Vice Presidents regarding the emergency and the possible need for a declaration of a campus state of emergency.

What is My Role During an Emergency?

In order to enhance MassArt’s emergency plan we ask all College personnel to help with the following:

  • Becoming familiar with general information concerning MassArt’s Emergency Plan
  • Learn appropriate building evacuation routes and evacuation locations for your building
  • Initiate emergency procedures when appropriate. (notifying MassArt’s Public Safety Department of the incident)


In order to enhance MassArt’s emergency plans we ask each faculty member to help with the following:

  • Providing students in his/her department or area of responsibility with general information concerning MassArt’s emergency procedures
  • Keep students calm and reassured
  • Assist’s students in responding correctly to building evacuation procedures and evacuation location
  • Responsible for accurate head count of class
  • When the fire alarm rings do not assume it’s a false alarm. Notify everyone in your class that they must vacate the building as quickly and orderly as possible


In order to enhance MassArt’s emergency plans we ask each employee to help with the following: 

  • Becoming familiar with general information concerning MassArt’s emergency plan
  • Initiate emergency procedures when necessary (Notify MassArt’s Public Safety Department of the incident)
  • Unless the building is being evacuated, remain in your work area to assist any emergency personnel or people needing assistance in their area
  • Learn the building evacuation routes and evacuation locations from their area
  • When the fire alarm rings do not assume it’s a false alarm. Assist people in leaving your area quickly and orderly. Notify them that everyone has to vacate the building.

What is the Difference Between a Fire Alarm and a Campus Evacuation?

Building Evacuation

When a fire alarm is sounded don’t assume it’s a false alarm. Everyone in that building is required to evacuate the building. Remain calm, evacuate the building safely. Once the fire department arrives and determines what the problem is, an all clear will be given to re-enter the building by Campus Public Safety Officers. This type of building evacuation is usually a localized incident and only impacts a small part of the campus. This type of emergency is different than a campus wide evacuation.

Locations for Individual Building Evacuation Sites:

  • Collins Building - Exit building calmly to Evans Way Park
  • Design Media Center - Exit building calmly to Evans Way Park
  • East Building - Exit building calmly to Evans Way Park
  • Kennedy Building - Exit building calmly to Boston Latin School parking lot
  • North Building  - Exit the building calmly to Evans Way Park 
  • South Building - Exit building calmly to Boston Latin School parking lot
  • Tower Building - Exit building calmly to either Huntington Ave or Evans Way Park.

Locations for Residence Halls' Evacuation Sites:  

  • Artist Residence Hall - Exit the building calmly and follow directions from the Resident Director, CA's, Building manager and Public safety officers. The evacuation location is the Ward Street Lot
  • Smith Hall Residence - Exit the building calmly and follow instructions from the Resident Director, Ra's and Public Safety Officers. The evacuation location is Mission Park
  • Tree House - Exit the building calmly and follow instructions from the Resident Director, RA's and Public Safety Officers. The evacuation location is the Ward Street Lot

Campus Evacuation

This type of evacuation may or may not involve an audible alarm. If a campus wide evacuation is necessary, MassArt’s Rapid Response Team will meet to determine the best course of action. MassArt’s communication office will keep the College community updated and pass on any relevant information.

If the campus is being evacuated, once outside, follow the instructions of Public Safety officers or MassArt’s Fire Marshalls who will guide you to a safe evacuation location.

Where is MassArt's Evacuation Site? 

During a campus wide evacuation, all those on campus will be directed to the Evans Way Park unless directed elsewhere. Once in the designated evacuation location, remain there and follow the guidance of emergency personnel and senior staff members. The emergency personnel will be easily identified by bright colored vests.

What is the Route to Evacuate the City?

View a map (PDF) of the evacuation route to follow in the event the entire campus must evacuate the city. 

Does the College Conduct Emergency Evacuation Drills?

Each semester MassArt conducts practice fire drills in each of its Residence Hall’s and does campus-wide emergency evacuation drills during the school year.

If I Have a Disability, How Do I Evacuate the Campus?

If you are unable to evacuate without assistance, faculty, staff, or student must notify MassArt’s Public Safety Department of your location. If you are able to, notify the Public Safety Office by using your cell phone or campus emergency phones. (On campus emergency phones dial x7800) If you are able to, proceed to an evacuation stairwell and wait for emergency personnel to arrive. Transporting of disabled individuals up or down stairwells should be avoided until emergency personnel arrive.

Acts of Violence on Campus

There are times that incidents may occur on campus that involve violence, disruptive behavior, riots, terrorists acts and the use of weapons. These incidents usually happen with little or no warning. It is important that the MassArt community responds quickly.

Immediate Action

  • Notify MassArt’s Campus Police immediately at 617.879.7800
  • If you are unable to notify Campus Police, call 911. When calling on a college phone you must dial 9 first to get an outside line
  • When you call either Campus Police or 911 give as much information as possible
  • Remain calm if possible and let the person on the phone know:
    • What is happening? 
    • The location of the incident
    • Who is involved?
    • If there are any weapons being used or shown
    • Who you are, name, address, where on campus are you

There is a good chance the person you are talking to will ask you to remain on the line. It is very important that you follow their instructions. Reporting complete, accurate information will allow law enforcement to manage the incident more effectively.

The decision to call in additional law enforcement agencies will be made by the campus police chief or his designee.

The members of the MassArt community can assist with the safety and well being of all by cooperating with law enforcement personnel and the instructions they give.

Emergency Management

"Emergency Management" is the systematic approach to preparing for, responding to, and recovering from major emergencies. While all emergencies cannot be avoided all the time, some can be prevented, and most can be managed in ways that minimize their impact on the college.

In general, emergency management takes an "all hazards" approach to planning. This means that plans are intended to be applicable to virtually all emergencies, even though each situation may vary widely.

MassArt has an Emergency Management Response Team made up of senior staff members from a cross-section of the College. This team has put together a Critical Incident Emergency Response plan to address emergency situations in which many different internal departments and, at times, outside agencies must be coordinated. This major coordination effort differs from those emergencies handled on a daily basis.

The Emergency Management Response Team has plans in place for Prevention, Incident Management and Recovery, and Business Continuity.