Boston College uses several different methods of notification to alert students, faculty, staff and others of an emergency. It is important that you become familiar with these notification tools and ensure your contact information is kept current and up to date. The University will test these systems once per semester to ensure they are working properly and community members are familiar with them.
In the event of severe weather or other emergency situation, the University, in addition to this website, will communicate with the community through as many of the following channels as the situation warrants:
- Emails to bc.edu accounts
- Text alerts to cell-phones (be sure to logon to the BC Portal now and update your contact info
- Computer pop-up messages on computers in classrooms, labs & offices - if you would like to add this to your own computer, click here.
- Phone calls to select campus phones (ie: classrooms, blue lights, etc.)
- Posting information to the BC Emergency Website and main BC Website
- Posting to social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter
- Information on the 888-BOS-COLL (888-267-2655) emergency information line
- Other methods (media, handouts, physical postings, loudspeakers, etc.)
Be sure to notify others by word of mouth if you are alerted to an emergency!
In case of an emergency, these systems will provide information about the nature of the emergency, what to do and where to get additional details. Emergency updates and further information will be provided by postings to the listed websites, emails to the Boston College community and other methods as needed.
Please do not call 911 or the Boston College Police Department unless you truly need an emergency response (Police, Fire, Ambulance).
Also, be sure to develop an Emergency Communications Plan with family and friends to keep them informed of your status during an emergency.
In the case of an emergency situation on campus where you need immediate help contact the Boston College Police Department at:
- 617-552-4444, or
- Use Blue Light Call Boxes on Campus
- When calling, stay calm and carefully explain the problem and location to the Dispatcher.
- DO NOT hang up until told to do so.
- Keep calm. Keep others calm until help arrives.
In the event of a fire:
- Evacute the building
- Activate building fire alarm system
- Call 911
- Please check our web resources for further information and contacts for on and off campus.
In order to provide you with timely information in an emergency, it is imperative that we have good contact information for all students, faculty and staff at Boston College. Please take a few minutes to implement the steps below and at least once a semester log in and be sure your contact information is correct and up to date (NOTE: Your cell phone number will not be used for any other purpose except emergency notification).
To Receive Text Alerts on Your Cell Phone (Students, Faculty & Staff Only):
Log in to the BC Portal at https://portal.bc.edu and under Update Your Addresses and Phone Numbers check/update your cell phone with your correct cell phone number. Also check your other contact information to be sure it is updated.
If you recently changed your cell phone from one wireless provider to another but kept the same number this should change automatically but check with your current provider to be sure. If you changed numbers, be sure to log in to the BC Portal and update your new cell phone number.
To Receive Email Alerts From BC (Students, Faculty and Staff Only):
Boston College automatically sends email alerts to all active bc.edu email accounts. If you do not actively use your bc.edu account or only occasionally check it; we recommend you should forward your bc.edu account to an email account of your preference. This way you will not miss emergency notifications from the University sent via email.
To Receive Emergency Notices on Your Personally Owned Computer, Click Here and Follow the Directions.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Boston College's Help Center at (617) 552-HELP
Use of Social Media
BC maintains an emergency Facebook and Twitter presence which contains information on emergencies on campus as well as preparedness information. Like us at: www.facebook.com/bcemergency or follow us at: www.twitter.com/BC_OEM
The Office of News & Public Affairs maintains the University's official Facebook page and Twitter feed @BostonCollege. During major emergencies affecting the University, updates may be posted to these groups.
Staying in contact with family and friends is critical during an emergency. Not all ways of communicating will work after a disaster or emergency, so it is imperative to have a plan of how you will communicate.
- Designate a single family contact outside your area – be sure family, friends and/or roommates know who this contact is and how to reach them.
- Notify family or friends if you are affected by an emergency so they know where you are – if you can’t reach them, notify your family contact person.
- Do not call 911 or BC Police unless you need immediate assistance (Police, Fire, Ambulance) – check the BC Emergency website or call the BC Emergency information Line at 888-BOS-COLL (888-267-2655) for official information.
During major emergencies, family members from across the country can obtain updated information by calling 1-888-BOS-COLL (267-2655) or visiting the BC Emergency website at www.bc.edu/emergency. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for information and updates about emergencies.
Remember to check in at home to let your family know you're safe, regularly and especially in an emergency situation. They may have heard about it on the news and be worried about you.
Find out more about developing a Family Emergency Plan here.