Annex 26 - Utility Failure


The objective of this annex is to define the actions and roles necessary to provide a coordinated emergency response by students, administration, faculty, support personnel, visitors and departments for Binghamton University during an emergency situation or disaster. This plan provides personnel and departments with a general concept of potential emergency assignments before, during and following a utility failure.

Situational Overview

Loss of a utility (i.e. power, natural gas, water, heat, etc.) could have a significant impact on University operations. 

Utility Failure



  • No lighting (except minimal on emergency power)
  • No ventilation fans
  • No elevators
  • No food service/preparation
  • No computers/IT network access
  • Critical services may be on battery backup (i.e. fire alarm systems)

Natural gas

  • Building heat impacted
  • Disruption to food preparation


  • Loss of potable drinking water
  • Disruption to food service/preparation
  • Loss of sanitation (restrooms, hand washing, etc.)
  • Loss of emergency laboratory showers/eye washes


  • Potential inability to occupy spaces

The fast and safe resumption of the lost utility is critical to Binghamton University to return to its teaching mission.

Concept of Operations

Identification of a Utility Failure

When a utility failure occurs it is critical to ensure Facilities Management personnel are immediately made aware of the service interruption. Facilities Management staff should be notified of all utility failures at 607-777-2226 (weekdays) or 607-777-2341 (nights and weekends).

Upon becoming aware of a utility failure, Facilities Management staff shall immediately begin to gather information on the nature and scope of the disruption. If the utility failure occurred on campus, Facilities Management staff shall respond to the scene to assess the details. If the failure is due to an external event, Facilities Management staff shall work with external partners to define the nature of the outage.

As soon as reasonably possible, Facilities Management staff shall provide a damage assessment report to the following individuals:

    • Director of emergency management or his/her designee
    • Associate vice president for physical facilities or his/her designee
    • Director of operations and construction, Facilities Management or his/her designee

Responding to a Utility Failure

Personnel responding to a utility failure shall use extreme caution. Downed power lines, damaged gas lines and ruptured water lines all present unique hazards. Only personnel with the knowledge, skills and abilities to properly manage damaged utilities shall approach a location with potentially damaged utilities.

The scene of a utility failure shall be secured and isolated to prevent bystanders from possible harm.

 NYSEG (New York State Electric and Gas)

NYSEG is the provider of gas and electricity for Geneva, N.Y. All incidents involving NYSEG services should be reported as indicated below:

Reporting a gas emergency: 1-800-572-1121

Reporting a power outage: 1-800-572-1131

NYSEG provides a “Power Outage Map” that displays current NYSEG electrical power outages. This map can be viewed at

Emergency Response Procedures for Building Occupants

Power Outage

In the event of a power outage, emergency generators may provide power to limited areas (limited lighting, fire alarm systems, etc.). Remain calm and follow directions from university officials. Do not use candles or other types of flame for lighting. Do not use elevators. If people are trapped in an elevator, notify University Police and reassure the passengers that help is on the way. Do not attempt to pry open elevator doors.

Water or Sewer Failure

A boil water advisory might be issued by public officials due to a water or sewer failure or due to a water-borne disease outbreak. Place water in a heat-resistant container and bring water to a rolling boil for a minimum of one minute. When it cools, refrigerate the water in clean containers. Boil all water used for drinking; preparing food, beverages, ice cubes; washing fruits or vegetables; and brushing teeth.

Water leak/flooding

Do not turn on lights or any electrical equipment. If you can do so safely, turn the local water source off. If you can do so safely, cover or move objects that could be damaged by water. Evacuate the area.

Gas Leak

If you smell the “rotten egg” smell of gas or hear blowing or hissing noise:

    • Leave the building immediately, spreading the word on the way out.
    • Do not use any phone inside the building.
    • Do not turn on or off any electric lights or appliances.
    • Do not open or close the windows.
    • Do not try to shut off the gas.
    • Do not light candles or other type of flame.
    • Notify University Police at 607-777-2222 or dial 911 after leaving the building.
    • Do not re-enter the building until authorized to do so by University Police or other authorized University official.