Parent & Family Programs

Emergency FAQ

How are Hofstra students notified in case of a campus emergency?

Hofstra students are notified of an emergency that requires immediate action through the Campus Alert Notification Network, or CANN. More information about the system is at Please encourage your students to regularly update their contact information, including their cell phone numbers, in the CANN system, by logging into Hofstra Portal. Hofstra only allows each student to enter their own contact information into the Hofstra CANN system. We desire to quickly deliver the details of the emergency to the individual directly impacted by the event. We encourage students to contact their family members to relay information about an emergency on campus and we send out additional information to parents and families through our Parent and Family Programs Office (see information below). Additional phone numbers, such as parent or family cell phones, are not permitted in the Hofstra CANN system.

How and when are parents notified in case of an emergency, such as a hurricane?

Hofstra’s alert page,, will contain notifications about the emergency. The campus alert hotline is 516-463-1234. In addition, the Office of Parent and Family Programs will keep parents informed through the Family Link e-newsletter. If you are not on the email list, please subscribe to Family Link. Also, we regularly post on the Hofstra Parents Facebook page as long as we have access to the internet. During working hours, you are welcome to call the Office of Parent and Family Programs at 516-463-4698. Please bear in mind that before we email or post a message to parents, we need to make sure that information is accurate, that the next steps in the emergency response are in place, and that our campus community has been notified. As Hofstra staff are responding to the emergency, please be aware that taking care of our students is the priority.

I cannot reach my student. What do I do?

Nothing is more nerve-racking than not being able to reach your student. There are many possible reasons for this inability to communicate. For instance, cell phone towers might be damaged during a storm. And if Hofstra's campus loses power, our staff may not be able to use Hofstra's email, phone systems, and website to post emergency alerts. Please know that our priority is ALWAYS our students' safety. Hofstra staff members are with your residential students 24/7; they are never alone. Keep checking the Hofstra alert page and the hotline. Rest assured that the Crisis Management Team is hard at work from the very start of an emergency, day and night.

Does Hofstra have an emergency response plan in place?

Yes. Please click on An Introduction to Hofstra’s Emergency Response Plan at

If the campus is closed because of an emergency, how long before it reopens?

The decision to reopen the campus and resume classes and campus activities depends on many factors, such as the restoration of power, ability of faculty and staff to reach the campus, completion of a police investigation, or cleanup of debris. Hofstra’s senior administrators carefully weigh the safety of our community with academic curriculum demands, with guidance from governmental and public health officials, before deciding to close or reopen the campus.

Is there enough food to keep dining services open if the campus is closed during an emergency?

Hofstra’s dining operations always have a few days worth of food available on campus in case supply chains are stopped. They also plan ahead in case of a hurricane or other weather-related emergencies. Hofstra's alert page would have updates on changes pertaining to food and dining, including locations and hours of operations.

Will students have to make up the missed classes due to a storm?

The Provost’s Office directs faculty regarding scheduling any necessary makeup classes due to snow days and other lost class time due to weather conditions. Faculty may choose from many different options in order to meet instruction time requirements, including distance learning and additional assignments.

Are residential students able to leave campus and go home?

Students should first read and follow the CANN safety alerts and directions. In most campus emergencies, students are not prohibited from leaving the campus if they and their family feel it is in their best interest (e.g., in advance of a hurricane or because of an outbreak of the flu). If a students opt to leave, they should inform their Resident Assistant (RA) of their plans. However, once classes are back in session, students are expected to return to campus.

What if Hofstra has problems with the wireless service and maintaining the website?

Often in a storm, campuses experience difficulties with websites, wireless service, and email. Please know that our campus has plans for such incidents, and be patient as we restore those services. As always, student safety is our priority; in case we are not able to communicate with you, we are taking care of your students. Keep calling the campus alert hotline at 516-463-1234 – please don’t tie up Public Safety phone lines. Our Parent and Family Programs office will post updates on the Hofstra Parents Facebook page and will send the Family Link e-newsletter as soon as possible.

Who is caring for residential students during a campus closure?

The essential staff members of Residence Life, Dining Services, Public Safety, and Facilities and Operations departments —all who are trained to assist in an emergency—are on campus to ensure that the needs of students are being met. In addition, Hofstra staff are also coordinating a variety of activities and the constant flow of information to students during the closure.

What should I tell my student who resides off campus or commutes to campus?

The CANN system notifies all registered Hofstra students, including those residing off campus or commuting students, of an emergency situation. Your student will receive a text and an email. Ahead of time, students should learn about emergency situations and safety tips through the programming and publications of the Commuting Student Services and Community Outreach.

Is Hofstra’s tap water safe to drink during a storm?

During past storms, while some Nassau County waterfront residents could not drink tap water, Hofstra’s water was safe to drink. Hofstra’s alert page would have updates if the safety of our drinking water is compromised.

Where can I find Hofstra's Safety and Security Report?

Additional information on emergency policies and procedures is found in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

I still have questions. Who can I contact?

Please email us or call Parent and Family Programs at 516-463-4698.