Power Outage Information

On occasion the university experiences power outages most often connected to weather. The university works diligently to ensure the safety of the students, campus and community while working with local power companies to restore the power.
We encourage all residents to plan in advance of the potential for loss of power in on-campus housing specifically during the winter months. The university will provide information and updates as a power outage occurs. The Housing and Residence Life Office will have staffing in place to support resident needs and provide updates as they are able to.

Here are some basic things to know:

  • Entering your building – The key card readers on the buildings may be impacted during the outage; if you are unable to use your key card to enter the building or your apartment, please contact Public Safety at 215-489-4444.
  • Propping building doors – As a safety measure for you and your fellow residents, please DO NOT prop building doors.  This may seem like an easy and convenient way to access your residence hall, but people not affiliated with your community could gain access and pose safety concerns to yourself or others.
  • Electronics – Please ensure that all electronics are completely turned off. Sensitive and valuable electronics should be unplugged to protect them from power surges.
  • Refrigerators and Food Safety – Refrigerators will not have power during outages. It is highly recommended that all refrigerators are emptied, if possible. If not possible, minimize the number of items in the refrigerator and keep it closed for the duration of the power outage.  Click for helpful information from the USDA regarding food safety.
  • Medications – If students have any items with cold storage needs such as medications, please take them to Public Safety to store.
  • Lighting – Lighting in your space and within the community will be limited during the outage. You may want to keep a working flashlight and batteries in your room/apartment for use during outages. Candles are prohibited and should not be used for lighting in a power outage
  • Charging Equipment – Charge cell phones, laptops, and other equipment in advance of the outage. It is advised to keep devices charged as much in advance as possible. An external rechargeable battery pack may be helpful to charge cell phones and other electronic devices during outages.
  • ESA/Service Animal Habitats – Consider how the lack of power and heat will impact your animal and their habitat. You will want to consider possible alternative arrangements for them.
  • Water and Toilets – All buildings will still have running water during a power outage. The water will not have heat but toilets will flush and water from the faucets and showers can be used.
  • WiFi Access – Campus WiFi typically is disconnected during power outages. You may not be able to access the internet, email, or text communication if you solely rely on WiFi service through your mobile device.  Data plans may work on campus pending your specific carrier. Please note, it will take time for IT to reconnect WiFi services after the power outage has concluded.
  • Elevators and Accessibility – Elevators will not be operational during outages.  Elevators will be returned to service after the power outage is complete.
  • Vending and Laundry – Vending and laundry machines throughout housing will not be operational for the duration of a power outage; please plan accordingly.
  • Water Refill Stations – water refill stations will not be operational during a power outage. Please plan accordingly.
  • Windows – During periods of high wind, it is important that you completely close your windows to avoid damage.  Windows that open by crank could be ripped off their hinges, causing damage to the building and your space.
  • Custodial Services – Common areas throughout the residence halls may not be serviced during power outages.  Please be mindful of this during this time period.

Evacuation Information:

Each of our buildings have different back-up conditions and there might be certain times where students will need to evacuate their rooms and seek shelter elsewhere. In the event evacuation is required, Residence Life staff will facilitate action steps.

Should you be directed to evacuate to another location, you are encouraged to bring any essentials you might need for an extended period of time such as phones/electronics, IDs and keys, medications, ESA or service animals. We encourage you to make sure your electronics (phones, iPads, tablets, laptops, external chargers, etc.) are fully charged as you head into the evening.

Any ESA being taken to Work Gym will be expected to be crated at all times. ESA owners should bring any essential items for their ESA with them.

Residents always have the option to stay with a friend in another building that is not being evacuated, should that be their preference. Below is information regarding each building and the status during a power outage. This status will determine if/when students of those designated buildings will need to evacuate.

  • Barness/Cooke/Ulman Halls – these buildings have backup generators and all the power in these buildings will remain on during a power outage. Evacuation is not necessary.
  • Centennial/South Halls – these buildings have backup generators that will provide emergency lighting but will not provide heat. Students will not be required to evacuate the building but will need to aware that the heat, main lighting, and outlets in these buildings will not work. Students will want to consider how to stay warm without heat in the building and might want to explore other places to stay. The Work Gym has emergency lighting and heat and is open to any student who wishes to go there during the power outage.
  • Berkowitz/Goldman/Samuel/Work Halls – these buildings have backup generators that will provide emergency lighting and heat. Students will not be required to evacuate the building but will need to aware that the outlets and main lighting in these buildings will not work. Students are welcome to go to Work Gym if they are looking for more light.