How to Prepare



The Emergency Response Guide is a quick response guide to help you get ready to respond to a variety of situations. Read it in advance to ensure you are familiar with the response procedures.



The Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities, has specific information for community members who have disabilities.



Emergencies can happen at anytime and anywhere. Use these 3 steps to help you prepare for the unexpected.

Step 1: Learn

There are 2 main things you need to know in this step. You need to:

a) Know about the Hazards and Risks around you that might evolve into emergencies

Whether you are on campus for classes or work; in residence; in your car or on a bus; travelling for work or pleasure, you need to find out what natural and technological disasters could happen in these different settings. Take a look around you and make note of your surroundings.

b) Know where you can obtain information in an emergency

Wherever you are, emergency information about York University can be obtained by calling 416-736-5600 or by visiting York University’s website.

Step 2: Make a Plan and Kit

The York University Emergency plan details the structure of how the University will manage emergency situations, and you need to prepare yourself as well with a plan that matches your needs. You should be familiar with:

a) Develop your own Personal Emergency Plan

If you are on campus or in residence

  • Make special arrangements in advance if you are a person with a disability and need assistance to evacuate by contacting us
  • Be aware of where the emergency exits are located in the buildings where you attend classes or work
  • Find out where the emergency designated assembly points are located for your building
  • Find out who your Building Emergency Captain and Emergency Response Wardens are
  • Be aware of anyone who has completed a recognized first-aid and CPR course from the Canadian Red Cross or St. John Ambulance
  • If you have a pet, make sure you have a means of carrying/transporting and caring for it in the event of an evacuation, and plan where you would take your pet if you could not take them with you to a public emergency evacuation centre.

If you are at home

  • Have a plan for evacuating your home, making sure everyone has a safe path to exit the home from bedrooms in an emergency like a fire.
  • Pick two places to meet in the event of an emergency, one near your home and one outside your neighborhood in case you need to evacuate. Make sure everyone in the household knows the phone numbers of these locations and how to get there.
  • Make a family communications plan in case you get separated in an emergency to help you to get back together. Having someone to contact who lives out of town in an emergency can help separated family members have a single point of contact to help coordinate getting everyone back together.
  • If you have a pet, make sure you have a means of carrying/transporting and caring for it in the event of an evacuation, and plan where you would take your pet if you could not take them with you to a public emergency evacuation centre.

If you plan on travelling for work or fun

  • Make sure that you the details of your itinerary and your travel dates are known to a family member, emergency contact or manager. Let them know where you will be staying, including the address and phone number of your hotel.
  • You may also want to make copies of your important documents like your travel health insurance, passport or ID, and tickets/itinerary to this person.

b) Make an Emergency Kit

If you are on campus, you may want to carry the following

Extra cash Light source such as a key chain flashlight Cellular phone Essential medication
Portable radio (Usually included on many new cellular phones or MP3 players) Whistle to attract attention Tissues Identification documents
Portable sanitizer Band aids Energy bars Bottle of water
Important phone numbers

Always wear comfortable clothing and footwear while at campus. You should also think about whether there are other essential items you would need in an emergency and make sure you include them in your kit.

Step 3: Practice, practice practice!

Practicing your Personal Emergency Plan will help make sure you take appropriate actions in a real emergency situation.

For your home, include a mock evacuation when practicing. You should review your plan regularly and update contact numbers and meeting locations, as needed. In addition to practicing your plan, make sure to rotate the food and water in your emergency survival kit and in your pet emergency survival kit once every six months. You should also check your fire extinguisher and the batteries on your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors at this time. A good practice is to do this whenever the clock changes in spring and fall.

At the beginning of each semester, make sure you are familiar with the emergency exits for your classrooms and what the evacuation routes are for the buildings you visit. If you are interested in becoming involved and helping others, you can volunteer to become an Emergency Response Warden, and/or take First Aid or CPR courses. Discuss with your family and friends what would need to be done in an emergency, and keep an eye out for changes in your environment.