General emergency preparedness

Emergencies can occur anywhere at any time. University of Waterloo plans for all hazards and relies on employees to help maintain critical and essential functions.

In order to fulfill those responsibilities, individuals should prepare themselves by making an emergency plan, building a kit with essential personal items, and knowing how to stay informed during incidents. Individual preparedness is the foundation in helping to protect you and your loved ones. In addition, when employees are personally prepared, the UW community can continue to promote a safe and resilient campus for all students, faculty, and staff.

  • Stay informed with emergency messages displayed at University of Waterloo.
  • Emergency notification will be sent out during an event through the WatSAFE App.  Please download this free app at the WatSafe Website.
  • UW Police dispatch can be reached at 519-888-4911 or extension 22222 from a phone on campus.

Did you know: hazards range from natural hazards (severe weather) to manmade incidents and unexpected events (chemical leaks or structure collapse).

For additional information, visit:

Before an emergency

Prepare your home and those who depend on you by creating evacuation, shelter-in-place, and communication plans. Include special considerations for elder, child, and pet care. Assemble kits with emergency items for home, automobile, and other important locations. At home, kits should sustain you for at least three days and include the following items:

  • Water (Nonperishable food)
  • Eating utensils, non-electric can opener
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medication and items for unique needs
  • Cash and some change
  • Clothes and comfortable shoes
  • Important documents
  • Filter mask or cotton t-shirt
  • Mobile device charger
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape
  • Sleeping bag or warm blankets for each person
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Household bleach

Routinely update your emergency contact information on the UW network so that you will receive the latest information through any emergency notification messages.

During an emergency

  • Take appropriate protective measures.
  • Check in with your supervisor, instructor or residence don for guidance and direction.
  • Report hazardous/unsafe conditions to your instructor, supervisor or residence staff member.