York community members get prepared

Are you prepared? From May 2 to 8, the Office of Emergency Preparedness held a number of activities on the Keele campus to promote Emergency Preparedness (EP) Week. Some of the week’s activities included training opportunities, information kiosks, free giveaways and draws.

Many students, faculty and staff took a moment from their day to visit the information kiosks in Vari Hall on May 4, where they learned about individual and family preparedness.  

Left: York President & Vic-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri at the Emergency Preparedness Program Kiosk. From left, James Skenderis, emergency management coordinator; April Nietzschmann, campus relations officer, Security Services; Shoukri; and Katherine Branton, manager of York’s Emergency Preparedness Program

York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri stopped by Vari Hall to show his support for York’s Emergency Preparedness Program. “Knowing what to do when a disaster strikes is very important,” said Shoukri. “Whether you are at home, at work or in class, we all need to be prepared for emergencies as they can happen at any time.”

Everyone that dropped by the Emergency Preparedness Program’s information kiosk was given an opportunity to enter a draw to win either a personal preparedness kit or a car kit. Betty Mui, who works in University Information Technology, has won a personal preparedness kit and Zeripha Moses, who works in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science in York’s Faculty of Health, has won a car kit.

Right: Betty Mui (right) won a personal preparedness kit and Zeripha Moses (left) won a car kit.

Volunteers participating in the Emergency Response Warden Program provide a vital role in ensuring safety for University community members. The emergency response wardens receive training in how to assist staff, faculty and students to evacuate buildings during an emergency or practice drill. To show appreciation to those volunteers who contribute their time to the Emergency Response Warden Program, a special draw for an emergency car kit was held for all emergency response wardens who completed training between May 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010. The winner of the draw was Charles Meyers, who works in Student Client Services and is an emergency response warden in the Bennett Centre for Student Services.

Left: Charles Meyers won an emergency car kit 

"Many thanks to all those who participated in EP Week activities," said Katherine Branton, manager of York’s Emergency Preparedness Program. "I encourage everyone to be prepared all year round."

Emergencies can happen at any time and occur anywhere, sometimes without much warning. The following tips can help you be prepared for emergencies on campus: 

  • Know your building’s evacuation plan and assembly point.
  • Take part in exercises and drills.
  • Attend information sessions in your area.
  • Volunteer as an emergency response warden.
  • Learn how to put together an emergency survival kit. 

To find out more about York University’s Emergency Preparedness Program, contact James Skenderis or visit the Emergency Preparedness Program Web site.