New resources support community learning during Emergency Preparedness Week

Go safe team

Do you know what to do in the case of an emergency? Resources developed by the Community Safety Department at York provide information, helpful tips and guided learning to help keep the University community safe.

For the last 25 years, Public Safety Canada has supported a National Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) to educate Canadians about how to protect themselves, their families and their community during an emergency. At York, the Community Safety Department is encouraging community members to utilize new and existing resources for learning during EP Week to assist in prevention, planning, response and mitigation of emergencies. While emergency planning is done institutionally, preparedness requires a degree of individual responsibility to ensure collective success.

Safety app
York’s Safety App is available for the University community

In partnership with Organizational Learning and People Excellence (OLPE), the Community Safety Department has developed a self-paced course on local emergency preparedness that is available through YU Learn. The Local Emergency Preparedness Course helps York community members understand how to respond to potential local emergencies. This includes information about potential hazards, how to avoid emergencies by being proactive and how to respond to specific hazards and local emergencies, including evacuation procedures, shelter-in-place and lockdown drills. The course material also includes the vast resources that York’s community safety team has developed to ensure students, faculty, staff and guests are safe on York’s campuses, including the Safety App and the campus fire safety systems.

“In recent years, we’ve seen the importance of emergency planning and preparedness rise to the forefront, especially as we navigated new waters with the COVID-19 pandemic and developed new strategies to keep each other safe,” said Orville Wallace, York’s new executive director, Community Safety. “I encourage all members of the community to take the time to review the emergency preparedness resources available and ensure they understand what responsibility they have in both individual and institutional safety.”

In addition to the local emergency preparedness course, there is a variety of materials available on the community safety website, such as information about the emergency notification system, emergency assembly points and an emergency response guide. For those seeking emergency preparedness information while physically on campus, there are over 8,000 posters with safety information, emergency procedures and contact information across both Keele and Glendon campuses. Community members who do not have an emergency poster in their workplace, or who would like to add an additional poster, can contact the Office of Emergency Management.

Beyond preparation, EP Week is an opportunity to put learning into action. All departments are currently seeking full-time University employees to join their Emergency Response Warden Program to help ensure the safety of the community. Wardens assist in the evacuation of buildings in the case of an emergency, provide valuable information to building occupants and first responders and support staff by promoting a culture of emergency preparedness at York.

All information related to emergency planning and preparedness at York can be found here.