May 8, 2023

How prepared are you for the next emergency?

3 ways to participate in Emergency Preparedness Week May 7- 13
Emergency Preparedness Week

Just a little preparation can help you respond quickly to protect yourself, your family and your community when the unexpected happens. By participating in this year’s Emergency Preparedness Week, the University of Calgary community gets the opportunity to learn more about how to effectively prepare for the next emergency.

“Being prepared for an emergency can prevent loss of life, mitigate any potential damage to your property and can help you recover quicker with minimal impact to your everyday life,” says Bob Maber, senior director of emergency management and campus security. “Making sure you have a plan in place helps you respond faster, which can help you to protect yourself, allowing you to protect others, including your family.”

Emergency Preparedness Week May 7- 13 

For more than 25 years, Canada has held a national Emergency Preparedness Week to raise awareness about how to successfully prepare for emergencies.

This year’s theme is Be Prepared. Know Your Risks. The #ReadyForAnything hashtag encourages people to understand the risks and what actions they can take to protect themselves and their families. For example, weather can pose a significant risk that can often be overlooked. This time of year, the weather can quickly become extreme, and it is important for the UCalgary community to prepare for any emergencies that could happen both on campus and in the community, says Maber.

“The weather is starting to change, which can bring more severe weather that people need to be prepared for,” he says. “We’re coming up on the 10-year anniversary of the Calgary floods, and we just passed the anniversary of the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires, so it’s important to remember devastating events can and do happen.

"Alberta is already experiencing a higher rate of wildfires, which poses safety risks to those travelling this summer. Our community should use EP Week as an opportunity to prepare for different events to ensure they can handle the next emergency.”

Firefighters doing a vehicle extraction demo

University of Calgary files

3 ways to participate in #EPWeek2023

1. Assemble an emergency kit 

Having a 72-hour emergency kit can equip you with the right supplies and prepare you for any disruption or evacuation. The Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) has resources one can use to assemble a home emergency kit.

2. Make an emergency plan

Creating your own emergency plan can reduce initial stress and help you respond more efficiently. For example, your personal emergency plan should include the following information:

  • Workplace plan: Use UCalgary’s building emergency response plan template to help you create an effective safety plan while on campus. The emergency response plan includes:
    • Information on steps to take to protect yourself from adverse weather. Visit the severe weather web page to see additional information that you can use to protect yourself while on campus.
    • Information on how to protect yourself in the event of an active assailant on campus. Although active assailant incidents are extremely rare, there are things you can do to prepare. Visit the Emergency Management website to learn how to prepare for and react to an active assailant and be sure to watch the training video.
  • Household: Create a household emergency evacuation plan, including evacuation routes, safe meeting places and remember: never re-enter any building under evacuation.
  • Child safety: Include information about your child’s school or daycare emergency policies and how they contact families during an emergency.

3. Keep up-to-date on emergency alerts

There are many ways you can obtain information during an emergency, including apps.  

  • Alertus

Download the UCalgary Alertus Emergency App to receive alerts and stay up to date on emergency events happening on campus. These alerts can save lives and prevent injury, helping to foster a safe and healthy living and learning environment for students, faculty, and staff.

Alertus conducts monthly testing on the first Wednesday of each month at 11:55 a.m. Testing allows the campus community to become familiar with the app and ensures that all members of the UCalgary community are receiving messages. If you have Alertus installed and activated on your mobile device and are not receiving the test message,  contact the Emergency Management Team at

  • Alberta Emergency Alert

This is Alberta’s warning system that issues alerts to warn people about potential risks to health and safety. Its app can be downloaded for iPhone and Android.

  • Alert Ready 

This is Canada’s warning system to help you and your family stay informed and safe during an emergency or disaster. If you receive an alert, you should take the appropriate action to protect yourself.

Be prepared

Preparing for any emergency can help you respond more effectively and can limit potential damage or disruption. For more ways to participate in EP Week and resources including emergency kits, information about adverse weather and wildfires, as well as how to build resiliency, visit UCalgary’s Emergency Preparedness Week web page. CEMA also provides a variety of resources, educational materials and activities to help Calgarians become better prepared. Check out CEMA’s Emergency Preparedness Week resources to help you effectively prepare for the next emergency.

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