Communicating in an emergency

Information during an emergency

Check the UVic website for updates and information. During an emergency or disrupting event you will see prominent advisories with information and instructions.

In a major disrupting event when it is important that the campus community is notified quickly the university will use the UVic Alerts.

If the emergency is isolated to your building, follow the verbal directions of your Building Emergency Coordinator or Floor Emergency Coordinator, who will be wearing safety vests.

Reporting an emergency

If you see something, say something—call Campus Security at 250-721-7599 to report an emergency, unusual behaviour or personal safety concern. Please remember that in a large emergency, security officers will be handling many calls and prioritize them according to urgency.

Remember, in an emergency or to save a life, call 9-1-1 for help. You cannot currently text 9-1-1. If you are not experiencing an emergency, do not call 9-1-1.

Communication tips and tricks

  • After an earthquake or other major disaster, local phone service may be disrupted, so you should arrange with someone outside your area to be your family contact. Choose someone away from the BC or US Pacific coastal areas.
  • Use text messaging, social media or email, which use less bandwidth than voice phone calls.
  • If you need to make a call, keep your conversation brief.
  • To help your your phone's battery last longer close apps you aren't using and decrease your phone's screen brightness.
  • Keep extra batteries or a charger in your emergency kit. Consider getting a solar-powered, crank or vehicle phone charger.

Other tips

GPS on your cell phone Most cell phones emit a GPS signal that cell phone companies can “ping” or contact to discover the nearest tower the signal is coming from. Police use this method to find missing persons so, if you are lost, stay in one place.
Contacts Keep your contacts up to date on your phone, email and other channels. This will make it easier to reach important contacts, such as friends, family, neighbours, schools and your insurance agent.
News sources There may be rumour, opinion and speculation about an event, especially on the internet. When making decisions for yourself and your family, rely on news that clearly comes from official sources such as local government officials, first responders, utilities and Environment Canada.
Social media When the internet is available, use social networking sites to keep friends and loved ones up to date on your situation.
Contacting 911 Only call 911 when it is an emergency. Tune into local radio stations to learn more about the event.
Landlines If landline phone service is working a simple corded phone will work during a power failure. Cordless phones rely on electricity and will not work during a power outage. If you have a landline, keep at least one corded phone in your home.
Service After a major disaster, home phone service might be restored last. Land lines for emergency officials, public services and businesses will have higher priority.

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