UVA Emergency Management facilitates preparedness activities, organizes and coordinates the University’s response and recovery efforts, and maintains mitigation strategies based on the hazards that make us most vulnerable. These efforts rely on the personal preparedness and ability of students and staff to act during an actual emergency. For parents, family members, and our students to become better informed, we encourage you to become familiar with the following resources on the Emergency Management website:
- Are You Ready?
- Building Evacuation Locations
- Emergency Procedures
- The Operations Status Board (for schedule changes due to weather or other cause)
- UVA Alerts
- The UVA Hotlines for recorded schedule information: 434.924.7669 and 434.243.7669
- 511.virginia for traffic information and road conditions in Virginia.
All Hazard Readiness
It is impossible to predict every emergency that could occur. The following information offers a general guide for planning ahead, preparing your student, and knowing how the University communicates with students and parents when emergencies and critical incidents occur.
The hazards in Charlottesville and Virginia may be different from your hometown. Some hazards, such as severe weather, utility outages, and medical emergencies, are more likely than others.
Severe weather comes in the form of winter snow and ice, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and the effects of hurricanes, such as high wind and flooding. Like the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Emergency Management, UVA utilizes the National Weather Service to plan for weather emergencies.
Severe weather often leads to utility incidents, such as electrical, information technology, water, and heating/ventilation outages. Medical emergencies could result from a variety of situations (medical, trauma, stress).
UVA Emergency Management can quickly organize a multifaceted Critical Incident Management Team from across the institution to manage incidents ranging from small and simple to large and complex. We can rapidly deploy resources for planned and unplanned events.
We follow the National Incident Management System (NIMS) concepts to guide our approach, utilize UVA Alerts for mass emergency notification, and leverage other communication platforms to ensure a coordinated response effort.
Are You Ready?
Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared. Students should take the following actions to minimize the impact of an emergent situation:
Get a Kit
While the University plans to maintain essential support services for students following a disaster, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may take time to be restored. An emergency kit can make the wait for those services more tolerable.
Items for Your Student's Emergency Kit
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask
- Moist towelettes
- Rain poncho or large garbage bag
- Prescription medications (at least a three-day supply)
- Extra pair of eyeglasses, if applicable
- Copies of important documents, such as driver's license and family contact information
- Bottled water and non-perishable snacks
- Some cash
Make a Plan
The University will respond quickly in an event, but students will be best served by having individual plans to take care of themselves.
- All students, especially international students, should think about what their alternatives are if the University were forced to evacuate during a hurricane or in a public health emergency. Staying with friends or relatives in another part of the country may be an option to explore in advance, especially if travel abroad is restricted during a large-scale crisis.
- Students are asked to contact home as soon as possible following a critical incident to advise parents or family members of their status.
- Minimize the use of cell phones; text instead.
- Identify an out-of-state contact to receive and relay messages among family members, since it may be easier to make a long-distance telephone call.
- Add a list of important family contact information to keep in the emergency kit.
- Identify landline phones. Emergency landlines are located within each residence hall at UVA.
Ready.gov provides a simple template to help you record your plan at www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.
Accurate information about impending or actual threats or emergencies can literally mean the difference between life and death.
Emergency Notification: The University employs a range of technologies to help alert the community to emergency situations as quickly as possible. Emergency alerts are reserved for critical incidents that pose a threat to lives and property within the UVA community. Depending on the situation, your student may be alerted in several ways:
- UVA Alerts (email and text notifications)
- LCD and LED displays in common areas/classrooms
- Personal computer desktop notifications – download software
- UVA and UVA Emergency Management websites at www.virginia.edu and www.virginia.edu/emergency
- Alert notifications appear on LiveSafe, UVA's mobile safety app, available for iOS and Android devices for anyone to download and use.
- Outdoor speakers/siren
- Twitter (@UVA_EM, @UVAPolice, @UVAHSEM, @HoosSafe).
- Fire alarms
Situation Updates: The University will send updates via UVA Alerts using the same technologies listed above. Updates are generally sent every 15 minutes until the situation is resolved, or until the situation warrants that updates can be sent less frequently.
Key staff and student leaders, such as the Resident Staff, also will be equipped to communicate directly with students. All available forms of communication will be used to convey needed information to students.
To keep parents informed, the vice president and chief student affairs officer will communicate with parents on health and emergency issues.
After Move-In Day, each residence hall holds an orientation period, which includes a discussion of emergency preparedness and safety topics.
Manage Your UVA Alerts Account
To receive emergency text alerts, students should add mobile phone numbers to their account at www.virginia.edu/uvaalerts. Students are automatically enrolled to receive emergency emails; they can also add multiple email addresses.
LiveSafe Safety App
Download LiveSafe from the App Store or Google Play. Input and verify your mobile phone number.
If prompted, search for "Univesity of Virginia."
Everyone, including parents, can receive emergency alert notifications by downloading UVA's safety app, LiveSafe®. (To receive notifications through LiveSafe, set your location services to always on.)