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Emergency management & preparedness

The University of Tasmania is committed to providing a safe workplace for staff, students and visitors through effective emergency management and preparedness.

What is considered an emergency and how is it managed?

  • An emergency is an actual or imminent event that requires an immediate response from either internal or external resources.
  • The University has in place specific emergency management plans and emergency procedures for potential incidents to guide the responses of our Emergency Control Organisation (ECO), staff, students and visitors.
  • These plans and procedures are underpinned by the following objectives:
    • to save lives
    • to project property and prevent harm to the environment
    • to help restore essential infrastructure
    • to help restore academic and administrative functions to business as usual.
  • Our emergency preparedness and response processes are reviewed annually by regular evacuation exercises and servicing and testing of emergency facilities and equipment.
  • ECO responsibilities are allocated to a wide variety of staff and emergency-related training is provided by the University . All staff are required to complete health and safety training as a condition of employment, and all contractors are required to complete health and safety inductions, making adherence to emergency protocols and drills mandatory.

Emergency Evacuations of Buildings

  • Learn more about our evacuation procedures and your responsibilities during a building evacuation.

Chief Wardens

  • We have a number of volunteer Chief Wardens across our campuses. It is their job to confirm with the Emergency Wardens that all affected floors have been evacuated promptly where a building must be evacuated. They also act as a communication point for external emergency services when they arrive at the scene.
  • Chief Wardens may coordinate emergency response actions within the building, including initiating an evacuation in circumstances where their local or specialist knowledge is appropriate to the situation.

Emergency Wardens

  • We have a wide network of volunteer Emergency Wardens.  It is their job to help with the evacuation of a building if it is required.  They are identified by wearing red hats during an evacuation.
  • If you’re interested in becoming a warden for your building please contact your supervisor in the first instance. You'll need to also complete our online training program.

An incident has just occurred: What should I do?

Our Emergency Procedures outline what you need to do in the event of an incident:

You can download a copy of these Emergency Procedures by clicking the download arrow icon next to the printer icon in the flipping book above.

If you would like a printed hard-copy of our Emergency Procedures, please email

Bushfire preparedness

What we’re doing at our campuses and sites

Ensuring the safety of our staff and students is our highest priority. The University has a number of measures in place to prepare for bushfires or extreme weather events, including:

  • Monitoring and alerts: The University’s Emergency Control Organisation monitors weather events and other warnings via BOM and TasALERT. If there is a severe weather warning, or if the risk of bushfire presents a threat to our campuses and sites, we will use SafeZone to notify staff and students via email and text message.
  • Emergency plans for bushfire prone areas: Campus Services will also identify sites that are bushfire prone, and work with Colleges or Divisions located on those sites to ensure there is appropriate bushfire preparedness in place (for example, a specific Bushfire Emergency Plan has been developed with Campus Accommodation for the residents at College Road).

Safety precautions for activities outside of University sites

It’s important to be aware that University activities – particularly field trips – could also be impacted by higher fire ratings or by bushfires. It is strongly recommended that you monitor the BOM and the Fire Danger Rating System when planning for and during field trips.

Fires and conditions can develop and change rapidly, so please ensure that when travelling in the field and/or at isolated/remote locations, you and your group are equipped with suitable devices that allow effective two-way communications in all areas in which you are operating (e.g., mobile or satellite phones that are charged and turned on). If the forecast is extreme or catastrophic then any planned field trips in bushfire-prone areas should be reviewed. Safety is paramount, and so cancellation of the field trip should be considered if there is any risk to safety.

Emergency management resources