Authorization and Approval

Responsibility: President 
Authorization: Board of Governors
Approval Date: Jun 17, 1999
Reformatted/Revised: Mar 30, 2001; February 2021


The University of Saskatchewan recognizes the need to be prepared for emergencies and crises to mitigate and minimize the impact to faculty, staff, students, operations, research, environment and damage to property and/or infrastructure. This policy articulates the authority and responsibilities for university emergency management and provides a framework to enable the university to prevent, prepare, respond, and recover from emergencies and crisis.

Establishing appropriate emergency preparedness serves to enable a trained, designated senior leader to be in command and control in critical situations affecting the university, allowing quick decision-making in a time-sensitive setting.


The university mission, vision, and values inspire all the principles and responsibilities in this policy. The policy was also developed with the following additional principles in mind:
  • Safeguarding life. The university is committed to the preservation of life, the health and safety of first responders, reduce suffering, and protecting public health and safety.
  • Emergency Management. The university uses the four, interdependent components of emergency management to support continuous improvement of policies and procedures and to maintain a safe environment for work and study. The components are:
    • Prevention: The actions taken to eliminate, mitigate, or reduce risk within the university.
    • Preparedness: The planning and readiness to effectively respond to an emergency and/or crisis.
    • Response: The coordinated effort taken to address the effects of the emergency or crisis to minimize impact.
    • Recovery: The ability to restore normal operations within the university.
  • Protection and Restoration. The university has the objective to protect its critical infrastructure and property, to protect the environment, to reduce social/economic losses, to protect university reputation, and to restore normal operations as quickly as possible.
  • Risk Based. The university uses a risk-based approach to emergency management and establishes processes and controls to identify and mitigate risk to an acceptable level.

Scope of this Policy

This policy applies to all university faculty, staff, researchers, students and all other individuals and parties acting on behalf of the University of Saskatchewan. For definitions, see the Appendix.


The University of Saskatchewan Emergency Management Plan (EMP) provides the general framework for the institutional response to major emergencies and/or crisis. Local emergencies follow the local Emergency Response Plans.  The Emergency Organizational Structure, as defined in the EMP, will also be used to manage.

In the event of a major emergency and/or crisis, the University of Saskatchewan shall respond in accordance with the authority, organizational structure, procedures, and college/unit emergency response plans set forth in the University of Saskatchewan Emergency Management plan (EMP).

The emergency organizational structure represents the line authority during a major emergency and/or crisis. Upon activation of the EMP, the Crisis Management Team (CMT) Lead assumes command and control of the incident, while the Crisis Operations Team (COT) manages the tactical/operational response.

CMT membership includes key senior leaders and the university’s appointed Emergency Manager. COT membership includes the Emergency Manager, and key operations, planning, logistical and administrative leads. Further descriptions of the membership of each team is found in the EMP.

Any CMT or COT member may activate the EMP, or the plan can be activated as a result of a significant incident reported through Protective Services.

The University of Saskatchewan works with the City of Saskatoon Emergency Measures Organizations (EMO) concerning emergency measures plans, operations, response, as well as information sharing regarding incidents within the city that may affect university operations.


Some of the major emergency management responsibilities specific to roles are outlined below and are detailed in the EMP. In situations needing clarity, matters may be escalated to the Emergency Manager.


  • Follow and monitor all communications provided by the University in an emergency or crisis.


  • Safety in the workplace is the responsibility of all employees. Supervisors of employees are responsible for upholding health and safety standards in their workplace, including those that apply to emergencies. 
  • Supervisors are required to identify hazards in their work environment and take steps to ensure the safety of their employees.
  • All employees are to follow and monitor all communications provided by the University in an emergency or crisis.

Deans/Unit Leaders:

  • Develops and maintains a local emergency response plan (ERP) and standard operating procedures for their respective college/unit that are based on the all-hazard methodology.
  • Assesses issues/incidents for risks (health and safety of people, animals; critical infrastructure; environment; social/economic loss; university reputation) and involves CMT members where high emergency-related risks exist.
  • Keeps Provost/Vice Provost informed of high-risk areas/concerns.
  • Provide assistance to first responders and CMT/COT should their college/unit be affected by an emergency or crisis.
  • Provides mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery awareness within their college/unit in case of an emergency or crisis.
  • Appoints a primary (and alternate) emergency contact person in case of an emergency or crisis.

 Crisis Operations Team (COT)

  • Assists colleges/units in developing and maintaining local ERPs, continuity plans and the tactical/operational response to all major emergencies or crisis.
  • Provides input to decisions required by CMT.
  • Acts as the key operational advisors/resources to CMT via Emergency Manager in an emergency or crisis.
  • Provides tactical response during activation of emergency management plan.
  • Manages risk by including key college/unit contact(s) and information specialists.
  • Is responsible for the planning, development, and maintenance of the EMP.

Crisis Management Team (CMT):

  • Evaluates and initiates Emergency Organizational Structure (EOS) per the EMP.
  • Leads institutional authority/strategy during an emergency or crisis.
  • Receives recommendations/decisions from Emergency Manager.
  • Involves and keeps PEC informed where level of risk requires their input/involvement.
  • Advises PEC on policy.
  • Makes institutional decisions during activation of the EMP.

President’s Executive

  • Provides policy direction to CMT.
  • Provides input to the President on institution-wide decisions such as cancelling classes, major financial commitments, or reputational decisions.
  • Ensures CMT Lead(s) are aware of any concerns or risks.
  • Keeps Board of Governors, governments, other key institutional stakeholders informed as required.


All faculty, staff, students, and visitors are subject to the requirement of this policy.

Following procedural fairness, the university may take action against anyone whose activities are in violation of the law or of this policy.  The actions taken may include, but are not limited to:

Procedure Summary

The university’s Risk Management Program provides a framework and process to identify and understand the principal risks facing the organization that currently threaten the achievement of the university’s vision, mission, and plan.

In the event of a major emergency or crisis , the University of Saskatchewan shall respond according to the plans set forth in the University of Saskatchewan Emergency Management Plan. The EMP is based on the Incident Command System (ICS), designed to enable effective, efficient incident management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure.

Appendix: Definitions

All Hazards Methodology: a systematic method for identifying, analyzing and estimating all natural, accidental and malicious threats. The core methodology of the approach emphasizes the following elements:
  • likelihood the hazard may occur;
  • the consequences of the hazard; and
  • level of preparedness.

Crisis: An event, situation or issue that needs to be contained. A crisis cannot be handled alone by an individual college or unit and needs other/outside expertise or advice. Examples include: threat to self or others; criminal activity; technology breaches; cyber-attacks; building safety; health & safety (including building safety); unethical behaviour/ misconduct; legal/labour disputes; significant reputational issues/concerns

Emergency: an event that must be responded to immediately or attended to in real time.

Local Emergency – an abnormal situation which, in order to limit damage to persons, property, or the environment, requires prompt action beyond normal procedures. Colleges/units are required to develop local Emergency Response Plans (ERP) to address local emergencies.

Major Emergency – “a present or imminent event that requires prompt (institutional) coordination of actions concerning persons or property to protect the health, safety or welfare of people, or to limit damage to property or the environment” (Public Safety Canada, 2007b). Although the impact may be significant, it remains within the capabilities of the university. Specific external resources may be required. A major emergency will require activation of the Emergency Organizational Structure.

Disaster – an event that is “essentially a social phenomenon that results when a hazard intersects with a vulnerable community in a way that exceeds or overwhelms the community’s ability to cope and may cause serious harm to the safety, health, welfare, property, or environment of people” (Public Safety Canada, 2007b). During a disaster, the university will require additional resources from local/regional organizations.

Related Documents


For questions and concerns contact:
Manager, Safety Resources
Phone: 306-966-4675

To activate Emergency Management Plan call:
Protective Services