Emergency situations

If you have an emergency overseas please get in touch with the University of Leeds as soon as possible.

Please contact University Security Services on +44 113 343 2222 or via the SafeZone app. Please also notify the Global Opportunities Team via email.

Emergency Preparation

An emergency situation such as a natural disaster, outbreak of war, civil unrest, or a threat to your personal security, isn’t always something you can prevent or avoid, but you can make sure that you are fully informed of all risks and have mitigated those risks as much as possible. 

Prior to your departure for your placement overseas, you will have been asked to complete a Risk Awareness Form. Once you have completed and submitted a satisfactory form, make sure you keep a copy to hand. 

The Risk Awareness Form covers topics such as Personal Security, Planning for Emergencies and Individual Health & Wellbeing. By completing the form thoroughly, you should have researched and saved: 

  • Phone numbers for your local emergency services and embassies/consulates. 

  • Locations of your local doctor’s office and hospital. 

  • How to report a crime in your host country.

  • A contingency plan, should you have to leave your host country with little or no notice. 

  • Whether there are any upcoming events in your host country that may trigger political instability or civil unrest. 

  • What the chances are that you may encounter a natural disaster (eg. earthquakes, tsunamis) and the procedure to follow should this happen to you while overseas. 

Prior to your departure for your overseas placement, we ask that you download the SafeZone app to your phone, which you can use to contact the 24/7 University of Leeds Security Team, or local emergency services. Please also sign up to email alerts from the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) for your host country.

In the unlikely event of an emergency such as natural disaster, war, civic unrest or a threat to your personal security situation, we encourage you to do the following:

Immediately after a situation arises

  • Ensure the safety of you and those around you by raising the alarm, calling appropriate emergency service(s), and following local authority advice.

  • Maintain regular contact with key people - your host university, the Global Opportunities Team at Leeds and your family and keep them informed of your whereabouts and movements.

  • Inform the British Embassy in your host country, or the local embassy for your nation if you are not a British national. Let them know your whereabouts and contact details, and follow advice from the FCDO about safe and no-go areas.

  • Seek help locally if you need it, from your host institution (Accommodation Office, Study Abroad Office, Parent Department).

  • Check email regularly – the University of Leeds will make contact using your Leeds email address.

  • The University of Leeds travel insurance policy includes emergency response and support. Contact information can be found on the insurance webpage

  • Keep a low profile and be cautious.

  • If possible, avoid travelling alone.

Planning your response

  • Make a decision in collaboration with embassy representatives, on-site coordinators and the Global Opportunities Team at Leeds.

  • Communicate all decisions to key people (family, Global Opportunities Team and your host university). 

  • If possible, keep everybody informed of your whereabouts, including your arrival at a safe location.

  • Update your new contact details and address on Minerva so that you can be contacted easily.

Useful contact details and resources