MyUW - Local/Emergency Info FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Local Address and Emergency Contact Information

Who has to provide this information?

All students who are enrolled in credit-bearing courses must provide this information. This includes students taking courses online, auditors, and Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC).

What is the difference between a local address and an emergency contact?

A “local address” is a physical address where you live or frequently stay during the time you’re taking classes. It’s a place of residence where someone would be most likely to find you. One way to think of it is where you “put your head down” at night. This is information about you.  


An “emergency contact” is a parent, relative, or trusted friend you would like the University to contact in case of an emergency. This is information about someone else.


I have so many other addresses entered in my Student Center, like mailing, for example. How is Local Address different?

It's entirely possible that your Local Address might end up being the same as your Mailing Address. However, UW is treating your Local Address a little differently than your mailing address - it's more confidential, and it will only be used in times of emergency. You're also required to update your Local Address every semester.

I don't live in Madison, or even Wisconsin, right now. Do you still need my information?

Yes, we need this information for all of our students, including those who are studying abroad, participating in an off-campus/non-Madison-based program, or taking courses online. Your local address doesn't have to be Madison - it's wherever you live while you're taking classes.

I'm studying abroad this semester. What should I enter?
Students studying abroad should enter the address where they're staying in their host country. Once you return to the States, please update your address accordingly.

If I enter my Local Address and Emergency Contact here, does that mean I don't need to update my information anywhere else?

No. Since this information is only being used for emergency and mandated reporting purposes, you should still update your contact information, such as mailing address, permanent address, etc., in your Student Center and elsewhere.

Is my information protected? Will it be given out?

Your local address and your emergency contact information are protected, private information. Only authorized UW personnel are able to access it. UW does not give the information to third parties unless an emergency situation necessitates it or if required by State or Federal law. To comply with Federal and State law, UW must report a portion of your local address: city, zip code, state, and country. Your street address is not reported.


Who has access to this information?

Only authorized UW personnel can access it. UW does not give the information to third parties unless an emergency situation necessitates it or if required by State or Federal law. To comply with Federal and State law, UW must report a portion of your local address: city, zip code, state, and country. Your street address is not reported.


How often do I have to enter it?

You should update your information any time there is a change. You are required to update or confirm the information each semester you are enrolled.


Why is this required?

First and foremost, UW is asking for this information because we want to help keep our students safe. Without accurate, up-to-date information, University officials and UW-Madison police are not able to check in on the well-being of a student, i.e., perform a “welfare check”, in a timely manner or contact the appropriate people in an emergency. Secondly, UW needs to collect this information to comply with state and federal requirements.


What happens if I don’t provide the information?

In an emergency, the University uses all available information to respond as best it can. Local address and emergency contact registration is an opportunity to provide better information and to make it more readily available for emergency response. If you don't provide this information, the University may be less able to respond quickly and effectively during an emergency, to reach you with information or help that you may need, and/or to reach people important to you if you should be involved in an emergency.

In addition, an enrollment hold will be put on your student record, preventing you from enrolling for the next semester.


How do I update my information?

Access the local address and emergency contact registration tool in MyUW. You can also search for the "Emergency Info" app in the new MyUW. If you encounter problems while doing this, please contact the DoIT Help Desk.


Why can’t I change my local address listed for University Housing?

University Housing sends housing assignments, including residence halls and apartments, directly to the local address and emergency contact database. Only University Housing has the ability to change those addresses, and they will do so should your contract or housing assignment change or end.


Why are there spaces for multiple entries?

The University recognizes that individuals may spend significant time in multiple locations, such as a dorm address, a parent’s address, a work or laboratory address, etc. By collecting multiple locations for local address, we hope that we will have more complete and accurate information about where to find you, should the situation arise.


We also recognize that you might have multiple persons appropriate to contact in an emergency, and by providing multiple contacts, the University is more likely to be able to reach one of them.


What if my emergency contact doesn’t speak English or has a hearing loss?

You can enter additional helpful information about your emergency contact, such as language(s) spoken or preferred communication method (e.g., text, relay service, email), in the “comments” section of the entry form. The University will do its best to accommodate the needs of emergency contacts during communications.


Does my emergency contact list have to include family members?

No. An emergency contact is simply someone you would trust to respond quickly and appropriately if something happens to you. We understand that some students may not wish to list a family member as an emergency contact because of personal preference, or because (for various reasons) a family member may not be able to respond in that manner.


What if I don't have a local address and/or emergency contact?

If you don't currently have an address and/or don't have anyone you would feel comfortable entering as an emergency contact, please contact us at We're happy to work with you to find an alternative option.


Can I request certain people to be contacted in specific situations?

No. In the event of an emergency, police and University officials will use all available information, including this information, to best respond to the emergency.


What if my emergency contact doesn’t answer the phone?

The University will use all available information, especially all of the emergency contact information that you have provided, to best respond to an emergency situation.


Why are you collecting an email address for my emergency contacts?

The University will try all phone numbers listed for an emergency contact, and will try each number multiple times. If there is no answer, the University would email the emergency contact and tell them to contact UW as soon as possible.


What should I do if I move?

If you move, you should update your local address(es) as soon after you move as possible.

What if I have a question that isn't addressed here?

If you have a question, concern, or comment about the local address and/or emergency contact information that isn't addressed on this page, please send an email to

Keywords:myuw beta local emergency info faq contacts information my uw enter   Doc ID:54484
Owner:Andrew P.Group:My UW-Madison Portal
Created:2015-07-29 12:45 CSTUpdated:2016-09-01 05:25 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, My UW-Madison Portal
Feedback:  7   0