The Water Environment Federation is committed to the safety and well-being of its conference attendees, exhibitors and guests. The information on this webpage is intended to provide general guidance on how best to prepare and respond to an emergency. This webpage will also be used to relay information to WEFTEC registrants and family members in the event of an emergency or natural disaster that severely affects WEFTEC.

Safety and Security
WEF works hard to provide a comfortable and safe environment for WEFTEC, including contracting with a private security firm and off-duty police officers. Your help also is needed to provide a safe and secure meeting environment. WEF recommends that you follow these safety guidelines:  

  1. Share your plans. Advise a family member or friend of your travel plans, including the dates you will be gone, how you will travel to the meeting, and where you are staying.
  2. Protect your identity. Wear your name badge only inside the meeting and convention facility; remove and secure your name badge when going to and from the meeting; when disposing of your name badge, scratch out or destroy your name and the QR code to protect your personal information.
  3. Don’t draw attention. People who look like they’re from out of town are especially vulnerable to crime, so try to blend in as much as you can. Choose inconspicuous clothing that won't attract attention. Be discreet when looking at maps and approach people carefully if you need to ask for directions.
  4. Be aware of your surrounding and travel in groups. Don’t let your guard down to snap the perfect picture for your social media platforms. Always keep an eye on your personal belongings and use good judgment when talking to strangers. A big part of the joy of traveling is the opportunities it affords to meet new people and learn about their cultures. But if someone near you is acting suspiciously, or if you feel uncomfortable, leave the area immediately. Avoid walking alone on unlit streets at night.
  5. Moderate cell phone usage when out. Pay attention when walking and using your smart phone as these devices have been the target of thieves nationwide.
  6. Be on the lookout for pickpockets. Consolidate your wallet. Don't bring every credit card and move it to your front pocket or/and wear a cross-body bag rather than a shoulder strap to keep your purse in front of you. Do not display large amounts of cash in public places.
  7. Trust your gut instincts. If someone or something seems suspicious, leave the area immediately.
  8. Safeguard your hotel room. Even if your hotel has strong security measures in place, there are steps you can take to make your room safer. Lock and dead bolt the door and keep your windows shut. Try to give the impression that you’re in your room even when you’re away, such as placing the Do Not Disturb sign on the outside of your door and keeping the blinds or windows closed. Don’t let any strangers into your room, even if they say they work for the hotel. You can always call the front desk to check whether someone was ordered by hotel staff to come to your room.
  9. Plan for an emergency. Be aware of your surroundings. Know where the nearest exists are located. Use the buddy system. Exchange contact information with another meeting attendee. In the event of an emergency, agree where you will meet up. Call for help if your buddy doesn’t meet up at the agreed location within a reasonable amount of time.
  10. See something, say something. If you see something that raises a safety or security concern, please say something. If at the Convention Center, call security at 312-791-6060.

Be Familiar with Your Surroundings

It is everyone’s responsibility to be familiar with their surroundings. When entering a meeting room, hotel room, or public space, take account of what is around you:

  • Locate the nearest bathroom, main exit, and fire/emergency exit.
  • Determine where the closest house phone is to your location.
  • Examine the evacuation plan posted on the back of the hotel room doors and the instructions listed in the hotel directory.
  • Count the doors between your room and the nearest fire exit and remember how many there are. This may be an enormous help in a smoke-filled hallway.
  • Choose a consistent place to keep your hotel room key at all times.

Evacuation Procedures at McCormick Place

  • In the event of a fire or other emergency, exit out of the closest emergency exit and follow the instructions of convention center staff and public safety officers to evacuate the area.
  • If you need assistance evacuating, find the closest exit that is marked as “Area of Rescue Assistance”. Call 312-791-6060 or 6060 from house phone to report your location, include the stairwell number and the level.  Fire Safety, along with the Fire Department, will meet you and assist you to the safe zone.

Nearest Medical Facilities & Pharmacies  

COVID-19 Testing

Loop Medical Center 

Monday – Friday | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Saturday - Sunday | Closed 


1921 S. Michigan Ave.

Clear Wellness

Monday - Sunday | 8:00 am - 8:00 pm 


1605 S. Michigan Ave. 

Emergency Dental Care

Emergency Dentist Chicago

Insight Hospital Chicago (closest to McCormick Place) 312-567-2000

2525 S. Michigan Ave. 

Northwestern Memorial Hospital


251 E. Huron. St.

UChicago Medicine 


5841 S. Maryland Ave.


CVS Pharmacy (24-hour)


741 W. 31 Street

Jewel Osco Drug

312-663-0580 1224 S. Wabash Ave.


312-791-0392 316 W. Cermak Rd.

Walgreens (24-hour)

312-492-8559 501 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Medical Concierge Service
Chicago Express Doctors

Walk-In Clinics

South Loop Urgent Care

Monday – Friday | 9:030 am – 7:00 pm

Saturday – Sunday | Closed

1430 S. Michigan Ave.

Physicians Immediate Care

Monday – Sunday| 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

312-566-9510 825 S. State St.

Walgreens Advocate Clinic

Monday – Friday | 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

Saturday - Sunday | 9:00 am - 4:00 pm 


410 N. Michigan Ave.

Your Conference Experience

WEF respects and takes the broadest view of human diversity and inclusion, and is committed to providing a professional, safe, and welcoming environment at its events for all water professionals and their guests.  WEF expects all sponsors, speakers, attendees, media, exhibitors and other participants to uphold our commitment to diversity and inclusion by helping us provide a positive conference environment for everyone.

Download WEF's official policies to learn more:

Non-Discrimination and Harassment

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion