If you’re getting ready to head off to college or are helping someone get ready to leave for school, make sure they have an emergency kit.
It can be as simple as an extra backpack with the following supplies and materials. It can be a lifesaver.
Emergency Kit Supplies
- Change of clothes
- Shoes and socks
- First aid kit
- Cash (small bills and change)
- Two bottles of water
- Energy bars or compact food items
- Flashlight (wind-up preferred)
- Mobile NOAA Weather Radio
- AM/FM Radio
- Local paper map
- Small notebook and pen/pencil
- Paper copies of important documents (birth certificate, medical prescriptions, credit/debit card numbers, car insurance, drivers license, medical records, contact lenses/glasses prescription)
- PDF copy of documents on USB drive
- Battery-powered cell phone charger
- Paper list of important phone numbers
- Cell phone apps for emergency info
- Package of wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, personal hygiene supplies
- Rain poncho
- Space blanket and small pillow
- Matches and candle
- Program ICE (In Case of Emergency) phone number into cell phone contacts or on lock screen image
When students get to the college or university campus, they should get information on local and/or campus emergency alert systems. They’re typically texts or calls to the student’s cell phone.
Parents can sign up for these alerts as well to know what’s going on at the student’s college or university.
If the student is living in a dormitory or school administered housing, find out where the emergency or storm shelters are. If they’re living off campus, know where the “safe room” is in the apartment or house.
Some colleges have emergency beacons on walkways and in parking lots. Students should know where these are and how to use them. Campuses may be near community warning sirens. Know what the tones mean when the sirens sound.
Know the difference between a lockdown order and shelter-in-place.
Lockdown usually means that the classroom, dorm or housing doors should be locked, windows closed and no one let into the building until police or security gives the OK.
A shelter-in-place order is used when dangerous chemical agents have been released into the air due to an accident. Persons should turn off all furnace and ventilation systems, enter a room with few or no windows and then seal windows, doors, vents and electrical outlets with plastic sheeting and tape. They should monitor radio and/or television for an all-clear order.
In case of severe weather, students should move to the shelter area in the building they’re in. This is usually in a basement, stairway or an interior room without windows.