Preparing Yourself for an Emergency

Plymouth State University’s Emergency Operations Team has developed an Emergency Operations and Response Plan for the campus. There are several systems and processes in place to prevent or respond to emergencies and reduce the threat to your safety. How you handle and survive an emergency though does not just fall to the University. There are things you should consider and do to make sure that you are ready in the event an emergency does occur.

Are you ready to react in an emergency?
When evacuation or shelter in place (staying inside a building, possibly with doors/windows closed and locked) is necessary, would you be ready? Have you thought about what you would do if you had to leave your residence hall or home in a moment’s notice? What would (or should) you take with you? Do you know where you would go? Do you have a way to get there? Can you take your pets?

The US Department of Homeland Security recommends that everyone be able to answer those questions. They also recommend that you build personal emergency kits and develop personal communication and evacuation plans for emergencies.

Personal Communication Plan

Identify people outside of your immediate family that can be contacted in the event you can’t communicate directly with your family. Make a card with those phone numbers and give copies to all family members. If you live on campus, give a copy to your RD or CA. Identify:

  • An emergency contact in your local area
  • An out-of-state contact in case the emergency affects your local contact
  • A family meeting place

Inform others, even if you are sick or injured
If you were sick or injured, would emergency responders know who to contact? A simple addition to your cell phone’s phone book can change that. All you need to do is add the letters I C E (meaning ICase of Emergency) and put in your contact’s information. For additional entries, name them ICE 2, ICE 3, etc. Emergency responders and hospital personnel look to cell phones for identification and notification purposes.

Personal Evacuation Plan

In an emergency, you may be instructed to leave quickly. Make sure you know:

  • Two or more ways to exit your home or building
  • Where you should meet with family, other residents or co-workers after being evacuated
  • The location of fire alarms, fire extinguishers and other safety devices
  • The location of your personal emergency kit

If you have special needs or concerns when developing your on-campus personal evacuation plan, please contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at (603) 535-2409.

Personal Emergency Kit

Everyone should build a personal emergency kit. The kit should be stocked with items that you would need to survive during a period of evacuation. Although not an inclusive list, Personal Emergency Kits should contain the following:

  • One day’s worth of clothing, including shoes
  • Towel(s) and a blanket and/or sleeping bag
  • Personal care items (e.g., medications, toiletries)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Water and non-perishable foods
  • Extra set of car keys
  • Cash
  • Copies of important documents (e.g., driver’s license, prescriptions, bank account information)

If you have a car, keep your gas tank filled at least half-full. In an emergency, fuel may not be available. Keep the following items in your car:

  • Cell phone
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Flares or light sticks
  • Vehicle emergency kit (jumper cables, tire jack, spare tire)
  • Blanket
  • Shovel
  • Basic tool kit

Additional Resources

The following agencies have numerous resources for you and your family when developing plans and kits: