Skip Navigation

Preparing Yourself for an Emergency

  1. Overview
  2. Personal Communication Plan
  3. Personal Evacuation Plan
  4. Personal Emergency Kit


How you handle and survive an emergency does not just fall to emergency responders. There are things you should consider and do to make sure that you are ready in the event an emergency does occur. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends 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 them. Make a card with those phone numbers and give copies to all family members. 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.

Emergency responders and hospital personnel look to cell phones for identification and notification purposes. A simple addition to your cell phone’s phone book can help them contact your family members. All you need to do is add the letters I C E (meaning In Case of Emergency) and put in your contact’s information. For additional entries, name them ICE 2, etc.

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, co-workers, or students after being evacuated
  • the location of fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and other safety devices
  • the location of your personal emergency kit.

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, such as:

  • one day’s worth of clothing, including shoes
  • towel(s) and a blanket and/or a sleeping bag
  • personal-care items (medications, toiletries, etc.)
  • a flashlight and extra batteries
  • water and nonperishable foods
  • an extra set of car keys
  • cash
  • copies of important documents (license, prescriptions, bank account information, etc.).

If you have a car, always keep your gas tank filled at least half full. Keep the following items in your car:

  • a cell phone
  • bottled water and nonperishable food
  • a first aid kit
  • cash
  • a flashlight and extra batteries
  • flares or light sticks
  • a vehicle emergency kit (jumper cables, tire jack, spare tire)
  • a blanket
  • a shovel
  • a basic tool kit
Emergency Handbook – Page 3 of 12

About this Policy

Ownership: Environmental Health and Safety; Campus Safety
Last Modified: Mar 25, 2021 –
Categories: Safety
For questions regarding this policy, please contact the policy owner.
Download icon Download as PDF