There are several easy steps you can take before an emergency to make your response more effective. In the early hours following a widespread disaster, emergency personnel may be dealing with urgent matters and not necessarily available to help you. Putting together an emergency kit, making a plan for where you would evacuate and how you would communicate with loved ones, and staying up to date with news reports can enhance not only your stress level but ultimately even your survival.
Get a Kit
A key element of personal preparedness is a disaster supplies kit. Having a few supplies on hand can make the wait for utility services to be restored more tolerable and ensure you have clean drinking water and food until help arrives.
ITEMS FOR YOUR EMERGENCY KIT:
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Water (one gallon of water per person per day; unopened commercially bottled water is recommended)
- Non-perishable snacks (three-day supply)
- Prescription medications (three-day supply)
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask
- Copy of important documents, such as driver’s license and your family's emergency plan
- Moist towelettes
- Rain poncho or large garbage bag
There are many more resources online to help you build an emergency kit.
Make a Plan
The University will respond quickly in an event, but you should have a plan for how to care for yourself for a brief period of time. All community members should think about alternatives if the University were forced to evacuate during a hurricane or cancel classes due to a pandemic.
- Communications Plan - Work with your family to create a communications plan that outlines how you will contact each other.
- Technology has limits. Contact family members as soon as possible following a critical incident and advise of your status; after that, minimize the use of phones to allow for telecommunication system use by emergency responders.
- Identify an out-of-state contact to receive and relay messages among family members for times when it's not possible to reach them. In emergencies it is often easier to make a long-distance call than a local call.
- Create a list of important family contact information to keep in your emergency kit
- Add 'In Case of Emergency' (ICE) numbers to your cell phone; for example,"ICE Mom" or "ICE Husband." Medical professionals often look for ICE contacts in cell phones. You can also enter important emergency contact and health data on the emergency tab on your iPhone.
Accurate information about impending or actual threats or emergencies can mean the difference between life and death.
Please sign up for UVA Alerts. `
- Emergency Notification –The University employs a range of technological solutions to alert the community to emergency situations as quickly as possible. Emergency alerts are reserved for critical incidents that pose an imminent threat to the health and safety of the University community. You may be alerted in several ways.
- Fire alarm
- UVA Alerts (requires registration for text message and alternate email notification)
- University e-mail
- LCD and LED displays
- @UVASafety on Twitter
- Public address system announcements (where available)
- Alertus Desktop notification (requires installation and connection to the UVA network)
- The University's Emergency Page (www.virginia.edu/emergency)
- Situation Updates – The offical source for the most current and detailed information is www.virginia.edu/emergency.
- Schedule Changes – Changes to the University's academic operations will be posted on the Operations Status Board.