Fire and EMS

Personal Emergency Preparedness

It's Up To You

When things seem fairly quiet, it's hard to imagine our whole world turning upside down. It's hard to believe that disaster could strike, but it could. Emergencies occur all the time, often without warning, and without your knowledge. Every day in our community and across the country, people are affected by emergencies, ranging from a power outage limited to their own home, to regional disasters such as blizzards, ice storms, or heat waves. What will your campus or home responsibilities be at such a time, and how can you ensure your peace of mind when the unexpected occurs? While disasters can be devastating, the good news is that you can protect yourselves and your loved ones by planning ahead.

Why Prepare

When a large-scale disaster occurs, emergency managers, fire departments, emergency medical services and police departments are first on the scene to assess damage, secure public safety, and help those in immediate need. They are joined by volunteer organizations liked the American Red Cross, which provides shelter and assistance to meet emergency needs. There are public and private utility crews, who work to restore electricity, telephone, and natural gas lines. There is a response system in place, but in times of disaster emergency responders can't be everywhere, helping everyone immediately. It may take hours, even days, for assistance to reach your area. And if the emergency is limited to your home, workplace, or immediate neighborhood, your plans have to be personalized. In either case, everybody in your family should be ready to act:

  • Disaster strikes and no one is at home. You are at work, the kids are at school, and another family member is traveling on business. How do you find each other?
  • Disaster strikes, and confines you to your home. Basic services that we take for granted, such as electricity, water, gas, and telephone, may be unavailable for hours or weeks. You need to know how to cope with the situation.
  • Disaster strikes at the workplace and you need to stay on the job much longer than expected. Who can care for your pets when you are delayed?
  • Disaster strikes and you need to get out fast. You should have a plan for where to go, and what to take with you.
  • Disaster strikes suddenly, like a tornado. You need to know what to do, and where to take shelter.

You can see how important it is to take steps to prepare for disaster before it happens. Preparing for emergencies is everyone's responsibility. Families can and do respond to and recover from these events better by preparing in advance and working as a team.

Personal Emergency Plan

Developing a personal emergency plan will help you and your family prepare to cope with the effects of disaster. It takes very little time to do, and it provides opportunities for the entire family to get involved. The personal emergency plan includes four basic steps:

  1. Learn about the hazards your are vulnerable to and how to prepare for each.
  2. Talking abouIt t the idea of disaster planning with your family.
  3. Putting your plan into action.
  4. Practice your plan.

Recommendations for Clemson students living away from home:

  • Remote contact for you and family.
  • Full tank of fuel.
  • Emergency travel money.
  • Planned meeting places.
  • Medications.

For more information, see the following:

To access PDF files you need Adobe Reader installed.
If you do not have Adobe Reader on your computer, you can download it below.
Get Adobe Reader