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.
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:
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.
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:
Recommendations for Clemson students living away from home:
For more information, see the following: