It is important that all members of the University community know the role they would play in the event of an emergency. As in any emergency, it is important to remain calm, be flexible, do not take unnecessary chances, and wear or carry your University ID badge so you can be easily identified. This website provides useful guidelines for your own personal planning in the event of an emergency. Please read it carefully and bookmark it for future reference.
To prepare for an emergency on campus, students should focus their attention on developing the following three safety strategies:
- Create a personal emergency plan
- Build an emergency go kit
- Be informed
Note: It is important to develop a personal emergency plan with parents, guardians, close friends, and family members. This will reduce confusion during an emergency and keep loved ones informed of your safety.
Create a Personal Emergency Plan
All members of the University community are encouraged to create a personal emergency plan to guide the communication and actions between them and their loved ones during an emergency. A personal emergency plan can lessen the feelings of anxiety that often accompany such situations.
An effective plan is one that is streamlined, shared, and easily understood. When creating a personal emergency plan, consider what you will need for your safety, the safety of your family and friends, and how to communicate your status to those who are concerned about your well-being. Consider some of the items below for inclusion in your plan:
- Emergency phone numbers: fill out the personal emergency guide and give a copy to your friends, parents, partner/spouse, and children
- Access to the University’s Emergency Management website for current information about campus emergencies or other emergencies in the Chicago area
- Evacuation procedures and locations - for leaving your home/residence, neighborhood, or city. Choose primary and alternate meet-up places. Identify a local location as well as one outside the immediate vicinity. Include a time frame for arrival. If communication is not possible, establish a protocol for waiting at a predetermined location
- Phone tree - develop a phone tree so every member of your family or close friends can contact one another and share information
- Pet care - pets are not allowed in most disaster shelters. Make sure your pets wear tags that indicate your name and home address, and that you have a recent photo of them. Explore emergency foster care options with local animal shelters
- Arrangements for special medical needs or prescription medicine- diabetics or those with other functional disabilities may require immediate access to medications or specialized medical equipment
Build an Emergency Go Kit
During a disaster, it is possible you may not be able to return to your home or local residence right away. Students must be prepared for a delay in returning to their local residence and must also anticipate the impact a campus or local emergency could have on family members concerned for their well-being.
Keeping an emergency go kit at your home/residence hall will provide you with essential items needed for maintaining safety, personal health, and communication during an emergency. Since the impacts of an emergency can never be predicted, access to power, potable water, and other everyday conveniences cannot be assumed. Consider including the following in your go kit:
- Three day supply of water and non-perishable food (one gallon per person per day, canned goods, crackers, snack bars, etc.). Pack a can opener, fork, spoon, sharp knife, and cup
- Special supplies (baby items, medications, extra eyeglasses, plastic bags for documents and sanitation, etc.)
- Sanitation supplies (toilet paper, toothbrush, soap, antibacterial wipes, etc.)
- Fully-stocked first aid kit. Kit should include quality bandages (one large pad), triple antibiotic ointment, anti-fungal ointment, eye drops, packaged wipes, Tylenol/acetaminophen or other analgesic, saline solution, tape, burn ointment, tweezers, small magnifying glass, and needle and thread
- Battery-powered AM/FM radio with additional batteries
- Flashlight with additional batteries
- Copies of important documents (driver’s license or ID, passport/visa, birth certificates, phone numbers, etc.) in a waterproof case or bag
- Cash, CTA/Metra card, and/or credit card. In addition, a phone card can be very useful for pay phones in the event you do not have access to a cell phone
- Keys to your home and car
- Extra blankets
- Change of clothes and shoes (make sure they are weather appropriate)
- Extra cell phone/laptop batteries and ensure the batteries are fully charged
Being informed both prior to and after an emergency reduces confusion and increases your odds of staying safe. University students must become aware of their residence halls, residential building, and/or academic unit’s emergency plan.
This includes learning protocols and procedures identified within the emergency plan, such as :
- Social distancing
In addition, it is recommended that students and parents develop a general understanding of the University’s Emergency Management Plan.
Knowing where to access timely and accurate information regarding the emergency is vital to safeguarding your well-being. Consider the following sources of information during an emergency:
- University’s Emergency Management website
- cAlert Notifications
- WBBM news radio and website
- Instructions from the Dean of Students
The University recognizes that individuals with disabilities may require assistance with alerting, evacuating, and sheltering in the event of an emergency. The University therefore asks all individuals who may need assistance in an emergency to self-identify to the University. Once an individual has self-identified, the University shall work with the individual to develop a personal emergency plan that includes specific evacuation procedures, sheltering procedures, and means of communication in the event of an emergency.
A Self-Identification Questionnaire is posted online. At-risk students can complete this form and return it to:
Assistant Dean of Students for Student Affairs
5801 South Ellis Avenue, Room 222
Chicago, Illinois 60637
For more information of emergency procedures for individuals with functional limitations, please see the Evacuation Procedures for Persons with Disabilities Appendix of the Emergency Management Plan.