Colleges and universities have thorough procedures for emergency crises, and you hope one will never affect your campus—but it doesn't hurt to be prepared in case something does happen one day. Here are some ways you can personally prepare:
- Subscribe to alert services: The use of technology on campuses has increased exponentially over the past decade, and you should absolutely subscribe to these simple, free alerts. The minute you move into your dorm, check out your school's website and find what kind of emergency contact services they offer. Some common methods found on campuses include:
- Text messaging
- Email alerts
- Live feed pages typically found on college websites
- Be aware of campus procedures: A loud, wailing alarm means nothing if you’re completely unaware of campus procedures. Student housing organizes welcome meetings during and around orientation for a reason, so pay attention to specific details regarding emergency situations and take time to learn campus procedures. Be sure to educate yourself if you live off campus as well and don’t have access to meetings or residence email lists. A resident assistant (RA) or commuter group are both great resources when it comes to things like:
- Evacuation routes
- Fire procedures
- Dorm and campus safety
- Emergency contacts (security, police, medical staff, etc.)
- Take every warning seriously: You’ve heard the story about the boy who cried wolf. There may be many false alarms on your campus—some grads still get text alerts from their college about a “suspicious package” that’s always dismissed—but always be weary. At the very least, be aware of what’s happening on campus. Though it might not involve a drastic change of plans on your behalf, just being attentive is the first step to keeping yourself safe in a crisis. You use your phone constantly anyway, so you may as well use it to your advantage regarding campus safety!
Want more in-depth information on this topic? Check out this Important Guide to Student Safety and Support on Campus and bookmark it for easy access!