Individual Preparedness

Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be InformedThe College and local services will always do everything possible to protect you during an emergency, but individual preparedness is also extremely important. Taking the time to prepare yourself and those you care about for an emergency can make a big difference, allowing you to be well supplied and in touch when the worst happens.  The Emergency Planning Group has put together a preparedness guide for students, where you can find basic information about being prepared at Dartmouth.

Getting a kit, making a plan and being informed will put you in control during an emergency and will help reduce your reliance on others. Three easy steps will help you prepare for anything that might happen: get a kit, make a plan, and be prepared. A summary these steps is provided below, and can visit Ready.gov for more information.

Get a Kit

Following an emergency, you may have to live independently for a short time (though unlikely if you live on campus, nothing is impossible). For this reason, it is important that you gather some simple, yet very important items for use in the event of a disaster. It is generally recommended that you keep three days worth of supplies for each person.

Some ideas of what your kit should include are:

  • Consumables
    • Water: one gallon per person per day
    • Food: non-perishable and non-electric can opener
    • Pets: food and water, crate and leash
  • Survival items
    • First aid kit
    • LED flashlights
    • Sleeping bags and/or blankets
    • Dust masks
  • Communication Tools
    • Cell phone and charger
    • Battery-powered radio, preferably with NOAA capability
  • Other Items
    • Cash and a waterproof bag for important documents
      • ID, passport, insurance cards, etc
    • Extra batteries
    • Road maps and phone directory printed on paper
    • Paper/pens
    • Feminine products

This is not an exhaustive list, but a guide to help you think about what items would be important to you in an emergency. Write a list that suits your needs and prepares you to live without support for up to three days.

Make a Plan

Dartmouth and the Town of Hanover maintain plans for emergency situations. You are included in those plans, but it is important that you develop a plan that is specific to you - think about how to contact your family, how to get to your home, what medications you take, and other questions specific to you. Remember, your personal plan does not need to be complicated or long. Many good personal plans are only a page or two.

Consider these elements to get you started on thinking about your plan:

  • Emergency contact information
  • A meeting point for family/friends in case of evacuation
  • Information about where you can stay overnight locally
  • Travel information
    • What route do you usually use to get home?
    • What alternate routes are available?
    • How much do they cost normally? On short notice?
    • Do you have friends who will be driving in that direction?
  • Schedule information for family/friends (work, school, etc.)

Remember that some planning elements may be more or less important to you depending on your needs and situation. Consider everything you may need when an emergency strikes and build a plan that fits you and those close to you.

Be Informed

This step is ongoing, but simple: seek out information about your risks and what you can do to prepare, and monitor what is happening in your area before, during, and after an emergency. Be familiar with resources accessible to you, including:

Review these resources and find what makes the most sense for you.

By taking these simple steps, in no time at all you will have taken emergency preparedness into your own hands, ensuring that you and your loved ones are ready for the unexpected.