Emergency preparedness for college students

Around the country, students are packing their belongings before heading back to their colleges. Bring out the futons and mattress toppers combined with shower caddies and Old Navy flip flops.

For the college students scurrying around Bed, Bath and Beyond for their last-minute dorm necessities, we have a question for you. Put down the Society6 tapestry for a moment. Is emergency preparedness also on your dorm shopping list?

If it’s not, that’s okay. It’s easy to get swept up in all of the things you need to do before move in. Luckily, Civil Dispatch is here to help.

Five dorm room emergency preparedness tips

Keep a first aid kit in your dorm room.

You never know what could happen, which is exactly why you need to be prepared. Bandages and antibiotic creams  are must-haves in your dorm room. But your first aid kid should be more comprehensive. Make it functional for you. You can even build your own. Here are the supplies you should have on hand.

Know your residence hall evacuation plan.  

Most dorms have fire drills. Rather than turning the volume on  your TV louder and ignoring the sirens, use it as an opportunity to learn escape routes in your building. It’s extremely important to know.

Familiarize yourself with extreme weather circumstances.

Depending on what state you live in, you might have to prepare for other disasters as well. Hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes and flash floods are seasonal in different areas throughout the U.S.

Do some research about the weather in your college town so you’ll have an idea of what you need to prepare for.

It can be scary to move to the Midwest if you are from a state inexperienced with tornado warnings. Likewise, if you move somewhere with frequent earthquake activity, you wouldn’t know whether it’s safer to stand in the doorway or hide under table.

The more you know about the potential weather threats in your area, the more prepared  you will be should a natural disaster occur.

Stock a mini medicine cabinet and pantry.

The rule of thumb is you should always have three days worth of food, water and medicine stocked in your home (or, in the case, dorm room) at all times. Keep medicine and hygiene products on hand, and store up on a few refills in case you ever find yourself running low.

If your modest stockpile typically consists of canned goods, you should add more items like soups, fruits and vegetables. Think non-perishable items.   Remember, certain emergency situations can include power outages so consider how you can still prepare food without electricity.

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