What to do: Individual
Create a plan of action at home
Whether it is a localized campus emergency or a disaster near your home or family, the following points should be reviewed by you and your family:
- Make a list of emergency phone numbers and give a copy to your friends, parents, partner/spouse, and children (see attached card).
- Make sure someone in your family knows how to access the University’s Web site at http://emergency.uchicago.edu for current information about a campus emergency or other emergency in the Chicago area.
- An alternate e-mail address can be useful to access information if the University server goes off-line.
- Make an evacuation plan for leaving your home/residence, neighborhood, or city. You should also try to develop a phone tree so every member of your family can contact one person.
- Because prescriptions are often written for a short period of time, make sure you have a small emergency supply. Diabetics and others with chronic illnesses may find that they do not have enough medicine for a shelter experience.
- Think about care for your pet(s). 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.
- Know the warning signals. In Chicago, warning sirens are tested on the first Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. If you hear this siren at a different time, turn on the radio or television for information about an emergency
If you live with family members, make note of the following guidelines:
- Emphasize that the safety of your family is primary. They should not move to another location until they know it is safe to do so. Be aware that falling trees and electric lines can make walking dangerous.
- Develop a backup plan for how your children will get home from school or day care if you are unable to leave work/school.
- Ask relatives or friends to care for your children or elderly family members, and remember to inform them about these arrangements (make arrangements with a few different individuals in case the other person has a conflict and cannot take care of your children or elderly family members in an emergency).
- Talk to your children so they’re prepared, but not scared. Try to give them small tasks so they feel like they are contributing.
- Choose two meeting places for your family: (1) right outside your house or apartment and (2) outside the neighborhood. Everyone should know the locations and have a time frame for arrival. If communication is not possible, establish a protocol for waiting at a predetermined location.
- Develop an action plan for how you will evacuate family members who cannot walk.
- Go over your family’s emergency plan once a year so everyone knows what to do and is up-to-date on any changes (are the meeting locations accessible throughout the year?).