Personal Emergency Plans

Columbia College takes the safety of our students, faculty and staff seriously. A key component of safety is being prepared should a situation occur that requires prompt action.

As part of the college's emergency preparedness plans, we encourage students and families to develop a family and personal emergency plan. Taking time to prepare for an emergency situation can reduce anxiety and improve outcomes. 

The following suggestions are adapted from recommendations by Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University and the American Red Cross.

Ask Your Family To Answer and Discuss These Questions:

  • Disaster strikes and no one is home. How do you find each other?
  • Disaster strikes and confines you to one location. Basic services may not be available. What family and community resources do you need to be aware of at this time?
  • Disaster strikes and you need to quickly leave. Where do you go? How do you get there? What do you take?
  • Disaster, such as a tornado, strikes suddenly. What do you do? Where are the shelters near your home, work and school?

Be Aware of the Hazards Most Likely To Impact You and Your Family.

  • Do you live in an area prone to severe weather?
  • Do you live in a difficult-to-reach area? Consider the location of the nearest airports and bus and train stations. Do you have access to your own vehicle?
  • Do you live in an area where a man-made hazard, such as a hazardous material skill, could occur?
  • Do you have family members who are ill or facing serious medical conditions? 
  • Do you have family members who are ill or who are facing serious medical issues?
  • Do you have family members employed in fields where their lives may be at risk or the services they provide are in high demand during certain times?
  • Do you know what to do in the case of a fire or situation requiring evacuation?

Plan Ahead As Much as Possible.

  • Make sure all family members have critical emergency contact numbers, such as phone numbers for parents' work, neighbors, doctor, dentist, health insurance, homeowner's insurance, children's schools, police and fire departments. 
  • Make plans for how to escape from your home/residence hall/apartment. Determine where you should be in your home during the types of disasters most likely to impact your family.
  • Make evacuation plans. If you must leave your home/ residence hall/ apartment, where would you go? How would you get there and what items would you take?
  • Determine how you will keep in contact with family members. Pick two locations in your hometown where family members can meet.  Ask an out-of-state friend to be your family's "check-in contact." In a disaster, it is often easier to call long distance than within a stricken area.  Make sure all children know how to contact this person.
  • Store a two-week supply of basic things you might need if confined to your home. Have items such as flashlights, extra batteries, candles, matches, a first aid kit, a battery-powered radio and non-perishable food and water.
  • Revisit the basic safety precautions that many emergency personnel strongly recommend. Know the location of electrical, water and gas shut-offs in your home. Maintain working batteries in all smoke detectors. Learn how to use a fire extinguisher. Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children. Learn basic first aid and CPR.

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