Now that college, universities, and schools are back in session and (for many of us) we are heading towards winter weather, it is time to think about safety and preparedness.
Many of our institutions, hopefully, have emergency management and campus safety plans. However, if yours does not, please start working on one. There are some great resources where you can get some guidance:
- Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS)
- FEMA Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools
- FEMA Multi-Hazard Emergency Management for Higher Education
- My Blog
Of course, organizational plans are important; However, a critical component of institutional preparedness is personal preparedness. If you, your family, and your team are not ready for the personal impact of a disaster, what good are you to your community and the students? In fact, if you are not personally prepared, you will be a drain on the management of the emergency.
Much like institutional work, personal preparedness can seem overwhelming. Luckily, there are some simple steps that people can take now to improve their preparedness levels:
- Think about likely emergencies in your area, both at work and at home.
- Make a plan for what you will do when you have to respond to work. Include your partner, kids, and pets. What will they do during a crisis, specifically when you are/have to be at work.
- Build a kit for your home, your car, and your office.
- Have an out of state contact who you will report your status to. Choose someone who is able to connect with your family, employer, etc.
- Ensure adequate insurance.
- Backup and secure key documents.
- Review and practice your plan.
Do not worry too much about having specific plans for every scenario. While that can be helpful, it is much more important to have a basic plan that you can follow and adapt in real life scenarios.
For more information on personal preparedness, I recommend the following resources:
Please reach out to me if you have any questions.
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