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November: Emergency SuppliesAny emergency is easier to handle when you have prepared ahead of time. One of the most common emergency threats on campus is severe weather. One way you can be prepared is by putting together an emergency supply kit. Check out the items listed below and add them to a backpack to have in your car, residence hall or apartment in case of an emergency.


Have enough food, water and other supplies on hand to last for several days so you can be better prepared for dealing with unexpected safety or preparedness emergencies.


Here are a few essentials for your residence hall or apartment:

  • First aid kit (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, adhesive bandages, antibiotic/burn ointment, sterile gauze pads, first aid handbook, etc.)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Extra cash and change, stored in a secure place for emergencies.
  • Some form of personal identification, an out-of-state contact person’s phone number, an a pad and pencil.
  • Personal supplies (antibacterial hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrush, feminine products, prescription medicines, and extra pair of glasses or contacts).
  • Whistle with lanyard.
  • Safety light sticks (“bend and shake” type light sticks).
  • Small blanket or Mylar emergency blanket.
  • Emergency poncho.
  • Small supply of plastic utensils, paper cups, paper plates and napkins.
  • Small pliers and screwdriver.
  • Cellphone charger and external rechargeable battery pack.
  • Bottled water (watch for leaks).
  • Ready-to-eat energy bars or nonperishable food (canned fruit or meat) and manual can opener.

Have a pet? They need emergency supplies too! Here are a few items to consider. Consult with your veterinarian if there is anything else your pet needs.

  • Water and bowls.
  • One week’s worth of food (minimum).
  • Cat litter and pan/potty pads.
  • Leash, collar and harness.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Pet first aid kit.
  • Vaccination records and medical history.
  • Veterinarian contact information.
  • List of medications.
  • Emergency contacts.
  • Photo of you and your pet in case of separation.
  • Toys for entertainment.
  • Plastic bags for waste removal.
  • Care instructions for unique pet needs.
  • Identify pet-friendly shelters ahead of time so that you can stay together.

What if the emergency occurs while you are in your car? We’ve all heard stories about being stranded on highways for hours during winter storms. Here are a few items to consider keeping in your vehicle:

  • Jumper cables.
  • Flares or reflective triangle.
  • Ice scraper.
  • Car cellphone charger.
  • Cat litter or sand (for better tire traction).
  • Spare tire, wheel wrench and jack (and know how to use them).
  • Reflective vest.
  • Tool kit and/or multipurpose tool.
  • Flashlight and batteries.
  • First aid kit.
  • Ready-to-eat energy bars or nonperishable food and water.
  • Duct tape.
  • Rain poncho.
  • Extra jacket or blanket for warmth.

Take Action

Store your kit

Since emergencies can occur at any time, make sure you have supplies ready and easily accessible. You may need to make several emergency supplies kits, such as one for your apartment/residence hall and another one for your vehicle.

Maintain your kit

At least yearly, check your emergency supplies kit to ensure that none of your items have expired. Rethink your needs every year and update your kit as necessary.