Carolina Ready LogoBe ready, Carolina! Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared. There are some easy ways you can educate yourself on how to prepare yourself in advance and how to respond during campus emergencies.If you want to schedule an emergency preparedness training for your area, fill out this form.

Call 911

Call 911 if you see anything that needs an immediate police, fire or emergency response.

  • A suspicious person or someone posing a threat
  • Assault or immediate danger of an assault
  • Any display of a weapon
  • Any threats to harm one’s self or others
  • Other crimes in progress
  • Severe injuries, illnesses or someone choking or drowning
  • Fires
  • Explosions
  • Chemical spills
  • Suspicious object or package
  • Unusual odors

Every second counts. When you dial 911 from a UNC phone or emergency call box, the call goes directly to UNC Police for immediate response from campus and coordination with other authorities.

If You Hear the Emergency Sirens

The sirens signal a life-threatening situation such as an armed and dangerous person in the area, a major chemical spill or hazard, or a tornado warning for our area issued by the National Weather Service.

Be prepared to follow specific instructions including:

  • Seek shelter inside now and stay until further notice
  • Close windows and doors
  • Stay away from windows and doors

When the danger is over, the siren system will signal all clear.

Suspicious Person

  • Don’t physically confront the person or block their access to an exit
  • Don’t allow anyone to enter a locked building or office
  • Call 911. Describe the person and where they were going

Suspicious Object or Package

  • Don’t touch or disturb the item
  • Call 911

Bomb Threat

  • Remain calm
  • Get as much information as possible from a threatening caller – location of explosive device, when the device was placed or other details
  • Call 911 and follow emergency officials’ instructions


  • Help evacuate those who need help from the immediate area
  • Pull the nearest fire alarm and call 911
  • Confine the fire by closing windows and doors
  • Use a fire extinguisher if you’ve been trained and it’s safe
  • Evacuate the building. Stay out until emergency personnel say it’s OK

Building Evacuation

  • When the fire alarm is activated, evacuation is mandatory – even if you don’t smell smoke
  • Don’t use the elevators
  • Take personal belongings (keys, wallets, purses, identification)
  • Follow directions given by emergency responders
  • Help people with disabilities
Emergency management is based on a cycle of continuous and inter-related activities to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against the potential effects of major emergencies and disasters.

Have you taken steps to prepare for an emergency? According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), three elements of good preparation are:

Keep Informed

Learn about the potential emergencies that can happen where you live and know the appropriate ways to respond to them.

Make a Plan

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan what you would do in different situations. How would you get to a safe place? How would you contact one another and get back together?

Build a Kit

You need enough water, food and supplies in your emergency supply kit for three to seven days for each person and pet.

If the power went out during the evening, I would:

  1. Sit in the dark, waiting for the power to come back.
  2. Light candles.
  3. Search the kitchen drawers for flashlight batteries; they’ve got to be in there somewhere.
  4. Know exactly where to find flashlights, battery-powered lanterns and fresh batteries.

If our home were without water for a day or two, we would:

  1. Drink soda or juice and wash up at school or the office.
  2. Visit relatives or friends where we could take showers and use the bathroom.
  3. Check the bottled water on the basement shelf and try to remember how old it is.
  4. Drink and wash from a supply of bottled water that we replace every few months.

Our important papers and records are:

  1. Misplaced; we have no idea where they are.
  2. Scattered in various locations throughout the house.
  3. Filed in the home office.
  4. Secured in a water and fireproof box.

We’ve made the following arrangements for our pets:

  1. We have no plans. Why do we need them? They go wherever we go.
  2. We’d leave them at home with plenty of food and water.
  3. We’d take them with us, hoping we could find a shelter or hotel that will accept.
  4. We’ve made plans with family, friends and our vet to take them at a moment’s notice.

During an emergency, I would depend on the following for information:

  1. My neighbors.
  2. The television.
  3. The internet.
  4. A battery-powered radio.

If I suddenly had to leave my home for five days, I would:

  1. Hang out at the mall and wait to hear how long before we could return.
  2. Throw some clothes and necessities in a suitcase and take an impromptu vacation.
  3. Leave; then coordinate with family members or friends about what to do.
  4. Grab my emergency kit and follow the steps in our family preparedness plan.

My emergency kit is:

  1. We don’t have one.
  2. A drawer with flashlights and batteries, bottled water in the basement and a first-aid kit in the bathroom.
  3. A bin with flashlights and batteries, bottled water, canned foods and a first-aid kit.
  4. Water to last three days, a battery-powered radio and flashlights with extra batteries; canned foods; a first-aid kit; extra medications; and a portable “go” kit in the car.

If local authorities told me to evacuate, I would:

  1. Refuse to leave. Most “emergencies” don’t turn out to be a big deal.
  2. Wait to see if the situation worsened, then decide.
  3. Wait for word from the Governor; he’s the only one who can order an evacuation.
  4. Follow the advice of local responders to ensure my safety and theirs.

How Did You Do?

  • “D” is the best answer to all these questions. If you answered “D,” you are as prepared as you can reasonably be.
  • If you answered “C” to most questions, you’re on the right track, but still not prepared enough.
  • If you answered “A” or “B” to most questions, you and your family face serious problems if an emergency occurs.