Disasters can happen at any time. If you are away from home do you know where to find safe shelter locations? Do you know what the emergency procedures are for your child’s school or for your workplace? Will people who count on you know what to do if you can’t reach them? Know how to make sure you and your loved ones are safe in a disaster, no matter where you are.

Learn more: The “Emergency Supplies” fact sheet has more information about making emergency kits for work and school


Talk to your employer about emergency plans for the building where you work. Think about other places that you and family members regularly spend time, like your child’s school. Talk to administrators at those places about their emergency plans as well.

Ways to be safe at work and school:

  • Make sure evacuation routes and tornado shelter locations are marked on a map and posted in the building
  • Hold emergency training and drills
  • Help create an emergency kit for the facility
  • Know where fire extinguishers and Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) are located

Put together basic emergency kits for people who may not be able to do so for themselves or for those who may not think of doing it for themselves. Show them what is in the kit and talk to them about disasters.

Make sure the kit meets their specific needs. For instance, if someone takes prescription medicine, include a list of medications and dosages. For a college student, make sure the kit is small enough to store in the space they have available.

College Students

Talk to your college student about how you will stay in touch if a disaster occurs. Make sure they understand that cell phones may not work during a disaster. Choose an emergency contact who does not live near you or the college. Arrange with your student to call that person if they can’t reach you during a disaster.

Visit the website for your student’s college to find out about the school’s disaster plans and procedures. Some colleges will provide a phone number that you can call in an emergency. If you don’t find the number on the website, call the admissions office and ask. Add the number to your emergency contact list. Make sure your student knows to call you if there is an emergency on campus. Also, ensure your student is registered for any emergency notification system on their campus.


Talk to your insurance agent to find out if your policy covers your student’s belongings while they are away at school. You may need to buy an additional renter’s policy. Also check with your health insurance carrier to find out where your student can find covered healthcare at school.

Talk to other people when you are developing an emergency plan for a school, workplace or organization. Get input from people who work there and other people who use the building. It is especially important to include people with disabilities. Think about asking your local police and fire departments to review the plan. Make sure that what you are planning won’t interfere with emergency response.

Find out if your community has designated evacuation routes for floods, hurricanes, or other disasters. Include that information in your plans. Make sure that the plans you develop will work for everyone.

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