Emergency Preparedness
Make A Plan With Your Family and Friends

Your use of a cellular phone, access to the Internet and other routine means of communication with family and friends could be cut off in the immediate aftermath of a campus emergency caused by severe weather, major terrorist attack, epidemic illness, etc. Across our region and perhaps the nation, cellular and all other telephone services and access to the Internet (both wired and wireless) could quickly slow down and then be stopped because of high demand. In other words, just imagine not being able to reach or get word to your loved ones at the very moment when you most want to do that.

The University of Maryland strongly advises that you work with family and friends to make and communicate a specific plan of action that is not dependent upon phone or email contact after an extreme emergency such as terrorist attack or pandemic flu outbreak has occurred.

Make sure the plan you work out with your loved ones is very specific
  • Will you stay in your room or apartment or leave for another destination if classes are being held and the University of Maryland remains open?
  • Where will you go if the University of Maryland stops classes and closes the campus? Will you go to your hometown? Or to the home of a roommate or a nearby off-campus relative or friend?
  • How will you plan to get to your off-campus destination? If your hometown is far from campus, should you purchase an open-ended plane or rail ticket now? Do you have a friend you can travel with? If you have a car, will you offer rides to others who live near your hometown or in that direction? Can you plan ahead to travel with other Maryland students?
  • What amount of time are you allowing for travel to your destination? Who will be meeting you there?
  • What cash and other resources do you need to keep on hand for emergency travel (helping to pay for gas, bus/rail/plane tickets, food, etc.)
  • What are your back-up plans in the event you can't travel in the time and manner you have planned?
  • What plans are you making and sharing with your roommate (e.g., staying in touch, securing your room by the last person to leave)?
Plan how you will stay in touch with family and friends
  • Once made, put your plans in writing and make sure all loved ones have copies
  • Keep up a regular pattern of communication with loved ones, so that you always know how to get in touch with them and they with you
  • Designate your emergency contacts (typically family and closest friends) and make sure these people know your emergency plan and have all contact information for yourself and your local friends and roommates
  • Plan alternate means of communication ("I'll get to ____'s home, and stay there until I can reach you.") in the event electronic communications are disrupted
Helpful sites with individual and family planning checklists