You become an adult when you start college, and that means that you start taking responsibility for yourself. And that “duty” extends beyond cooking, bill paying, house tasks, and upkeep – it also includes preparedness for emergencies and disasters.
Because you will be living far away from your parents, you cannot expect them to come and save you in an emergency. It would be best if you were prepared to handle calamities and other unforeseeable occurrences on your own.
Is this something you’ve never done before? No need to be concerned! We’ve got your back. Here is a comprehensive guide to disaster planning and preparation for college students.
Participate in the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Programme
Before beginning, it is essential to determine if a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programme is available in your area. Visit FEMA’s CERT portal, enter your neighbourhood or city, and scroll down the list of the 20 nearest CERTs.
What Exactly Is the CERT programme?
It is a programme that educates volunteers like you on disaster preparedness for dangers that may impact the area where you live and study. If you enrol in this class, you will learn basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, team organisation, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations.
The best part about this programme is that it will allow you to join the preparedness community and meet other individuals who share your interests. These individuals will assist you in learning preparatory tips and tricks and motivate you to continue growing your skills.
Take a Disaster Preparedness First-Aid Course
Can you distinguish between a venous and an arterial bleed? Do you know how to apply a tourniquet properly? If you answered “no,” we strongly advise you to take a first-aid course. You must learn the fundamentals of first aid to save your own and other people’s lives.
This expertise will be helpful in the event of a disaster, vehicle accidents, campus problems, and other crises. Life in this world can be unpredictable, and we never know where or how we will be injured. Thus, learning how to respond to an emergency before the ambulance arrives is a good idea.
Put Yourself in Self-Defence Mode
Weapons are excellent instruments for self-defence, but it is also critical to cultivate a combative mindset. Developing a self-defence attitude, like any talent, takes practice and a piece of the broad knowledge you or your family can face violence anytime, anywhere.
To begin, understand that no community is immune to crime and those police officers are rarely available during an attack. As a result, you will be your own first responder.
Second, you must consider whether you are capable of causing harm or taking someone’s life. (Some people’s belief systems would not accept this, which is fine.) You can benefit from general self-defence awareness, as well as certain avoidance and soft tactics.
If you opt to carry a weapon, you must affirm to yourself each morning as you put it on that “today could be the day I need to use this, and I am prepared to do so if required.” You can buy your weapons like AR 15 Rifles from Palmetto State Armory, where you’ll find handguns and bulk ammunition.
Create a First-Aid Kit
A first-aid kit is required. One piece of equipment should be kept in your room, and one tackle should be kept in your automobile. Find a safe spot to keep it that is also easily accessible. For example, please don’t keep your first aid kit in a spare storage box because you won’t be able to get to it in an emergency.
You can either buy a pre-assembled first aid kit online or create your own. Preppers should have the following items on hand, according to the Red Cross:
- There are four types of bandages: gauze roll (roll) bandages, triangular bandages, and adhesive bandages
- Packs with absorbent compresses
- Ointments containing antibiotics
- Packets of antiseptic wipes
- Hydrocortisone cream packets
- Adhesive tape
- Aspirin packets
- Blanket for emergencies
- Barriers to breathing
- Cold compresses that work instantly
- Gloves made of non-latex materials
- Sterile gauze pads
- Thermometer for oral usage (nonmercury/nonglass)
- Pair of tweezers
Because the COVID pandemic endgame has not yet arrived, you can also include hand sanitizer and face masks on this list. If you take drugs daily, such as asthma and use inhalers, make sure to include them in your individualized first aid kit.
Remember to check expiration dates regularly and replace out-of-date items with fresh ones.
Be Prepared for a Power Outage
Power outages are far too common to be unprepared for.
Storms and hurricanes cause massive power disruptions. It means that if a calamity occurs, you won’t be able to charge your phone, call your parents, see the news on TV, or communicate with others online. It will be pitch black at home when you return. To be prepared for a power outage, you should stock up on the products listed below.
A flashlight is a must-have item for surviving power outages. Choose a flashlight that includes both a wall charger and a car charger so that you can charge it from anywhere. You can also choose a flashlight that comes with extra batteries.
During a power outage, an emergency headlamp will also be helpful in illuminating your path and signalling emergency calls. Choose a drop- and water-resistant model to guarantee that the headlamp will work in any weather condition.
Related: Top 29 Best Headlamp For Hiking 2022
Many college students are unaware of how radio might assist them in surviving a disaster. But we can guarantee you that it is a tremendous asset that you will much benefit from having.
You can acquire helpful, locally tailored information, such as aftershock information, by using the radio. Local governments use FM radio to notify inhabitants about where they may get food and water and how to get medical or other assistance.
Solar Power Charger
You can charge your phone and possibly other devices using a solar charger. On the other hand, the mobile phone network is very likely to fail, and you will be unable to use your phone to make calls for several hours, if not days. However, a solar charger will allow you to use your electronics for leisure (reading an eBook, listening to your favourite music, etc.) or for practical purposes (for instance, you may use your phone as an additional flashlight).
Increase the Number of Goods in Your “Emergency Kit”
In the event of a natural or technological calamity, you may require more than just a first-aid pack and flashlights. There are some other items you should include in your “emergency kits.”
- Adaptive multi-tools
- Whistle signalling
- Duct tape
Keep Non-Perishable Foods Handy
If a natural or technological disaster occurs, you may be trapped in your room for several days or even weeks. To survive, you must have a sufficient supply of non-perishable food. Here is a list of food products that you might want to purchase:
- Canned meats
- Tuna and salmon in cans
- Soups, canned or dry
- Canned stews and hot sauce
- Gravy from a can
- Fruit and vegetables in cans
- Pasta and rice
- Coffee and tea
- Peanut butter with sugar
- Pancake and cake mixes
- Milk powder
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Boxed or canned juice
- Protein and granola bars
How Much Food Should You Keep on Hand?
It would help if you kept a three-day (minimum) or seven-day supply on hand (preferably). If you have pets, you should also keep pet food on hand.
Prepare a Water Supply
In addition to non-perishable food and water, you’ll also need to stock up on water. You should keep at least one gallon of water for drinking and cooking—the more water you keep on hand, the better.
You can buy bottled water or collect and preserve your water in clean containers.
Follow these fundamental guidelines:
- Every six months, replace any non-store-bought water that has been stored.
- When purchasing store-bought water, always be sure to check the expiration time.
- Keeping water containers in direct sunlight or regions with high temperatures (70°F or higher) is not recommended.
- Sanitise the water container with an unscented solution of liquid home chlorine bleach and water.
Especially if you live in a dormitory, you may struggle to find enough storage space for your belongings. Regardless of how big your apartment is with a roommate, you can always use a spare. Water bottles can be stored under your bed or in any other “empty location.”
Preparation and disaster planning will help you acquire skills that you will use for the rest of your life. New abilities will strengthen your self-confidence, increase your self-efficiency, and assist you in surviving any risky situation.
We hope you will follow the advice in this post and become a true prepper. I wish you success in your studies and a stress-free college experience!