I must confess, before I started interning with the Red Cross, I didn’t think about what kind of action plan I would have in case of emergencies in my dorm room. I thought I would either not have to experience anything too intense or that the information my school offered would suffice if an emergency arose. Needless to say, natural disasters can happen anywhere, so here are some steps I took to feel more prepared.
I wasn’t quite sure where to start and what to keep in mind, so I checked out some preparedness tips on redcross.org. I remember seeing tips like “get a kit”, “make a plan” and “be informed” prior to my search, but it was nice to delve deeper into what each tip entailed.
Personalizing My Plan
The next question I asked myself is, “What’s my plan?” When thinking about building a plan, I realized how important it is to incorporate the people living around you. Whether that’s your roommate, friends, hall mates, or loved ones, it’s important to talk to each respective group about what their plans are and how your plans can mesh together. With this in mind, I know whatever plan I make needs to be flexible. Such a reality encourages me to be open and speak to my hall mates, family, and friends so that any basic plan I make prior to a situation is as strong as it could be. Keeping that in mind…
Make it Flexible
Not only will the plan shift depending on the people around you, but also because of the situation at hand. Your response won’t be exactly the same for each scenario, so it’s good to know what disasters are likely to occur in your area whether it be tornadoes, landslides, and/or earthquakes. Charlottesville and the University of Virginia may provide shelters and areas to go to during an emergency, but at the end of the day, it’s good for you and the people in your life to learn as much as they can about natural disasters and how to prepare for them in advance.
You are accountable for yourself, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.