College Student Emergency Preparedness


As we enter storm season, it’s important for college students to be prepared in the event of an emergency. College students may live in towns where they are not familiar with available resources or know where to go in the event of a disaster. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) wants to ensure college students have the tools they need to stay safe during any wet or cold weather this season.


  • Sign up for local emergency alerts where you go to school and where you may visit on break.
  • Safeguard important documents, such as your student ID, financial aid documents, housing information and phone numbers.
  • Secure your coursework and learning materials, including notebooks, textbooks, computers, and assignments.
  • Know evacuation routes, your campus may be large and there may be several ways out of the area. If you live off campus create an personal evacuation plan for you based on where you are located.
  • Identify ways to communicate with your loved ones in the event of an emergency.
  • Identify any university resources such as your campuses emergency management office or the office of student affairs.
  • Check on friends, housemates, and neighbors.
  • Pack a go bag with important items you may need to leave quickly with
    • Copies of identification and insurance cards
    • Cash
    • Contact list
    • Hygiene products
    • Local maps
    • Medicine & important medical information
    • Phone charger & backup battery
    • Flashlight
    • First aid kit


Alerts are warning messages from pSigning up for alerts in the area that you attend school is important to stay informed about emergencies in your campus and community. Signing up for local alerts in the community you go to during school break is also helpful for keeping yourself safe during an emergency.

  • Cal OES encourages everyone to sign up for free local emergency alerts to provide lifesaving information. Sign up for free local emergency alerts on your cell phone in the county and city where you currently attend college/university and where you may visit.


A go-bag contains some essential items you may need in case you need to evacuate your home in a hurry.

  • Important documents and/or copies of important documents such as Identification, passports.
  • Cash
  • Keys, wallet, phone
  • Medications
  • First aid and supplies
  • Back up batteries
  • A contact list of friends or family members who you may be able to get ahold of in the region where you attend college.

That same go bag can turn into a stay box if you need to shelter in place. In some disasters, you may be safer to stay inside your dorm/college home and unable to leave. Getting materials organized in advance may help you in case of emergency.

  • Gather water and food for up, for your dorm/household.
  • Set aside foods that won’t spoil, such as canned food, granola bars, bottled protein drinks, prepackaged ramen,
  • Trash Bag with
  • A bucket in case you’re unable to use your toilet.


  • Look up your campus emergency preparedness plan and identify your college’s procedures in the event of an emergency.
  • Sign up for emergency alerts provided by your campus and pay attention to campus emails regarding emergency situations.

Find your college/university below and opt into your college/university’s emergency alerts.


  • Documenting your property inside of your dorm/college home is important in the event of an emergency and you must leave your dorm unattended for an extended period.
  • If there is damage to your property having documentation is important for insurance and university claims.


  • During an emergency make sure that all your homework and coursework is saved to the cloud or on your laptop or tablet in the case of damage to your electronic devices.