Preparedness begins with you. Protection of life and property begins with you. So, we should all be prepared to some extent as an individual or a family first. Loyola University New Orleans encourages all of the Loyola community to make emergency preparedness a top priority by joining the nationwide “Be Ready” effort. This can be found on numerous sites and media, but ready.gov is the cornerstone. The basic message is designed to provide citizens basic information to complete the necessary steps to help protect themselves and their families against any hazard.
Before you proceed any further, please ensure that you are signed up for Loyola University New Orleans mass notification system. This serves as our primary method of reaching the entire campus and community. To further enhance this preparedness, please visit ready.nola.gov to register for city-wide alerts.
By following the steps and documents below you can begin to build a custom, tailor-made plan and/or kit for you and your loved ones so you are as prepared as possible for the next time disaster strikes.
Regardless of your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the most important element is to remain calm and NOT panic.
One recurring theme throughout disasters is the fact many people could become separted from loved ones. An important decision might very well be whether you should stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information, including what you are learning here, to determine if there is an immediate danger. In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should stay tuned to your local media, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for information or official instruction as it becomes available. You should discuss with your family a primary and secondary (or even tertiary) place to rendezvous together. This should also be applied for household emergencies like a fire - determine a specific location or 2 and educate everyone of these points to evacuate to should the home catch fire.
Your plan should identify an out-of town contact. It may be easier to call or text long-distance if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. This person could also serve as a "rally point" for your family/loved ones should separation from each other become more extended. Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has ability to call the emergency contact.
Ensure that you and your loved ones communicate about local and/or personal emergencies as well. Program a designated person as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your "ICE" listings in order to contact someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts. For example, you could have multiple: ICE Mom, ICE Dad, ICE Sister, ICE Mary, etc. Or even go as far as to have "ICE Out of town" to highlight your out of town emergency contact.
You should also inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school, faith organizations, sports events and commuting. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance.
Teach family members how to use text messaging (also known as SMS or Short Message Service). Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
Subscribe to Loyola’s emergency notification system. It is critical for everyone to subscribe to this, as it is our direct link to informing you as a member of the Loyola community. In addition, many communities, New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, etc now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc. For New Orleans, please visit ready.nola.gov.
When building a kit, which can be a simple backpack or even progress to more sophisticated packs, there is no standard to follow, as everyone’s kit should reflect their own needs. However, it is critically important to understand that, depending on the emergency, weight and volume of emergency kits becomes a factor. Overstocking it with non-critical items will slow you down and could prevent you from being as mobile as needed or even prevent you from carrying it altogether.
There are plenty of sources for you to reference as you build your kit, such as:
Also, remember to refresh your kit each year to check shelf-life of items (batteries corrode and food expires, etc) and to ensure properly operating equipment.
Additional Key Items
You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach). Or in an emergency you can also use it to treat water. Use 8-16 drops (medicine dropper) or approximately 1/8 teaspoon of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners. Let this solution stand for 30 minutes, after which there should be a slight bleach odor (if not, add drops until residual odor is achieved). If possible, boiling AND bleach provide the best emergency treatment of water rather than one alone.
Additional first-aid items