Preparing for emergencies during National Preparedness Month

September has been designated as National Preparedness Month and Clemson University Emergency Management wants to remind you of the importance of being prepared in case a disaster or emergency may occur at any time.

To be prepared for any type of disaster or emergency that may affect our area, you must Be informed, make a plan and build a toolkit.

be informed

  • Find out what type of disasters and emergencies are most common where you live.
  • Sign up for CU Safe Alerts to stay informed on campus.
  • You have multiple ways to get emergency information, including NOAA Weather Radio, local TV and radio broadcasts, and wireless emergency alerts for your phone.
  • Download the FEMA app and get weather alerts from the National Weather Service.

Visit or the Stay Informed section of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) website for more information to help you stay prepared.

make a plan

Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it’s important to know what types of disasters might affect your area. Learn how to communicate with each other and reconnect in the event of a breakup. Create a family meeting place that is familiar and easy to find.

  1. Make a plan together by discussing the following with your family, friends or household:
    • How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
    • What is my shelter plan?
    • What is my evacuation route?
    • What is my family/home communication plan?
    • Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
  2. Consider the specific needs of your family

As you prepare, customize your plans and supplies to fit your specific daily needs and responsibilities. Consider these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of your family members
  • Places he frequents
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs, including prescriptions and equipment
  1. Create a family emergency plan
    • Use the Make a Plan form to easily fill out contact information and other important information and send yourself a PDF to print and save digitally.
  2. Practice your plan with your family or household
    • Test your children every six months so they remember what to do.
    • Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills.
    • Replace stored water every three months and stored food every six months.
    • Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Test smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.

For more information about developing a plan, visit or the Emergency Planning section of the SCEMD website.

Build a group

It is important to keep enough supplies in your home to meet your family’s needs for at least three days. Assemble a family emergency kit with items you may need in an emergency or evacuation. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as travel bags, duffel bags, or covered storage containers. Some things to consider:

  • Water, two gallons of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation purposes
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery operated radio or hand crank radio and NOAA weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid bag
  • Medicines and prescription glasses
  • Baby formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance documents, ID and bank account records in a portable, waterproof container
  • A mobile phone with chargers and a spare battery

For a complete list of items to include in an emergency kit and how to maintain your emergency kit, visit or the Family Emergency Kit section of the SCEMD website.

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