Close up photo showing a family sitting at their coffee table making an emergency plan with items to prepare nearby

Staying Safe at CWRU: How to prepare for potential disasters

September is National Preparedness Month, a time to consider how to stay safe in the face of potential disasters. To help members of the Case Western Reserve University community be prepared, The Daily is teaming up with the Office of Resiliency to share safety tips throughout the month.

When considering safety, it’s important to make a plan, keeping in mind there are a variety of disasters worth preparing for. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the primary disaster types to keep in mind are:

When creating plan, you should:

Discuss the following questions with your family and/or roommate(s):

  • How will we know when an emergency is occurring or imminent?
    • At both the national and local levels, emergency alerts and warnings may be sent.
    • At CWRU, you should sign up to receive RAVE alerts, notifications the university sends out in the event of a widespread emergency. These messages might include emergency notifications for lockdowns, sheltering in place, or fires; severe weather closures or delays; security alerts to make the community aware of crimes that occurred on or near campus but no longer present a risk to the community; and neighborhood safety advisories to raise awareness of activity happening in University Circle, such as increased police activity or non-violent crime at a neighboring institution. Be sure to log in to to ensure your mobile number is listed to receive texts.
  • What is our shelter plan?
  • What is our evacuation route?
  • What is our family/household communication plan?
  • Do we need to update our emergency preparedness kit?

In relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, consider specific needs in your household and/or residence hall and update your emergency plan with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance in mind. Think about the following when developing your plans:

  • Different ages of members within your household;
  • Responsibilities for assisting others;
  • Locations frequented;
  • Dietary needs;
  • Medical needs, including prescriptions and equipment;
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment;
  • Languages spoken;
  • Cultural and religious considerations;
  • Pets or service animals; and
  • Households with school-aged children.

Fill out a Family Emergency Communication Plan.

  • Gather important details, such as contact information for doctors, school and service providers.
  • Once this information has been gathered, make sure everyone in the household has a copy of the plan.

Practice the plan with your household and/or residence hall.

  • Walk through various parts of your plan, including meeting at designated indoor and neighborhood meeting places, talking about who will lead the communications in the event of an emergency, and more.
  • Make sure you review and revise your plan at least once a year.

Follow The Daily throughout September to get more tips for staying prepared. In the meantime, review the university’s emergency preparedness guidance online.