How to Prepare for Emergencies in College

Last Updated on May 23, 2023

Emergencies come in various forms. As a college freshman, you will have to look out for your safety on your own, because no one else will do it for you. In your own home, there may have been someone to take care of all the emergencies. There’s always something in the medicine cabinet to take care of small medical problems. But now that you’re away from that cocoon of relative safety, the phrase ‘take care of yourself’ takes on a much more significant meaning than simply bringing a thick coat when you go out.

So, how do you prepare for emergencies? Here are some tips:

[messagebox title=”1. Tell Someone About Medical Conditions“]
There will always be someone on hand to manage college freshmen, especially those living in dorm rooms. You should identify who’s responsible for your welfare and reveal your medical problems to that person. If you are diabetic or allergic to a certain food item, tell someone that can be trusted. Have that person’s number in your speed dial so that you can immediately call him when symptoms arise. That person should also have the number of your folks at home.[/messagebox]

[messagebox title=”2. Develop a Buddy System With Your New Roommate“]

You already know that you have to be reasonably cordial with your new roommate because you don’t want the stress of living with someone you can’t get along with. But you also need to befriend your roommate because he or she will be the first one to turn to if you desperately need help, and vice versa. Plus, you’ll sleep better at night if you know that someone has your back when emergencies occur.

Take time to have a serious talk with your roommate and make a pact. Promise to help each other especially when it comes to health matters. Make the first move. Tell your roommate about your stash of cold medicine, pain relievers and antibacterial ointments, and offer to share. Have each other’s number in your phones so that you can keep in touch outside the dorm.[/messagebox]

[messagebox title=”3. Have a Bug-out Bag Ready“]
A bug-out bag contains essentials for emergency situations. Some call it a survival kit. Here are some of the items that you should keep in your bug-out bag:

  • Special medication like your inhaler if you have asthma, as well as antihistamines
    and anti-allergy creams
  • A thermal blanket or a space blanket, which is thin enough to be folded neatly
    into a small packet when not in use
  • A small bottle of mineral water and a pack of dried food (consume and replace
  • Flashlights, a set of batteries, waterproof matches and a candle
  • Extra underwear, a pair of socks and a t-shirt
  • A first-aid kit containing burn ointment, band-aids, cotton balls and a small
    bottle of wound sanitizer


People living in earthquake- or storm-prone areas always have a bug-out bag near the door. In your case, the bug-out bag should be near your bed, so that you can grab it and go if the smoke alarm sounds, or the dorm manager asks you to evacuate at once. Your bug-out bag need not be too big, just small enough for you to grab comfortably with one hand. Keep the items separately in small Ziploc bags.

Photo Courtesy of BIGSTOCK

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