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Tip of the Month

National Preparedness Month - Tip 3:  Plan to Stay in Touch


September 15, 2011 — When an incident occurs, what do you want more than anything else?  You want to know if your friends and family are okay.  Communications is everything, so plan now how you can best do this before disaster strikes. 

You and your family may not be together when a disaster strikes. It is important to create a communications plan.

  • Identify an out-of-state contact; it may be easier to make a long distance telephone call than a local call.
  • Write down and carry with you a list of all important family contact information including home phones, business phones, cell phones, e-mail addresses.
  • Texting may be the best way to let friends and family know you are okay. If at all possible stay off of the phone except to report an emergency.  Phone lines need to remain open for emergency personnel.
  • Know where you will get information.
    • Create an account in UVa Alerts – Sign up to be notified if there is a major crisis on Grounds.            
    • Bookmark the University's home page and the "back-up" home page – The best source of official news from the University during and after an emergency. The back-up site will be used if local servers fail during the emergency.
    • Follow UVa on Twitter & Like the University of Virginia on Facebook – Do this now so you don't have to search for it during an incident. You can also be our eyes and ears; use these sites to tell us what you're seeing and hearing.
  • If you are a student, tell family and friends to look at and the “back-up” home page for information.

What if you are the one that needs help and are unable to communicate?  Remember ICE (In Case of Emergency).  Put an entry in your cell phone with this heading and list a parent, spouse or friend for someone to contact in case you can’t.  Check out ICE for more info.

In the support of National Preparedness Month, Hoos Ready is hosting a Make Your Own Safety Kit event on Sept. 25, from noon to 2 p.m., at the McCormick Road dorms quad.

September is National Preparedness Month, so think about other ways you can get engaged. Look for a safety tip every Thursday throughout the month and check out these local emergency-related clubs.

For information, contact the Office of Emergency Preparedness at 434-982-0565 or


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