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Make a Plan

As responsible members of the University community, you should plan for the unexpected by creating personal emergency plans. You should be prepared to put your personal plans into action if the need arises. Preparation can be a valuable defense in such situations. The University will respond quickly in an event, but you will be best served by having a plan to take care of yourself for a brief period of time. All students, especially international students, should think about what alternatives you have if the University were forced to evacuate during a hurricane, or if a pandemic were to lead to the cancellation of classes and closure of the University. Staying with friends or relatives in another part of the country may be an option to explore in advance, especially if travel abroad is restricted during a large-scale crisis.

  • Communications Plan - Create a communications plan that outlines how you will contact your family.
    • o Technology does have limitations; therefore, we ask you to contact home as soon as possible following a critical incident and advise them of your status; after that, we ask you to minimize the use of your phones to allow for telecommunication system use by emergency responders
    • Identify an out-of-state contact to receive and relay messages among family members, since it may be easier to make a long distance telephone call
    • Create a list of all important family contact information to keep in your emergency kit
    • Include a prepaid phone calling card or coins to use to call the emergency contact
    • Add 'In Case of Emergency' (ICE) numbers to your cell phone, for example, ICE Mom or ICE Dad. Medical professionals often look for ICE contacts in patient cell phones to assist in contacting family members when it's most needed.
  • Ready.gov has a simple template to help you record your communications plan.

  • Emergency Procedures – Knowing what to do in specific emergency situations is important. The Office of Emergency Preparedness created a quick reference poster that outlines key actions you should do in particular scenarios. In addition to the basic steps to shelter-in-place and evacuate, incident-specific instructions are provided as well. This poster can be found at www.virginia.edu/emergency/EmergencyProcedures0805.pdf (PDF).
  • Critical Incident Management Plan – The University acts immediately in response to emergency situations using the Critical Incident Management Plan (CIMP) to guide response actions. The CIMP is activated when an emergency affecting the University reaches proportions that cannot be handled by established measures. The CIMP is flexible to accommodate contingencies of all types, magnitude and duration. You can find the CIMP at www.virginia.edu/emergency/plan.html.