Georgia Tech — Be Ready
Emergencies can range from annoyingly inconvenient to completely devastating. To prepare for crisis incidents at Georgia Tech, the Institute conducts vulnerability assessments on facilities throughout campus and continually reviews preparedness and response procedures to enhance campus safety. For example, plans are in place to address incidents ranging from natural disasters to bomb threats. These plans are routinely exercised with local first responders including the Atlanta Police Department (APD), Atlanta Fire Department (AFD) and the Atlanta/Fulton County Emergency Management Agency (AFCEMA). To assure that ongoing concerns are addressed, Georgia Tech has an active Emergency Preparedness Advisory Group that meets monthly on campus, and includes members from APD, AFD and AFCEMA. In addition, campus first responders, emergency personnel and building managers are committed to participating in ongoing safety education to help improve preparedness and response capabilities. Like other institutions in the University System of Georgia, Georgia Tech is also part of the Board of Regents’ emergency operations planning committee.
While Georgia Tech has emergency measures in place to support basic operations ranging from dining services to dining housing, whether you are on campus or at home, you must have your own tools and plans in place to make it on your own.
Just like having a working smoke detector, preparing for the unexpected makes sense. Get ready now by taking the following simple preparedness measures to minimize the impact of a crisis.
Get a Kit
Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, or longer if necessary. When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth. (Note: When preparing for catastrophic events such as a major hurricane or pandemic flu outbreak, having supplies to cover several weeks or more is advantageous.)
Consider creating two kits. In one, include everything that you will need to stay where you are and make it on your own. The other should be a lightweight, smaller version that you can take with you if you have to leave.
Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:
- Important documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
- Cash or traveler's checks and change
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper — When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Comfort/stress foods
- Sterno or portable propane stove/hotplate (For home emergency use in the event of extensive power outages)
Make a Plan
When disaster strikes, it is important to think through your personal emergency plan and address the following considerations:
Contacting your family — It may be easier to make a long-distance call than to call across town, so identify an out-of-town contact that may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
- Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.
- You may have trouble getting through, or the telephone system may be down altogether, but be patient.
- Make sure that your campus directory contact information is up to date.
- Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the first important decision is whether you stay put or leave. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information, to determine if there is immediate danger. If time allows: Call or email the "out-of-state" contact in your family communications plan and tell them where you are going.
- Georgia Tech takes a multiple means approach for campus notification when an emergency occurs. This includes posting information on the Georgia Tech Web site (www.gatech.edu), distributing campus wide e-mails, implementing a building manager notification system, using broadcast voicemails and notifying local media and the campus radio station, WREK. The Institute is also in the process of evaluating text messaging systems as another means to make contact with students, faculty and staff. In addition, Georgia Tech has recently received a grant from the Department of Homeland Security to fund the installation of a campus siren warning system. Emergency preparedness information is included on the Georgia Tech Web site at http://www.gatech.edu/emergency/.
In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should monitor TV or radio news reports for information or official instructions as they become available. If you're specifically told to evacuate or seek medical treatment, do so. Georgia Tech will also post emergency information on the Institute's home page at www.gatech.edu.
- If you live on or near campus and have to travel some distance to your permanent residence, identify your primary travel plans and have emergency travel funds on hand should you need to leave unexpectedly.
- If you plan to travel by air or rail, have travel agency or airline information handy.
- If you plan to drive, identify an alternate route.
- Plan places you will assemble and anticipate where you will go. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency.
- If you cannot get home, identify friends or family who live nearby who would agree to let you stay during a campus closure.
- If you live in Institute Housing, know your evacuation procedure.
Other important considerations:
- Arrange for direct deposit. In the event of a campus closure, any earnings you are scheduled to receive may only be issued electronically.
- If you are an out-of-state or international student or faculty member, try to maintain a sufficient amount of emergency funding to return to home should the emergency situation that the campus be closed.
Learn about Georgia Tech's Emergency Notification Tools
Georgia Tech takes a multiple means approach for campus notification when an emergency occurs. Most recently, the Institute has implemented a new emergency communications system. Known as the GT Emergency Notification System (GTENS), the system allows urgent messages to be distributed in the form of e-mail, voice mail, and text messages in a matter of minutes. You may sign up for GTENS by going to Passport at the following link: passport.gatech.edu.
Because delivery of emergency messages can potentially be impacted by any number of circumstances occurring at the time of a specific incident, GTENS will be used in tandem with other communication tools including a soon-to-be-installed campus siren warning system, campus cable TV alerts and building manager e-mail notification. In addition, Institute Communication and Public Affairs will work with the campus radio station, WREK, in coordinating the broadcast of emergency messages. Students, faculty and staff can also sign up for SmartRAD hazardous weather alerts tailored specifically for the Atlanta campus at the following link: www.police.gatech.edu/weather.htm.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as making an emergency supply kit and developing a communications plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency. However, there are important differences among potential emergencies that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. Learn more about the potential emergencies that could happen and the appropriate way to respond to them. In addition, learn about the emergency plans Georgia Tech has established, as well as state and local government. Emergency plans for your particular building are maintained by the building/facilities manager.
Emergency preparedness is no longer the sole concern of hurricane-prone coastal areas or areas where wildfires and earthquakes are likely to occur. We must now prepare for man-made disasters as well as natural ones. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
Important Web sites for additional information:
- General Preparedness Information
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Emergency Preparedness and Response
- Pandemic Flu
- Emergency Procedures
- Weather Alerts
Other Disaster Organizations
Note: During extreme emergency situations, policies may be dictated by the Board of Regents or other governmental response entity. Specific decisions regarding specific incidents may not be made until the situation occurs.
Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security