Personal Health and Safety

In light of recent developments, students are encouraged to review the following safety information:

Find information about:

Preparing for a Major Emergency

Students are advised to prepare themselves as much as possible for potential emergencies they may face while attending Nevada. This section is designed to serve as a guide to students preparing for such emergencies.

Why Prepare?

In general terms, when a large-scale disaster occurs, emergency responders, such as fire departments, emergency medical services & police departments, are first on the scene to assess damage, secure public safety, and help those in immediate need. They are joined by volunteer organizations like the American Red Cross, which provides shelter and assistance to meet emergency needs. There are public and private utility crews, who work to restore electricity, telephone and natural gas lines. There is a response system in place, but in times of disaster, emergency responders can't be everywhere, helping everyone immediately. It may take an extended period of time for assistance to reach your area. And if the emergency is limited to your home, workplace, or immediate neighborhood, your plans have to be personalized. In either case, everyone in your family should be ready to act. For example:

  • Disaster strikes and you do not have a car to drive home. You are away at school in Reno, your parents are at home or at work in another city/state/country, and other family members are not near the University of Nevada, Reno. How do you find each other and how do you get home?
  • Disaster strikes, and confines you to your room. Basic services that we take for granted, such as electricity, water, gas and telephone, may be unavailable for an extended period of time. You need to know how to cope with the situation.
  • Disaster strikes while you are in class, and you need to stay in the classroom much longer than expected. How do you deal with your responsibilities while you are delayed?
  • Disaster strikes and you need to get out fast. You should have a plan for where to go, and what to take with you.
  • Disaster strikes suddenly, like an earthquake. You need to know what to do, and where to take shelter.

You can see how important it is to take steps to prepare for disaster before it happens. Preparing for emergencies is everyone's responsibility. Families and friends can and do respond to and recover from these events better by preparing in advance and working as a team.

Personal Evacuation Plan

Tips to develop a personal evacuation plan. Answers to these questions determined in advance will make it easier to react should an actual emergency situation occur.

  • Where will they go in the event of an earthquake? Home, family friends in the area, a friends house.
  • With whom will they evacuate? Friends, family in the area.
  • How will they evacuate? Air (possibly consider an "open" ticket), ground, personal vehicle, train, etc.
  • What will they take with them during an evacuation? Passport, ID, money, other documents.

Keeping in Touch

Perhaps the most common concern brought to our department by parents during an emergency is, "Where is my son/daughter?" Residence Life and Housing begins each resident's stay in housing by requesting emergency contact information and student's personal evacuation plan to be submitted prior to or during check-in. In addition to the information that is given at check-in, PLEASE make plans in advance with your parents/family on how you will contact one another in the event of an emergency, such as evacuation. Multiple modes of contact are advised, such as a cell phone, phone card, and finding a mutual contact person in case conventional communication systems are not operational due to the emergency conditions.

Personal Belongings

There are several additional steps that we encourage students to take in preparing their belongings. First, ensure your belongings are covered under your parent's homeowner's insurance or secure additional coverage. There are many companies who provide low-cost, comprehensive coverage for personal property specifically designed for college students. Remember to label everything... literally everything with your first and last name.

Emergency Kit

Students living on campus (and those living off campus also!) should design and maintain an emergency kit in their room, and to take it with them in the event of an evacuation.

We suggest a kit include the following:

  • Bandages & gauze
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Aspirin & non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Antacid and anti-diarrhea medication
  • Rubbing alcohol & moist towelettes
  • Extra prescription medication (Ask your physician how to store prescription medication with knowledge of how to store your meds in the event of a power outage)
  • Toiletries and personal hygiene products
  • Contact lenses and eyeglasses
  • Sun protection & insect repellent
  • Battery-operated radio & flashlight
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Extra batteries
  • Plenty of absorbent towels, plastic trash bags
  • Wind-up or battery-operated clock
  • Aluminum foil, paper napkins and plates, plastic cups
  • Toilet paper & paper towels

Things that would need to be added to the kit without delay in an emergency:

  • Pillow, sheets, blankets or sleeping bag
  • Rain gear
  • Cell phone charger and phone card (in case cell phone towers go down)
  • Any important documents you have brought to school (social security card, insurance information, credit cards, driver's license, special medical information, property inventories, etc.)
  • Cash (With no power, banks may be closed, checks and credit cards unaccepted and ATMs may not be operational)
  • Personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)
  • Quiet games, books, & playing cards

Prior to leaving in the event of a scheduled building evacuation (such as in the case of the closure of the university due to regional emergency situations), students are advised to secure their valuable personal belongings (preferably by taking them along) before leaving campus. For insurance purposes, keep an itemized list of personal property, including room furnishings, clothing & valuables. Photographs of your possessions are helpful as well.

Students who are leaving campus during a scheduled building evacuation are advised to take the following items with them:

  • Laptop computers
  • Valuable jewelry or heirlooms (shouldn't really bring these anyway!)
  • Expensive electronics (especially portable ones)
  • Important documents: credit cards, passports, all ID, insurance cards, etc.
  • Cell phones and chargers
  • Medications
  • Keys for home
  • Non-replaceable items
  • Photos
  • Emergency kit
  • Toiletries

Additional Safety Information

Information on personal, regional, and national preparations for Avian flu and other health concerns:

Take the next step...