Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness is not the sole concern of Californians for earthquakes, those who live in "Tornado Alley"; or Gulf Coast residents because of hurricanes. Most communities including universities may be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.  These U.S. government websites provide great information for preparing kits for emergencies and staying aware when emergencies happen.  Go to:  www.ready.gov  and www.fema.gov for more information.  Download a brochure on how to create an Emergency Kit.

The university maintains a number of websites and systems to maintain contact with students during emergencies.  In addition, to using these sites students are encouraged to sign up for alerts from their individual towns.


Your Emergency Contact Information

Because SPIRE is the primary source of information for most offices on campus (including the UMass Police), it is important that you add an emergency contact and keep it updated.  The Emergency Contacts page lists the name, address, and telephone number of the individual(s) who should be contacted on your behalf in case of an emergency. Go to www.oit.umass.edu/support/spire/emergency-contacts  to update your info.

What to Do and Where To Go

Your best approach in any emergency is to be prepared and keep up to date on conditions at the University and in your town.  Here are a couple of items to consider if  you are without shelter.

If you need food, shelter, or other assistance in an emergency, the state of Massachusetts has a helpful to find human services in greater Amherst area. For more information, call Mass 2-1-1 by dialing 211 (if on a phone based in Massachusetts) or 1-877-211-MASS (6277), or by visiting www.mass211.org.

If you have been without power for more than a few hours, some food items may no longer be edible. The USDA has a great list of what foods can be saved and foods should be thrown away. Make sure to clean your refrigerator as soon as possible to prevent mold and mildew from forming.  For more information about food safety during an emergency, visit www.foodsafety.gov.

The Off Campus Student Center (Student Union 314) is a great place where you can get warm, recharge your cell phones/laptops, and use the Internet.  Check availability of the Center in Emergencies through the main page www.umass.edu or through the campus emergency websites.

If you are concerned with landlord-tenant lease issues, or have damage to property as the result of a storm or other emergency, contact:

Student Legal Services
922 Campus Center