Preparing for an Emergency

BYU's "Y-Alert" Emergency Alert System

y-alert emerency alert system. In the event of a serious threat or an emergency situation, BYU would alert students, faculty, and employees through three methods of contact.

Sign up for email, text or phone messages.

Watch the "Y-Alert" Emergency Preparedness Training Video.

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Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)

A C.E.R.T team performs response drills. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness. Training includes topics such as fire safety, medical operations, team organization and light search and rescue. After a disaster, CERT members can use their training to assist their communities and neighborhoods when professional rescuers are not immediately available to help.

For more information on a CERT team near you, click here: FEMA CERT Teams.

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Food StorageA tub of food storage and emergency items.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have been encouraged to have a basic supply of food and water. Answers to questions such as “What am I supposed to have in my food storage?” and “How much food do I need?” can be found at this website: Food Storage on LDS.org.

As college students, preparing for an emergency may seem difficult due to budget and space constraints. BYU dining has some great tips and suggestions on how to get started: Food Storage Tips

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72 Hour Kits

72-hour kit items. A 72 hour kit is simply a collection of basic items that you may need in the event of an emergency or in times of distress. Emergency responders are often unable to reach everyone immediately. Having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours is recommended.

Ready.gov offers some suggestions on supplies you may want to have in your 72 hour kit: Basic Disaster Supplies Kit.

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Earthquakes in UtahGraphic of soil layers where one half has slid down a fault plane over the epicenter.

Earthquakes strike suddenly and without warning. They consist of rapid shaking of the ground caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the earth’s surface. Most earthquakes occur along fault lines when large sections of the earth’s outermost crust collide or slide past each other.

Did you know?

Doorways are no stronger than any other part of a structure so don’t rely on them for protection! During an earthquake, get under a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on!

FEMA Earthquake Safety Checklist. An excellent source for earthquake preparedness is the Earthquake Safety Checklist from FEMA. This can be downloaded from https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/3234.

For information on recent earthquakes in Utah visit http://www.quake.utah.edu/recenteqs/Maps/111-39.html.

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First Aid KitsFirst aid kit.

A well-stocked first aid kit can help you respond to common injuries and minor accidents. Having supplies gathered ahead of time will help you respond confidently and effectively during an emergency. First aid kits can be kept in your home, car, and workplace. First aid kits can be purchased in many shapes and sizes. You can also make your own first aid kit. Information on suggested contents of a first aid kit can be found at the American Red Cross or from the CDC.

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First Aid & CPR Class

Students practice CPR on a test-dummy.

BYU Risk Management offers First Aid, CPR & AED, CPR for the Professional, as well as other safety classes. These classes are offered to current BYU students, faculty, and staff. BYU Risk Management is an ASHI (American Safety and Health Institute) approved training center. First Aid and CPR classes are taught using ASHI training program materials. For current class schedules and information click here.

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Winter Storms & Extreme ColdA snowy scene with a tree fallen over a car.

Winter storms can range from moderate to blizzard conditions with the duration varying from a few hours to several days. Extremely cold temperatures often accompany a winter storm and can cause serious or life-threatening problems. Regardless of the severity or duration of the storm, being prepared will help you to remain safe during these events.

An informative brochure compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found here: Extreme Cold Guide.

Other information for preparing for Winter Storms can be found on the Red Cross - Winter Storm page or by visiting Ready.gov - Winter Weather.

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Prevention of Illness

Get vaccinated.  Take everyday precautions. Preventive antiviral medications.

Regular handwashing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and to prevent the spread of germs. More information on hand washing, what soap to use, and special situations can be found on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) handwashing page.


Some steps that can be taken to avoid the spread of germs are:
  1. Wash your hands often.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  3. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  4. Practice good health. Get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy food and manage your stress.
  5. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw tissue away after.
  6. If you are sick, stay home!
For more information on the flu, visit the CDC’s flu website.

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Lightning StormsSeveral lightning bolts strike a city at night.

Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. Lightning can occur during any time of the year, but lightning casualties are highest during the summer. You can protect yourself if you know what to do when you see lightning or when you hear thunder as a warning. The risk of being struck is low, but the consequences of lightning strike injuries are serious. Most victims struck by lightning survive. Administering first aid to victims struck by lightning can save their lives.

How can I protect myself from a lightning strike?

While inside during a thunderstorm:


If outside during a thunderstorm:
More lightning safety tips can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website.

Information on Lightning Safety for Organized Outdoor Athletic Events can be found at the National Lightning Safety Institute Website.

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Heat Related Emergencies

Blistering hot sun.

People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs. Most heat disorders occur because the victim has been overexposed to heat or has over-exercised for his or her age and physical condition. Heat-related disorders are often preventable, remember to keep cool, increase you fluid intake and use common sense. For more information on how to prevent, identify and treat heat related injuries visit the American Red Cross website.

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