Emergency Preparedness

In the event of an emergency situation, whether it be earthquake, severe weather, or some other form of disaster, everyone should be prepared as best they can to be self-sufficient for a short period of time. Services that we take for granted on a daily basis may not be available, and for those who are prepared, the crisis can be less severe.

Among the services which may suffer potential disruptions are the delivery of utilities; such as electricity, water, gas, electronic financial transactions, health care, Internet, cell phones, and transportation. These potential disruptions may create emergency situations that can be mitigated with some advance individual preparedness planning. The Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) encourages California residents to be prepared for emergencies such as earthquakes and severe weather.

Cal Poly Campus Emergency Information

Campus-wide Emergency Management

Begin Preparations

While some problems may become evident immediately, others may take a little longer to have an impact. OES suggests that all living environments be prepared to be self-sufficient (able to live without running water, electricity and/or gas, telephones and assistance from safety devices) for three to seven days. The best place to start is by examining your needs. Try to imagine how an emergency may impact your safety and well-being. How would you function if heating or electrical services were disrupted? What appliances can you function without for several days at a time? Do you keep enough money to cover immediate expenses in case ATMs do not work? Does your car have enough gas in the tank to function for days at a time without stopping to refill? Do you have a supply of needed prescription medications?

Suggested Preparations

  • WATER - Residents should consider storing some drinking water. One gallon of water per person per day is recommended. Purchase store-bought water in sound plastic containers. These containers are available in various sizes. Review your storage space and then buy appropriately. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break.
  • FOOD - Residents are advised to have some non-perishable food on hand; dry goods and canned goods such as soups, juices, milk, granola bars, beef jerky, and ready-to-eat food items. Campus Dining also keeps a minimum of three days’ worth of food and beverages in case of emergency.
  • HEATING AND LIGHTING - The University has generators on campus, but the demands on these generators could be high and could limit the amount available to the residential area. Residents should have plenty of blankets and warm clothing in case of a power failure. Keep a flashlight, with fresh batteries, on hand and be sure to have extra batteries available.
  • HEALTH, MEDICAL AND DENTAL - It is always a good idea to maintain copies of health, medical, and dental records for yourself. Keep an extra supply of prescriptions and medications or other medical supplies. Residents with special needs; such as, those with disabilities, may wish to ask several friends or University Housing staff to check on them in case of an emergency or other problems. Show them how to operate any special equipment you use and where you keep your emergency supplies.
  • BANKING - CASH - Be prepared for possible disruptions of electrical power. Have some extra cash on hand in case computer-controlled electronic transactions involving ATM cards, credit cards and the like cannot be processed. You should have already purchased your emergency supplies before an emergency. The amount of cash you keep on hand should be based on your needs. Remember that keeping large amounts of cash could make you vulnerable to theft. Please use discretion and common sense when making this decision. Keep cash in a safe place and withdraw money from your bank in small amounts.
  • BANKING - CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS - Be prepared to pay in cash or by check during an emergency situation. Be sure to save receipts.
  • BANKING - FINANCE - Keep a paper record of all holdings, loan balances, and transactions.
  • COMMUNICATIONS - The campus telephone system will operate for one or two hours after a power failure. Cellular telephone systems may be operational without electricity but should not be depended upon. Residents should make the inability to use their cell or room telephones a part of their emergency preparedness plan. Also, before an emergency takes place, you may want to form an 'emergency phone tree' with family and/or friends.
  • TRANSPORTATION - Make sure the gas tank in your car is at least half full at all times. Consider alternate transportation; such as, public transportation or a bicycle, in case there are disruptions in the delivery of gasoline. Storing gasoline in the residence hall is prohibited since it can be extremely hazardous.

Emergency Services

University Police Department, Campus Emergency and 9-1-1 services are normally available. In case of an emergency, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated to act as a command center to handle emergencies. In such an event, tune your radio to local stations 920 AM, 1400 AM, or 98.1 FM in San Luis Obispo.

Cal Poly's Plan

The University's goal is to be prepared in case of an emergency. However, during an emergency, residents need to seek guidance from their Resident or Community Advisors and/or their CSD.

Enroll in PolyAlert Campus Emergency Notification System

Cal Poly has an emergency text messaging system. Students are encouraged to register for this service. The system enables students to receive timely information by text message or email about a campus emergency. Students must sign up for this service through the Cal Poly Portal. You must register your cell phone number to receive these emergency text message notifications. Go to your My Calpoly portal and click on the Personal Info tab to register.

Evacuation Maps

In the case of an emergency, residents may be asked to evacuate a building. Residents should proceed to the designated evacuation point and wait for further instructions. Residents should not leave campus without notifying a Housing staff member of their plans. Use the link below to view evacuation maps for campus.

Suggested Emergency Preparedness Resources

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