What to Do in an Emergency

Emergency Preparedness

We've assembled this resource to help the UM-Dearborn community develop thoughtful emergency plans regardless of the incident. It's a tool to help you plan for emergencies while on campus and how you can prepare your family. It takes into account different types of emergencies that might occur, while introducing an overall concept applicable to any situation.


The first step in approaching an emergency is to think ahead of time about what might happen. Though planning takes time and work, it pays off by bringing awareness to the choices you may confront in an emergency. By preparing both mentally and logistically, you can increase your confidence and ability to handle a real emergency situation. Being prepared can reduce the fear, anxiety, and losses that disasters often bring.


Having a plan allows you to consider your options in an emergency. Understanding these options will help you respond more consciously and manage your natural instincts of "run, hide, or fight." You may only have a few seconds to evaluate a situation, and in that moment you can ask and answer such questions as:

  • Should we evacuate?
  • Where are the exits?
  • Should we shelter in place?
  • Whom should we call for help?
  • How can we help?
  • What do we need right now?


Once you have evaluated the situation and understand your options, you are able to choose how to respond to the emergency in the way that maximized your safety. Remember: do not take unnecessary risks, remain as calm as possible, and always use common sense.

Every one of us may someday be the first to respond to an emergency. We hope you will take this responsibility seriously.