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National Preparedness Month: What Does it Mean to be Prepared?

Build a Kit to prepare for emergencies.

While you are in the United States as an F or M student, you should be prepared for natural disasters or other emergency situations. Whether it is a hurricane, tornado or other event, you should plan ahead. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready campaign, there are four ways you can be prepared:

  1. Be informed: Make sure you are aware of weather possibilities in your local area. Are you traveling or living in an area that is prone to tropical weather during hurricane season? Do you live near a river that may cause severe flooding? You can sign up for local and national alerts to get constant updates on expected weather events.
  2. Make a plan: If a disaster were to strike, you need to know where you can go for safety and how to contact your designated school official (DSO), classmates or family in case of emergency.
  3. Build a kit: You should have a kit ready in case you need to leave your home very quickly. The kit should include water, food, first aid items and other basic disaster supplies.
  4. Get involved: Be involved by starting your own preparedness project, community planning or volunteer effort after an event has taken place.

As an F or M student, you also should carry the following items:

  • Emergency contact information for your DSO and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program
  • Form I-20, “Certificate on Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status”
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Social Security card (if applicable)
  • Financial records
  • Plane tickets (if applicable)
  • Form I-766, “Employment Authorization Document” (if applicable)
  • Checks, credit cards and some cash

If you want to pledge that you will be prepared, join Ready.gov’s National Preparedness Community.

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