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J Emerg Manag. 2018 Jul/Aug;16(4):267-270. doi: 10.5055/jem.2018.0375.

Emergency preparedness: What do new college students need to know and how do you inform them?

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Director of Emergency Management and Part-Time Instructor in Higher Education, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia.
Senior Lecturer, First-Year and Transition Studies, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia.
Doctoral Student in Emergency Management, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama.


Active shooters, tornadoes, fires, floods, and power outages are concerns for every new student entering college. New students enter college with a variety of academic and nonacademic anxieties. Students express concerns of their study skills, as well as their ability to manage financial and social responsibilities, but seldom does a new student worry about personal safety or disasters. The first few minutes of an emergency can mean the difference between life and death. Candlelight vigils showing incredible sorrow among college students may become more frequent as active shooter incidents continue to increase in frequency and will undoubtedly occur again. The question is: What do new students need to know about emergency preparedness and how do you inform them? Information overload combined with new student mindset of invincibility makes emergency preparedness a tough topic to communicate effectively to new students. University officials owe it to new students to try.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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