Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Emergency Preparations

On Campus Prepping For College Students

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The Coyote Kid:
I've only ever attended a community college and not a four year school, so I'm not as familiar with college life and dorm life as others may be. But I'll offer up some advice that I think is good for general prepping and even better for campus.

Most of the four year schools I've visited are large and the complaint is always about how long it takes to walk from one class to another. Become familiar with your campus. If you're going to be living there for four years (or more) then it's a good idea to take the time not only to study a map but to walk around. Where are the entrances and exits? Where are the phones? Is there more than one way to get off the 2nd and 3rd floor of a building? Where is the security office and how can I contact them in an emergency? An extended version of this, if you're attending school in another town that you're not familiar with, is to learn the layout of the town. Buy some maps of the local area and keep them with you at all times so you can find your way around town if you need to. What stores does your town have? Do they carry the things you need? Where are the local police/fire/EMS and how long would it take for them to get to you in an emergency?

Outside of emergency prep, stock supplies you'll need for class and projects. My mom had a cabinet when we were going to school that she kept full of notebook paper, folders, pens/pencils and things like that. We lived out in the country so if we needed something for school it was a simple matter of taking it out of the supplies instead of driving into town. Same principle applies here. Don't shop at the campus bookstore because they always overcharge for everything. Find better deals in town for those types of items and keep some extras in case you're running late and need something quick.

One thing I've done for work is make efforts to convert my backpack into both a regular bag for carrying school books (I work and go to school) and also as an EDC bag that has some urban touches to it. I have one of those bags you use to carry personal items like soap and shampoo while traveling and I've converted it into a combination hygiene kit/first aid kit. It's a work in progress but I keep things like aspirin, Tums, ibuprofen, bandages and band-aids in there. But I also have it stocked with a small folding toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, nail clippers, a razor and small can of shaving cream, deodorant and even cologne. You're on campus, you're always meeting people and you never know when you might come across that special someone or have an opportunity to network with people. A kit like this allows you to keep in top form and also be ready for small injuries and illnesses. My bag also has an aluminum water bottle in the side pocket. I keep pens and paper stored, along with a flashlight, multitool and calculator. The general guidelines for preparing a BOB apply here (weight, bulkiness, maneuverability). The bag isn't meant to be a cure-all, just something to make your life a lot easier and something that a lot of students probably don't take into consideration. Just make sure to leave room for books.

Hope this helps. If I think of anything else I'll add more.

EDITED TO ADD: It wouldn't be a bad idea to take a CPR and/or first-aid class either. Going back to response times for EMS, those skills can really help in an emergency and since college campuses are basically small communities in their own right, you'd make yourself a more valuable addition to that group.

RodPowley:
Im starting university in September and have been thinking about this alot myself so I am glad to see a thread on the subject. Im hoping their will be a gardening project at the uni as I will miss growing my own fruit and veg as I have at home for the last few years.
Im getting a solar charger for my laptop and solar radio/torch to take as well as my leatherman style multi-tool, small compass and toologic knife.
I have also printed off maps of the university and surrounding area to take with me.

nimzy88:
I am about ready to graduate from UNLV here in Nevada and have a few thoughts about the subject.
First before I came to Nevada I went to a state school in farmlands of Wisconsin and came to Las Vegas so I could get a taste if the two extremes of lifestyles. I have to say that even if you can't go to school in a different area atleast try to take the time to take a weekend or springbreak roadtrip to a region different from your own. I think traveling around has definitely opened my eyes at things and how people view it which help me grow up a bit.
 
Something that has helped me get through school also was having a job, I find if you can get specialized jobs on campus the school will help pay for training and pay you more. My first job was lifeguarding that I did as a summer job in high school. Campus employment is really good about working around school, a note about campus jobs though is that they all pay different based on where you are and what you do. I got a bi-weekly check where others I know had the money just deducted from their tuition bill and others such as Resident Advisors or Rds or whatever the given campus calls them recieve a small check but "free" room and board and a meal plan.
I now only lifeguard at my current school on call as a second job but the school does provide all the training and certification needed. Due to the training it also pays one of the higher wages for starting off. Compared to the typical minimum wage.
Now my second job and the one I work the most at is student security which is actually a branch of the police department. I had to go through the full police backgroundcheck but it was worth it. It is the best starting pay job on my campus for student workers and it mostly consists of opening locked office doors and classrooms and giving lost patrons directions. Now understand that Las Vegas is a city even on campus things happen. Today we had a kid come in saying he was just robbed at gun point on campus. So with the better pay comes a higher risk. For me, it made sense I want to be in federal le. Although some of the guys I work with are going to school to be gym teachers and computer programmers.
Probably the biggest benefit for me is the relationship I have with the officers and dispatchers. If anything happens on campus they can trust me to know, also after awhile some of the officers offered to take me shooting with them and even store a firearm for me at either the station or their home.

As far as food storage goes this is one of the easiest times in your life to store 100 packages of easy mac multiple cases of ramen, and as many poptarts as you can get a hold of and not have people look at you weird. I moved out of the dorms and into a house but now when people ask why I have the food I can just say I picked up the taste while in school and always keep some around.

I'm going to have to skip around I bit as I am writing on my itouch and I can't scroll up or down. The next topic I would bring up is location of school. I have read posts somewhere stating you should not go to a school anymore than a couple hundred miles away and with more than a few thousand people. I think that could be good advice but only in limited circumstances. If you can stay in state I would recommend it as it will be cheaper but I think if you are choosing a school based on it's survival ability in a post SHTF senario you are seriously missing out on a chance to grow and experince life. The main thing is the individual going to school must decided how independant they feel they really are. Many parents may not want their kid to travel outside a comfort zone but if you feel comfortable with your self being across the country, make sure you factor that into your decision. Also note that if you do want to go out of state see if they accept credits from in state schools. Most schools only require you attend for two years to graduate so if you can knock out some prerequisite classes in state you can save some cash.

Now if a SHTF scenario did occur I would be hurting, although you can do things that make it easier on yourself. I am fortunate to have a truck but I also do have a bike and a hiking backpack, I also have found friends in college or from high school that are currently living in the western US that I can bugout to or meet up with on the long return trek home. I have thought about this possibilty and decieded that I am independent enough that I will not collapse at the thought of this task and breakdown and just become a sheep. Secondly a little situational awareness and common sense go far in college whether it be at a bar or party, or a natural disaster make sure you look for the signs and keep up with the news so that you are not taken by surprise when a major event occurs that should have been noticable.

These are just the first few thoughts I had. If I think of anymore sepecific things I have done to better prepare myself I'll be sure to post it.

nimzy88:
Another recommendation is to finish as quickly as possible. Make sure to only drop classes as a last resort and take atleast what is considered a full load 15 or 16 credits. I know a lot of people who are taking minimum amounts and remaining full time students. This is not advisable as the amount you can make once out of school is more than what you can make while in school, also there is a much smaller difference in cost of tuition going from 12 to 15 credits then 9 to 12 as becoming a full time student adds many additional fees. Finally take summer classes if you can. I find they are easier with profs. being more helpful and a lot cheaper. Paying out of state I saved 6k by taking a full load of summer classes as opposed to taking the same classes in a fall or spring semester.

sdcharger:
When I was a poor college student I had like minded roomates, inexpensive long lasting food stuff, backpacking gear (I used to hike for up to 10+ days at a time), a 12 gauge, and a variety of ammo for the 12 gauge.

I had a variety of places to go to if my place became dangerous or inhospitable.

I had several part time jobs and saved some of my money.

Most importantly, I had a good supply of beer on hand!

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