Student Emergency Preparedness

For students, it is critical to know what to do in case of emergency. Any response to a catastrophic incident will be directed by the campus officials charged with the responsibility for coordinating and implementing a specific plan of action, and students should always follow the directions of our Public Safety officers. There are some general actions that students should take to be prepared. Below are some helpful tips and informative websites that provide information to keep students prepared for an emergency.

General Information

  • Be sure to complete the emergency evacuation plan information form in MyPortal
  1. Open their student profile
  2. Go to the personal information tile and open it
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the “Emergency Evaluation Plan” on the left-hand navigation bar.
  • Keep prescription medication(s) filled and readily available. In an emergency or severe weather evacuation, obtaining prescriptions may be difficult or impossible.
  • Have a family plan for making contact and meeting. Don’t wait until an emergency strikes to coordinate a family plan.
  • Pick one out-of-state and one local friend or relative that family members can call as alternate contacts. (It may be easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area).
  • Call only when absolutely necessary — phone communications are usually overloaded during emergencies.
  • Follow all instructions immediately — safety is the primary concern.

Evacuation Information

  • The College is prepared to transport students to alternative housing within the state for those students who may not have a place to stay during an evacuation. These residence hall students are typically international and out-of-state students. However, commuter students who notify the Office of Residence Life that they require assistance once an evacuation has been ordered may be included.
  • Be sure you have filled out or updated (if necessary) your emergency evacuation plan through MyPortal and that you have discussed your hurricane plan with your family.
  • Check to get detailed information about updating your records and Cougar Alert information with the College.
  • The College will provide free transportation and shelter to a safe location if you are not able to evacuate on your own. This transportation option is available to all students, whether you live on or off campus. If you do not have transportation with a friend or family member and do not have an evacuation location, please check in at your residence hall’s front desk ( in addition to filling out the MyPortal form). Be prepared to receive updates regarding departure time and location. All meals during the evacuation will be free of charge for those taking advantage of the College of Charleston-provided transportation and shelter.
  • Pack essentials – including books, course materials, any important documents, identification, cash, medication, computers, chargers, a pillow, blanket, and any valuables. While the College is closed, you will not be able to go back to the residence halls to retrieve any items until the campus is re-opened.
  • IMPORTANT: Remove trash, food and perishables from your room to avoid pests. If any of these items are left in your room, you will be fined and the items will be removed.
  • Move items off the floor (especially if you are on the first floor) in the event that flooding may occur.
  • Close, secure, and move items away from windows.
  • Lock your door and take your key and Cougar Card.

Non-Evacuation Information

  • When alternate transport to an off-site location is not necessary or unavailable due to the nature of the emergency, students living within the community who require assistance for emergency housing should inform the Office of Residence Life and Housing.
  • Students should look for communication posters that will be put up by residence hall staff. Such posters will relay information regarding staff contact, specific instructions, designated safe areas and relocation facility if required (i.e., glass exposure during a tropical storm).
  • Know the name and number of your RA and Residence Hall Director. All residence hall students must make contact with either the RA or Residence Hall Director to: (a) indicate where they will be if they choose not to stay in College of Charleston designated facilities and provide a phone number where contact may be made; and (b) notify family member(s) of intended location (staying on campus or staying with friends or another relative) and contact phone numbers.
  • Students living in Charleston-style residence houses will be moved to appropriate designated facilities. They should bring a pillow, blanket, changes of clothes, towel, prescription medication(s), essential toiletry items and a jug of water. Periodic information meetings with students in facilities will be conducted to keep them informed.

For those who reside off-campus within the Tri-county area, the following websites are valuable in preparing your residence for any emergency situation: