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College Dorm Preparation from the Red Cross

Street sign that reads Dormitory Drive
...keep this list on hand to help you thrive.

Whether you’re a lanyard-wearing college freshman, or you have a couple years of dorm living under your belt, the American Red Cross has important resources and tips to help you prepare and stay safe as you head back to campus this fall. From apps to activity suggestions, keep this list on hand to help you thrive.


  • Going to school in a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, flood or wildfire-prone area? Download Red Cross disaster apps as your go-to resource, now that Mom and Dad aren’t in the next room. Set up alerts and learn how to prepare, respond and recover if you are affected. Family members and loved ones can track severe weather in your area from home.
  • Steam burns from microwave popcorn? A dinner hall buddy choking on a piece of pizza? Your roommate hit their head during a broomball game? Download the Red Cross First Aid App to get expert advice for everyday emergencies.
  • KNOW:

  • Fire escape routes in your dorm.
  • Tornado shelter areas.
  • Steps to help prevent the spread of germs.
  • Where to find your campus or local health center or emergency room.
  • BRING:

  • A first aid kit.
  • Items from an emergency preparedness kit that your college or university might not provide, such as flashlights, family and emergency contact information, extra cash and a battery-powered or hand-crank radio.

  • Red Cross clubs on campus.
  • Blood drives or blood donation centers.
  • Training and certification courses for CPR, first aid, or other training to help prepare for the unknown, pad your resume and maybe get you that summer nanny job.
  • Opportunities in classes to integrate Red Cross knowledge, whether it’s history, humanitarian law, or international aid.
  • Follow the Red Cross on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay on top of the latest news and resources.

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.