Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Office of Emergency Management Resources for Parents

For Parents

Having your son or daughter leave home for the first time can be an exciting but stressful time. There are a lot of unknowns, and that can be challenging. Here are some things you can do at home to make the transition a little easier, knowing your child is prepared to handle themselves in an emergency.


  1. As you plan for their practical needs during the school year – climate-appropriate clothing, dorm supplies, medications and toiletries – be sure to include some items that will come in handy in an emergency.
  2. Some events to plan for could be as as simple as a power outage or as challenging as a severe winter storm. Being prepared for anything that comes to Pullman can help your son or daughter remain safe and deal calmly with the situation while helping other classmates or roommates to do the same.
  3. Having an emergency COUGkit on hand can go a long way toward keeping your child safe and feeling confident in a challenging emergency situation. It’s easy to make one at home, and it doesn’t have to be extensive or cost a lot!
    A COUGkit can be as simple as an old backpack containing items like a flashlight, a small radio, extra batteries, a solar-powered or hand-cranked cell phone charger, energy bars, water and first aid supplies.
  4. Check out WSU’s Emergency plans and have your child become familiar with various hazards and how to react in the event something should happen.
  5. Become familiar with our emergency notification website, This is the OFFICIAL site to find out more information in case of an emergency.
  6. Make sure that your son or daughter updates their cell phone contacts and adds an “In Case of Emergency” number in their contact list. Remind them that cell phone service may be unreliable after a disaster. Texting or communicating via social media may be possible when phone calls are not.
  7. Work out a family communications plan with your college-bound student so that she or he will know how to get in touch with you at any time, or where to leave a message if communications between home and school are disrupted.
  8. Prepare an emergency information sheet listing the names, locations and phone numbers for family members, physicians, medical insurance, and other important resources.
  9. Check with your homeowners’ insurance company to see if your policy covers your student’s belongings at school. If not, you may need to purchase an additional rental policy to cover items in your student’s dorm room.
  10. Advise your student to keep their emergency kit under the bed or on the top shelf of a closet where it will be easily accessible in an emergency.
  11. Encourage your student to sign up for WSU Alerts through the myWSU portal. More information about how to sign up is at

NOTE: Our current system does not support parent or third party registration to receive notifications. However, we do allow each individual to list up to 9 different mechanisms for emergency notification.  Have your student list your contact information as an alternate to theirs, and that will get you emergency notifications as part of your student’s contact file.

Have questions? Feel free to contact us!