Plan, Evaluate, Respond

Emergency preparedness is a basic survival skill. The information on this site will help members of the Yale community develop thoughtful emergency plans regardless of the incident.

This website is a tool to help you plan for emergencies. It takes into account different types of emergencies that may occur, while introducing an overall concept applicable to any situation:

Plan, Evaluate, Respond


The first step in approaching an emergency is to think ahead of time about what might happen. Though planning takes time and work, it pays off by bringing awareness to the choices you may confront in an emergency. By preparing both mentally and logistically, you can increase your confidence and ability to handle a real emergency situation. Being prepared can reduce the fear, anxiety, and losses that disasters often bring.


Having a plan allows you to consider your options in an emergency. Understanding these options will help you respond more consciously and manage your natural instincts of “fight, flight, or freeze.” You may only have a few seconds to evaluate the situation, and in that moment you can ask yourself these questions:

  • Should we evacuate?
  • Where are the exits?
  • Should we shelter in place?
  • Whom should we call for help?
  • How can we help?
  • What do we need right now?

Once you have evaluated the situation and understand your options, you are able to choose how to respond to the emergency in the way that maximizes your safety. Remember:

  • Do not take unnecessary risk
  • Remain as calm as possible
  • Always use common sense
  • Trust your instincts 

Every one of us may someday be the first to respond to an emergency. We hope you will take this responsibility seriously.