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Emergency Preparedness

Even though San Diego and Jupiter are beautiful and fairly safe cities, accidents and emergencies can happen and it’s best to be prepared by carrying the following information in your wallet or purse.  That way, you will have the correct phone numbers at your fingertips, whether you have a problem at the airport or an accident in your lab, or an emergency need to travel.  If you would like a card to carry in your purse or wallet with emergency contact information for TSRI, please feel free to contact us.

In Case of Emergency in California
Earthquake Preparedness in California
In Case of Emergency in Florida
Hurricane Preparedness in Florida
Wildlife Precautions in Florida

In Case of an Emergency at TSRI California

  • If you have an emergency during office hours (Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm PST), call the ISO at 858-784-8120.
  • If you have an emergency during evenings, holidays or weekends, call Campus Security at 858-784-2000. Identify yourself as an international student or scholar and Campus Security will get you in touch with an international student or scholar advisor.
  • If you experience a crime or accident on campus, call Campus Security from a campus phone by dialing 77, or call Campus Security from a cell phone by dialing 858-784-2000.
  • As always, if you experience a crime or accident off campus, call 9-1-1.

Earthquake Preparedness in California

Strong earthquakes are not common in the San Diego area but they may happen. In general, there is a 60% chance of an earthquake happening in Southern California that is 6.7 or higher on the Richter scale. For more information about earthquakes, visit the webpage for the US Geological Survey. When you live in Southern California, it’s best to be prepared.

The City of San Diego maintains a website with important information about what to do to prepare for an earthquake; during an earthquake; and after an earthquake. We encourage all international students and scholars to review the information on the City of San Diego website and create an “Earthquake Preparedness Kit” for your home. 

What to Do Before an Earthquake

  • Identify safe spots at home and work:
    - Sturdy tables and desks
    - Small rooms and hallways
  • Establish an out-of-area contact who can coordinate family members' locations and information in case you become separated.
  • Make sure everyone in the home knows phone numbers and addresses.
  • Prepare a family disaster supplies kit and keep one in your home and one in your car. You can buy an Emergency Kit online or gather it yourself. 
    1. Flashlight
    2. Batteries
    3. Radio
    4. Water
    5. Three-day supply of non-perishable food
    6. Medicine
    7. An extra set of keys
    8  Extra clothes
  • Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter. Keep your training current.
  • Eliminate hazards in your home:
    - Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs.
    - Remove any unsecured items hanging over beds. Don't hang a mirror over your bed.
    - Install strong latches on cupboards.
    - Strap the water heater to wall studs.

The Red Cross has excellent information on their website, as well as specifics about creating a “72-Hour Kit”. A 72-Hour Kit consists of items that you and your family would need to survive for 72 hours following a disaster. 72 hours is usually the longest time it will take for help to arrive, depending on the conditions of roadways and how extensive damage is to the rest of the community.

After a Severe Earthquake

If you need to temporarily leave your home or the area because of an earthquake or any natural disaster, the International Services Office needs to know your location. Please call or email the information as soon as possible to  In the case of a natural disaster, the US government may require the ISO to report the location of all international students and scholars.


In Case of an Emergency at TSRI Florida

  • If you have an emergency during office hours (Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm EST), call the ISO at 561-228-2025.
  • If you have an emergency Monday through Friday, 5pm - 8pm EST, please contact ISO CA at 858-784-8120. If you have an emergency after 8pm on a weekday and during holidays and weekends, call Campus Security at 561-228-2757. Identify yourself as an international student or scholar and Campus Security will get you in touch with an international student or scholar advisor.
  • If you experience a crime or accident on campus, call Campus Security from a campus phone by dialing 2757, or from a cell phone by dialing 561-228-2757.
  • As always, if you experience a crime or accident off campus, call 9-1-1.

Hurricane Preparedness in Florida (generally June through November)

June 1 marks the beginning of Hurricane Season in Florida, which lasts until the end of November. You should start preparing in the spring for potential hurricanes during the upcoming season. In the event there is a hurricane, you will receive multiple campus-wide emails sent to your email address. TSRI will keep you informed, but it only works if you actually read the messages sent. It is important that you pay attention and plan in advance. If TSRI closes, you and your family members are not permitted to seek shelter at TSRI.

In the event there is a hurricane, you may need to survive for several days without electricity/power after the hurricane hits. To prepare for this, please be sure to do the following things early. If you wait until just before a hurricane arrives, you will find that most of these supplies are no longer available in local stores and shops, as supplies quickly deplete. We suggest creating an emergency supply shelf in your kitchen, and just keep these supplies until the end of the Hurricane Season.

Food and Water Preparation

  • One gallon of water per day for each member of your household. You should stock enough for 3 days now, you can get more as a hurricane approaches, but at least you will have some if the stores run out.
  • Enough food in the forms of canned food and nonperishable items for 3-7 days, including baby formula for infants. Food supplies should include items that require no refrigeration, water, or cooking (for example: crackers, peanut butter, nuts, and canned goods). Be sure you have a manual can opener.

More information is available on the Public Safety website on the publications page, under the category “Hurricane.” For tips on preparing food and water, click on the publication related to “Food and Water in an Emergency.”

Important Items to Store

  1. Portable battery-powered radio and extra batteries.
  2. Flashlight and batteries.
  3. Ample supply of required prescription drugs and a first aid kit.
  4. A supply of cash. ATM machines and credit cards may not work.
  5. Special items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, etc.
  6. Fill your car with gas even if you don’t plan to evacuate.  Gasoline supplies will take some time to return to normal.
  7. Fill your bathtub with water for bathing and to flush the toilet. Be sure you have a bucket.

Shelter and Evacuation

  • Hurricane Shutters: You should inquire now with your landlord who is responsible for hanging up the hurricane shutters on your apartment/home. Will you be required to do it yourself or is it done for you? Hanging hurricane shutters can be a difficult and time-consuming process. If you are required to do it yourself, be sure now that you have the required supplies (gloves, bolts, wing nuts, access to a ladder, etc.). Stores will run out of these supplies as the hurricane approaches.
  • Evacuation Zone: Check the evacuation zone map to determine if your housing is in a potential evacuation area. Make a plan on where you will go if you have to evacuate. Do you have friends that don’t live in an evacuation zone? Do you have access to transportation?
  • Hurricane Shelters: Determine the closest hurricane shelters from where you live. Some shelters will fill up faster than others. Be sure you know where an alternate shelter is located. For a list of shelters, please visit the Public Safety website and click on “Hurricane Guide” in the list of publications under the category “Hurricane.”
  • If you chose to evacuate outside the Jupiter area, the International Services Office needs to know your location. Please call or email the information as soon as possible to In the case of severe weather events, the US government may require the ISO to report the location of all international students and scholars.

Please be sure to read the publications cited above so you know what to do before, during, and after the storm hits. If you would like to read hurricane preparation information in your own language, please visit the the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website for brochures in many languages.

Please contact the International Services Office if you have any questions.

Wildlife Precautions in Florida

Florida is a beautiful state, with many sights to see and unusual plants and animals. However, some animals and sea life can be dangerous so we encourage all international students and scholars who will visit Florida to review the information below.

Sea Creatures

Sharks: There are many different types of sharks in Florida waters including Bull Sharks, Lemon Sharks, Nurse Sharks, and Hammerhead Sharks.  Most attacks take place along the beaches of Volusia County (Daytona Beach area) and are not deadly.  Sharks tend to attack people who are alone, splashing, wearing shiny jewelry, and swimming in murky water. To reduce the odds (roughly 1 in 10 million) of being attacked by a shark you should do the following:  avoid swimming in murky water, avoid swimming at dusk and dawn (feeding time), stay in a group, minimize splashing, don’t swim where you see baitfish or fishermen, don’t go into the water if bleeding and don’t wear jewelry.

Jellyfish: There are many species of jellyfish, but only some have stings that cause a bad reaction in humans. They range in size from tiny to several feet in diameter. Contact with tentacles (even those that have broken off) can cause red, raised streaky welts that can last from 1-2 weeks and cause severe pain, tingling, itching, nausea, headache, and death in rare cases. Do not touch jellyfish that have washed up on the beach as even dead jellies can sting. 

  • If you are stung by a jellyfish, leave the water immediately. Call the Florida Poison Information Center Network at 1-800-222-1222 or 911 if you begin to have trouble breathing, feel faint or have chest pain.
  • Florida lifeguards display a purple flag to warn swimmers of “Dangerous Marine Life.” It is best not to swim if the purple flag is up.
  • Ask the Life Guard for help or information if one is available.

Baby Jellyfish/Sea Anemones: “Swimmer’s Itch” (also known as “Sea Lice”) are tiny, invisible creatures that release stinging cells, usually in areas where a bathing suit rubs against the skin. They can also get tangled in your hair. The resulting rash causes extreme itching which usually lasts for 7-10 days. Wash out all swimsuits with soap and freshwater, or they may continue to spread the rash. This is most common in Florida in early summer.

Algae Blooms: The algae that causes Florida red tide can cause skin rash, coughing, sneezing and watery eyes. Florida red tide can make water turn brown or red and kill fish and birds in the area.

  • For updated red tide condition reports - or for more detailed information on harmful algae blooms - call the Aquatic Toxins Hotline at 1-888-232-8635.

Land Creatures

American Alligators and Crocodiles: Alligators live mainly in freshwater swamps and marshes, but also in rivers, lakes and ponds. They should be treated with extreme caution. They will generally swim away if approached. However, if they think their young are at risk or they feel threatened, they are capable of striking out. Never feed alligators, don’t swim alone, and don’t swim between dusk and dawn when alligators are most active. The most dangerous are alligators over 8 feet long and alligators during the mating season in May. 

Alligators should not be confused with crocodiles, although they can look very similar. Crocodiles only live in the southernmost tip of Florida, whereas alligators can be found across Florida. Crocodiles are potentially dangerous too, although the American species tends to be much less aggressive than the African and Australians ones.

Snakes: Florida has six venomous species of snakes but it is relatively rare to see them. They include the Eastern Diamondback, the Pigmy Rattler, the Eastern Coral Snake, and the Cottonmouth, or Water Moccasin. Cottonmouth snakes are drawn to water.  Along with native Floridian snakes, there are also Burmese pythons. These live in the Everglades in southern Florida and have bred from irresponsible pet owners releasing them into the wild. There are estimated to be somewhere between 5,000 and 180,000 pythons in the Everglades.

Fire ants: These insects have a painful and irritating venomous bite. Their sting causes a red bump which can turn into a white abscess and cause an infection if scratched.  The bites are usually very itchy, especially the following day. Some people can be allergic to fire ant bites, which can be life-threatening in some severe cases. 

Spiders: You can avoid spiders by wearing gloves when working in places where they might be living, such as gardens and wood sheds. Be careful when putting on old clothing or shoes, and shake them out before wearing. The brown recluse spider is one of the most dangerous animals in Florida. It is small but has a venomous bite that can put you in the hospital. Southern Black Widow spiders are more common and should also be avoided. Widow spiders can be identified by the distinctive red hourglass marking on their back.

Florida Black bears: The Florida black bear is the largest animal that you will find on land in Florida. They live in wooded areas. An endangered species, they are rare to see. Sadly, many are killed by cars in automobile accidents. The surge of tourists into the state has made black bears bold about raiding garbage cans and invading campgrounds. However, black bear attacks on people are rare.

Florida Panthers: Florida panthers are the larger of Florida’s two native wild cat species (panthers and bobcats). This animal is a subspecies of cougar and was chosen in 1982 as the Florida state animal. It is protected as an endangered species, as there are only 80-100 of them left. It is rarely spotted. It’s only natural predators are alligators and humans.