by Taylor Cotter
When you’re at home, preparing for emergency weather usually means starting in on a big pile of snacks your parents stacked up on. When you’re taking care of yourself at college, being prepared is a little bit different. After the Boston Blackout and Hurricane Irene, I learned a few things about being a college student during extreme weather.
1. Know what your school’s plan is.
Usually your RAs are trained well in advance for extreme weather situations. Ask an RA what you’re supposed to do if your power goes out, if you run out of something important, or if you get stuck somewhere. Have all the emergency phone numbers for your campus police and emergency services.
2. Stock up ahead of time – and get to know your neighbors.
The campus convenience store may already be out of milk and bread, so start making friends with your neighbors that stocked up in the dozens. Don’t forget to share your rations as well – the more people staying inside, the better!
3. Be generous.
During the Boston Blackout, some dorms lost power while others were fine. If you can, invite those who lose power to your building and share your resources.
4. Heed all warnings.
If someone tells you to evacuate, evacuate. If a fire alarm goes off, listen to it. Often universities play better-safe-than-sorry, but in an extreme weather situation, they are counting on you to listen to what they say.
5. Thank your college or university workers.
Many of the people working hard to ensure your safety may be sacrificing some of their own – realize that the cafeteria workers, school police department, and student life staff also need to get home and take care of their own families and houses. Appreciate their generosity by stocking up, battening down, and not relying on them unless you must.
For everyone in Hurricane Sandy’s path, stay safe!