Following last week’s winter storm, and with hurricane season rapidly approaching, Georgia Southern University should take the necessary steps toward creating a strong emergency plan for students during dangerous weather conditions.
Many students on and off campus were without heat and electricity last week due to power outages caused by ice from the storm. They were also advised against driving by the sheriff’s department because of poor road conditions, so they could not seek refuge somewhere else.
The Dining Commons was also closed for a period of time because its emergency generators were not powerful enough to cook full meals. Sack lunches were handed out for a brief period of the day instead.
Students who live on campus often rely on the services that the university provides for them and were left with limited resources for food and warmth. Students living on campus should have access to a designated building or buildings on campus equipped with emergency generators that can act as a storm shelter.
While students were provided with several eagle alerts throughout the two days the university was closed, very little safety information was given to students. A more detailed emergency plan should be available for the entire Georgia Southern community.
Some students may not have had experience with the icy weather before and knowing helpful information about remaining safe during dangerous weather conditions would greatly benefit them. The emergency plan should not only include tips for dealing with the cold weather and ice but also a list of emergency contact information for the area and places that will provide students with shelter.