Armstrong to stay a step ahead of storms

By Sarah Olin, Staff Writer

Next week will mark the peak of the 2015 Hurricane Season, and already meteorologists have been tracking systems like Danny, Erika and Fred. With Savannah being situated just off the Atlantic coast, there is always a possibility that the Hostess City will host the severe weather at any time during the season. The real question is: if a hurricane did make its way to campus, would students be prepared?

ASU strongly encourages students to plan ahead when it comes to the storms. In the event of a mandatory evacuation, ASU does not offer transportation off campus. Students need to have an evacuation plan and make prior arrangements with friends or family. Katie Twining, Director of Facility Services, explains how the buildings on campus are required to meet a certain code for the Savannah area for wind shear of around 90 mph. However, she notes that flying debris is a concern and could be dangerous when combined with high speed winds.

“We have procedures in place for pre-storm management that allow us to ensure all storm drains are clear of debris, and that all items that could be picked up in high winds are stored,” Twining said. “Debris and loss of power would be our two largest issues during any significant weather event and both are beyond our control.”

So how will Armstrong communicate with students during times of severe weather? The university uses the BLAST System to notify students and faculty when the campus will close due to dangerous weather conditions. The BLAST System includes the phone numbers and emails of all registered students and staff to ensure that everyone associated with the campus is notified about the storms.

“We use all forms of communication, from email to BLAST, which can send emails as well as phone calls to students who have updated information in the system, which they would have entered on their PORT accounts,” said Nick Shrader, Director of Housing and Residence Life. Campus housing says they are confident in their protocol to inform students of evacuating.

So again, students are implored talk with friends and family to come up with the best evacuation plan. Students should also check their PORT accounts and review that their contact information is up-to-date.  More information on hurricane safety and evacuation plans can be found on  PORT.