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Our point of view: Hurricane Prep

Last week, Hurricane Harvey unleashed its fury on North America, resulting in devastating flooding in Houston, Texas and several Caribbean island nations. With Hurricanes Irma and Jose barreling toward South Florida, it’s hard not to question if our community is prepared to deal with the impacts of a severe hurricane.

Last year, Tropical Storm Hermine whipped through South Georgia, uprooting hundreds of trees and leaving nearly 30,000 people without power. Many trailerpark residents and homeless people were forced into shelters as rising water and whipping winds invaded the Valdosta area.

With Irma days away, what steps should we take to prepare for the possibility of severe weather?

The VSU Police Department and the Department of Environmental and Occupational Safety closely monitor all severe weather threats and keep students informed on all major updates.

Although VSU does not have specified shelters on campus, emergency shelter locations can be designated by the university in cases of extreme emergency. In most cases, it’s safest to stay in place, only venturing outside when University Police make an all-clear announcement.

Avoid walking or driving through standing water. It only takes about a foot of water to float a full-size car, and two feet can sweep it away.

Update emergency contacts and campus alert phone numbers on Banner. University announcements may also be sent via email or posted on the VSU website.

CodeRed is a weather warning app managed by the Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency. The app will send updates and alerts to your phone if you’re in the projected path of a storm. The app is available for Android and iOS.

VSU has also created an Emergency Quick Reference Guide that gives specific instructions for various emergency situations on campus.

For more ways to prepare in the event of an emergency, visit ready.ga.gov.

Be sure to start preparing for inclement weather early. Although VSU likely won’t get the worst of Hurricane Irma, it never hurts to be prepared.

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