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Culture > News

5 Resources For Students On College Campuses During Hurricane Ian

If you’re a permanent resident of Florida or even an out-of-state college student in the state, you’re no stranger to hurricanes. Hurricane Ian, the latest storm to hit the Atlantic this hurricane season, has rapidly intensified and is set to be a serious danger to the Florida peninsula, extending up to the southeast coast of the U.S.  

The Category 3 storm, which made landfall in western Cuba early Tuesday, Sept. 27, is set to hit the western coast of Florida in the upcoming days. With a hurricane warning issued for certain areas, many counties on the west coast of Florida have already begun evacuation in preparation for the storm. The storm is forecasted to bring in sustained winds of at least 111 mph and a total of 12-24 inches of rain in west-central Florida, with the potential for storm surges and flooding in the southeast region of the country.

According to its current track, Hurricane Ian is predicted to make landfall near Sarasota, FL on Wednesday evening. From there, the storm is set to impact major areas of Florida, all the way from the Keys to Fort Myers and Tampa, before making its way towards coastal Georgia and South Carolina. Schools that have been shut down in these regions include the University of Florida, University of South Florida, Santa Fe College, and more.

If you’re on a college campus within the trajectory of the storm, here are some ways you can prepare and stay safe during the hurricane.

Take note of on-campus or nearby food pantries.

While forecasts help to know where and when the storm is going to hit, there’s no saying exactly how much damage it’s going to leave in its wake. Stocking up on water bottles and non-perishable food items is a good place to start. You can also take note of on-campus or nearby food pantries, in case the need arises for more supplies.

Research mental health services provided by your school.

Natural disasters of a large scale not only cause physical damage, but their impact on your mental and emotional health can also be quite drastic. Look up what kind of mental health services your school offers and take a chance on the opportunities provided to you. Whether it’s talking to a counselor or therapist or even a group of fellow students, every little bit can help ease your mental stress.

Stock up on emergency light supplies.

One good thing about being on a college campus is that most universities have generators to keep power on in some capacity. But in case those efforts fail, be sure to stock up on emergency supplies like flashlights and batteries, so you’re never left in the dark.

Sign up for emergency text & email alerts from your school.

With the advent of technology, universities have set up multiple avenues to keep students informed in the event of such an emergency. If your school is one that offers the option for emergency text and email alerts, sign up for them. If the hurricane causes the internet to go down, these emergency texts can keep you updated and informed of what’s going on around you and can help you feel a little safer and in control during this time.

For more updates on the storm, you can also follow the National Hurricane Center’s hourly reports for up-to-date information on the storm’s location and movements.  

Check your school’s website for hurricane FAQs.

Along with text/email services, your schools may also have a hurricane FAQs page on their website with resources on campus and other information about closures, relief options, medical care, and more for your specific region. Whether it’s for you or your parents who live elsewhere, your school website will have some answers to your concerns regarding the hurricane and its after effects on campus.

Sindu Karunakaran is a national writer at Her Campus where she covers topics ranging from book lists to entertainment and cultural news. She graduated from NC State in 2021 with degrees in English and Communication. She is an avid reader and has an Instagram account and blog dedicated to her love of books. When she's not reading or writing, you can usually find her binge-watching the latest show, or trying out a new recipe.