What Students Should Know About Preparation for the Storm
By Kelly Gibbs | email@example.com
Art by Victoria Van Arnam
As Flagler students flood back into St. Augustine for the upcoming semester, tropical storms are whipping around the Atlantic with just as much vigor.
Though many people have forgiven hurricanes like Frances and Katrina for the havoc they brought to the southeast not too long ago, no one has forgotten the devastation they left.
“Even though it wasn’t supposed to be a bad year and we only had one hurricane, Andrew was a national catastrophe back in 1992,” said Tim Degan, meteorologist of First Coast News.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this year is supposed to be one of the hot seasons for tropical storms and hurricanes.
Advisories have already been issued this summer for Hurricanes Danielle and Earl, which are still active in the Atlantic.
Degan said that though this year is expecting more hurricanes than usual, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will come ashore.
“Though Danielle and Earl managed to miss us, folks can be expecting to be watching the coasts more than usual,” Degan said.
This year has already been classified as La NiÃ±a according to the NOAA, in which dangerous hurricanes (categories 3, 4 and 5) can begin in the Atlantic due to high winds coming off of the Gulf, Caribbean and Pacific. This means more hurricanes are likely on the east coast and people living on the coasts, including Flagler students, should be aware.
“They say this year’s going to be stronger than last year,” said Dean of Student Services Daniel Stewart, who’s in charge of the emergency services page at Flagler College. “But so far, the ones they’ve seen have stayed out to sea.”
When asked what parents and students should do to prepare themselves for the upcoming hurricane season, Stewart responded, “keep track of the weather, check out the information on our website and E2 campus online and if a situation should arise, information will start scrolling across the page.”
Degan gave similar advice to students. “I would recommend that students check the forecasts daily to see what’s happening,” he said. “Just because you checked the forecast five days ago doesn’t mean it hasn’t changed, and that’s how the weather is, always changing.”
He also added a positive. “I’d much rather a hurricane be coming than a tornado or an earthquake,” Degan said. “At least with Hurricanes, you have some sort of notice.”
Many students may not know that Flagler College is an emergency storm shelter, should severe weather hit the city.
There is a list of protocol on Flagler’s emergency page, including warnings and alerts that go out through WFCF 88.5 Flagler College Radio as well.
Since this Fall bodes well for stormy weather conditions, Flagler students should be aware of the hurricane protocol in St. Augustine.
Art was modified from a Google Maps image. The Gargoyle does not own the original photo.