While living on campus this summer, I experienced some of the worst weather of my life. Having no air conditioning in the dorm, I slept with both my windows wide open. One night a HUGE storm ripped through campus, the torrential downpour waking me from my sleep. Upon seeing the sheets of rain pour into my room, I sprung from my bed and raced to the windows, desperately trying to crank them shut. Due to the forceful gales, my attempts were futile and I resorted to yanking my futon and rugs away from the windows to reduce further soaking. As I was dragging the futon to the other side of my room, a terrific gust whipped one of my windows open and then slammed it shut with such force that the pane completely shattered! Fearing Dorothy’s fate, at that point I abandoned my room and bolted for the dorm basement, seeking refuge within the solid cement walls.
This experience got me thinking about weather safety. I think most students rely on their parents when at home and severe weather strikes. Living away from home, students should be aware of the weather that could come through the area (especially if they’re living in a location completely different from home). If you’re like me and get warnings and watches confused, a helpful site is NOAA’s Severe Weather Safety Page. They give useful information on floods, tornadoes, winter weather, lightning, and severe weather.
In addition to understanding the weather, it’s also important to know where to go for different situations. Find out what your school or dormitory’s procedures are for different events.
Also, make sure you know where your personal items are so you can easily find them in case of an emergency. Some things you’ll want to have with you are identification, room keys, and a phone. You don’t necessarily have to keep them in a special place, but just make sure you always have them in the same location so that if you’re awakened in the middle of the night and need to flee your room, you can make a speedy escape. I know that I would have felt a little less panicked had I not been scrambling around my room looking for these things as water was pouring into my room and my shattered window was banging back and forth!