The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday September 30th

UNC warns students of Hurricane Irene danger

Flashlight. Food. Water. Medicine. Radio.

As Hurricane Irene threatens to hit Chapel Hill this weekend, campus emergency officials are recommending that every student has these basic emergency materials on hand.


Students received an email Wednesday from the University offering advice on how to best prepare for the storm.

“Students are responsible first and foremost for their own safety and situation immediately after an event,” Gentry said, adding that the University cannot possibly keep tabs on every student.

Randy Young, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said the University plans to communicate with students in as many ways as possible should the hurricane become a serious threat to their safety. This includes sending text messages to registered phones via Alert Carolina, UNC’s emergency warning system.

Larry Hicks, director of housing and residential education, said officials from departments across campus met Wednesday to discuss their individual contingency plans.

These groups included Campus Health Services, housing, the office of the dean of students, Carolina Dining Services, Facilities Services and DPS.

Hicks said a conference call between all these departments is scheduled for every day leading up to this weekend.

Young said students who have not registered their phones already to Alert Carolina should do so.

Jeff McCracken, chief of campus police, suggested that students tell family members where they will be during the storm in case they can’t communicate.

He said students should have supplies on hand, stay indoors, avoid flooded areas and stay safe.

“I just think people should use common sense,” McCracken said.

He added that having a flashlight on hand would be important in case of a power outage since candles aren’t permitted in the residence halls.

Gentry said all students should create a personal action plan and should visit websites like Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross for tips. Alert Carolina will publish UNC-specific information, he said.

“The better prepared the students are, the better off they will be immediately after the event,” Gentry said.

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