View Full Version : emergency shelters, specifically during hurricanes

03-28-2013, 12:33 AM
I've lived on the Gulf Coast all my life, so I know all about emergency procedures and evacuation and all that not-so-fun stuff before and after hurricanes. But the one thing I've never experienced is staying in an emergency shelter.

My current novel involves college students staying on campus (in the Commons) during a category three hurricane and I need some insight on how the whole setup works. I've tried searching online, but all I'm finding is lists and procedures of where to go/what to do before the storm.

So if anyone has any experiences they could share, good or bad, I would be extremely grateful.

03-28-2013, 01:41 AM
The Red Cross (https://american.redcross.org/site/Ecommerce?VIEW_PRODUCT=true&product_id=1463&store_id=8408) is a good place to start. They run many of the emergency shelters during weather emergencies.

03-28-2013, 01:56 AM
If you're still on the gulf coast, you could contact the county head of your Emergency services and see if they or someone on their staff would be willing to talk to you. Our local ones down here -- Sarasota and Charlotte County are very accessable. I would doubt, however that any "official" shelter would just wind up with students in it, You'd also have local evacuees coming to it.

03-29-2013, 02:47 AM
At both my college and my brother's college, we were always either left in our dorms or evacuated entirely, we were never evacuated to a different spot on campus. In my case, I believe this was partially because our main hall was the evacuation point for the neighboring town, but I could be wrong. In my brother's case, I know they had major flooding issues because they were literally on the water, so if it wasn't safe to stay in the dorms it wasn't safe to stay anywhere. My brother's freshman year one of the hurricanes flooded up to the second floor of his dorm - eerps.

When we stayed in our dorms, it was without any staff service, which was always a pain. No bathroom cleaning, no restocking of the TP, minimal dining services support. Power was generally not an issue because of generators, though there might be minor outages.

When they evacuated people, anyone with access to a car would generally jet out and head home or head to someone else's home. In the year right after college, I hosted a "hurrication" party for my still-in-college friends during a major hurricane. It was the standard bed-couch-and-floor-crashing that you do in college. Those students who can't get out on their own were shipped via buses to nearby inland colleges. Getting to a college all the way up into the mountains was best, but whoever had space was whoever got dumped on.

03-29-2013, 02:49 AM
Also, any college that experiences regular and frequent hurricanes will have an extensive generator system, so that they will either not lose power or will immediately get up and running as soon as the storm itself blows through.

Also, also, one of my colleges put up its vital staff in hotels around the edge of campus so they'd be within walking distance and could come in during storms. Day of a hurricane you'd see them all coming in lugging their overnight bags.