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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Campus

Residence halls have plan for evacuation ready


UH spokesperson Mike Rosen said students who don’t live on campus should leave by 1 p.m. Friday. | File photo/The Cougar

With Hurricane Harvey roaring toward the Texas coast, the University of Houston, like the rest of the city, is preparing for the worst.

For students who live in one of the many residence halls dotting the campus, Student Housing and Residential Life has a contingency plan for evacuation in case of disaster.

Executive Director of SHRL Don Yackley said in an email that the department has a comprehensive planned evacuation protocol, developed in collaboration with the Office of Emergency Management, in the case of emergency. 

Yackley said there would be a point person assigned to each residence hall whose job is to implement the evacuation plan, delegate responsibilities appropriately and organize the evacuation.

“All residents are summoned into a central area, and then transported via buses to a safe location,” Yackley said.

Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications for SHRL Kellie Spellman declined to say where students would be evacuated.

“If there is a planned evacuation, we will share details at that time,” Spellman said in an email. “We do not anticipate having to evacuate the residence halls, but we do have a plan in place if it is needed.”

SHRL also has contingencies in place for residents with special needs.

Yackley said SHRL maintains a list of special needs students living in each residence hall, and the point person will assign staff to anyone needing assistance, including escorting students onto evacuation buses.

SHRL sent an email to UH residents informing them of how to prepare for the incoming storm.

“The Student Housing and Residential Life Department wants all residents to be as safe and comfortable as possible during the potential upcoming storm,” the Resident Storm Prep news release said.

It included a link to the UH Emergency Notification System, an Emergency Preparedness Supplies Checklist and a link to instructions on how students can update their emergency contact information.

Some supplies included in the checklist include a first aid kit, prescription and over-the-counter medications, a battery-powered or wind-up radio, a battery-powered or wind-up flashlight, batteries, plastic bags, water and high-energy foods.

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