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Monday, December 5, 2022

Campus

Housing advises preparing in case of another winter storm


winter storm

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Texas was struck with a devastating winter storm that left over two-thirds of Texans without electricity and nearly half without running water, less than one year ago. 

The impact on UH students was similar, with many students experiencing rolling power outages, low water pressure, plumbing interruptions as well as major adjustments to dining options.

The UH housing department took a number of steps to help minimize the impacts on students living in on-campus housing last February, however certain adjustments were inevitable.

“The worst thing that happened was the weather alarm went off at 3 a.m. and we were forced to evacuate,” said math sophomore Billy Naples.  “It was freezing and it took a while for us to go back inside.”

At the time of the storm last semester Naples was living in Cougar Village II, one of the dorms affected by power outages on campus.

Residents who were affected by building service interruptions were given the option to temporarily switch rooms. Those who chose not to move received door-to-door checks by staff.

Additionally, drinking water and portable restrooms were available to all students affected by on-campus plumbing issues eventually.

“(Student Housing and Residential Life) was supported in these efforts by multiple University departments and resources to make every effort to accommodate all students with health and safety considerations in mind,” said UH housing director of operations Kenny Mauk.  

Housing advises students to stay informed and communicate in case of another unexpected storm.

Farmer’s Almanac predicted the artic outbreak this year, and there is another prediction coming for 2022. The region near Houston is supposed to be facing colder weather conditions in late January, according to the site.

“We are always actively looking for ways to improve communications for our residents and provide training to our staff for emergencies,” Mauk said. “This includes current preparation and review of emergency operations and continuity of operations plans.”  

Mauk also reminds students to be prepared for another storm and to listen to warnings when they begin happening. 

“The largest part of this preparation is within the residential community themselves,” Mauk said. “Teaching residents to have a personal emergency plan, be aware, be prepared and be good neighbors to one another when events like this happen. Take the warnings seriously and have a plan.” 

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