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November 09, 2012
Vol. 54 No. 9

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Hurricane tests SU emergency response

Susquehanna battened down the hatches on Oct. 22 and braced for Hurricane Sandy's blow. While the campus bore little to no damage from the impact, other regions were not so lucky. According to the Los Angeles Times, the death toll for Sandy has risen above 110; New York and New Jersey have taken the hardest hit. Safety was the top priority of Susquehanna's safety officials to make sure no such tragedy would strike the campus.

Public safety, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, stated on their website that they strive to maintain a safe campus atmosphere for students, faculty, staff and visitors. During the prelude to the superstorm, this meant preparing and setting up precautions for a natural disaster.

The public safety website has links to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as offering texts alerts and updates.

"The institution is continually preparing," Director of Public Safety Thomas Rambo said. "When an event occurs, we don't just kick into gear. We constantly are working."

Selinsgrove experienced some flooding and high winds, and on Oct. 31, campus power went out for a short period. Other than a few incidents, the impact was minimal.

"I think we were pretty well prepared," senior Sarah Nylund said. "They did a good job of updating us through emails and communicating to us how important it was for us to stay inside for the duration of the storm."

Residence halls were given fruit and water bottles for students and the cafeteria supplied nonperishable items such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and other food.

"Food services have plenty of food on hand. They are able to feed the community for 10 days to two weeks. Aramark always has food, maybe not a full menu, but people need to recognize that a disaster is a disaster," Rambo said. "There are impacts and inconveniences. When we have an event, we always critique how we handled the event, and see what we could have done better. But Susquehanna is blessed to have the dedicated people here who will stop at nothing to make sure everyone is safe."

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