FMU campus prepares for Hurricane Matthew

As preparation on campus for Hurricane Matthew continues, FMU officials announced emergency procedures and precautions students could take before the storm hits.

“The university is making preparations in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew’s effects here in South Carolina,” FMU Campus Police Chief Donald Tarbell said. “Those preparations include how we feed our students that stay here, how do we keep them safe… The full focus of the university is on preparing the university so we can keep our students safe.”

Campus will be staffed with Resident Assistants (RA), and Campus Police will be present on campus, even though the campus is closed. Cheryl Tuttle, director of housing and residence life, said there would be at least eight RAs on campus throughout the storm.

As students on campus prepare for the storm, Tarbell said there are steps they should take before Hurricane Matthew arrives on Saturday.

Students who stay on campus should alert their RA now so the RA can have an idea of how many people are on campus. Additionally, if students have a nonemergency concern, they should tell their RA. For any other need, such as if a student has medication that needs to be refrigerated, Tarbell said they should speak to the RAs.

RAs were told that if winds go above 50 mph, students are to evacuate to the Smith University Center, RA Brandi McBrayer said. McBrayer also said the dining hall changed its hours of operation. From Wednesday, Oct. 5 through Sunday, Oct. 9, students can come from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and from 5-7 p.m. Those with or without meal plans will be served, Tarbell said.

“I would encourage everyone to keep their cell phones charged,” Tarbell said. “[They need to] make sure they’ve got their Swamp Fox Alerts.”

Swamp Fox Alerts, which can be signed up for online, are for emergencies only. To stay updated on nonemergency news, Tarbell suggested students monitor FMU’s Facebook page and Twitter page.

Tarbell said FMU is always monitoring the news, looking at the National Hurricane Center, and officials speak with each other several times throughout the day.

For emergencies, students should call Campus Police at 843-661-1109.

Updates to follow.