FMU hunkers down for hurricane

After an email was sent out Sept. 28 regarding the trajectory of Hurricane Ian, FMU shut down campus from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 in response to the inclement weather.  

“Hurricane Ian is expected to pass through South Carolina on Friday and Saturday,” Latasha Brand, Dean of Students, said in her email to all students. “In anticipation of strong winds, heavy rain, and widespread flooding, FMU will cancel classes on Friday and all activities throughout the weekend. Only essential personnel should report to work.” 

While the dormitories and Ervin Dining Hall remained open for student residents, other campus facilities were shut down until Monday, Oct. 3.     

One student, junior tennis player and sports management and human resources management major Julie Martincova, stayed on campus in the Village apartments during the storm.  

“The campus was very quiet, [and] we did not see lots of people during the storm,” Martincova said. “We were just in our apartment most of the time, watching movies and baking.”  

While Martincova is a native of Liberec, Czech Republic, this was not her first hurricane experience.  

She previously attended Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne, Florida, during Hurricane Dorian.  

“That hurricane was supposed to hit Melbourne, where I was staying,” Martincova said. “So this time, during Hurricane Ian, I was not scared because it was not going to hit as hard as when I was in Florida.”  

Martincova and her roommates were able to spend a quiet day inside with only a brief period without power. She also said she felt the school did a good job in making the students feel safe.  

According to the Red Cross, best practices before a hurricane involve having an evacuation plan, a place to shelter and acquiring enough supplies to last without power, gas and water for long periods of time. During and after the hurricane, people should listen for instructions from public officials before returning to affected areas or leaving shelters.  

Though FMU was spared the brute force of Hurricane Ian, other areas of the United States were victims to the destructive force of the Category 4 storm, specifically Florida and the Carolinas.  

A week post-Ian, the storm has so far accumulated a death toll of at least 137 people. Various islands, South American countries and US states were affected by the storm which had winds up to 155 miles per hour. Florida had the highest number of casualties at 120, making it the deadliest hurricane in the state since 1935. 

The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, declared a state of emergency for the entire state on Sept. 24. Over 300,000 people were evacuated from areas across the state, including areas needed for shelters.  

For interest in assisting affected areas by Hurricane Ian, you can find a plethora of sites and organizations like the American Red Cross accepting donations and volunteers.