CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - While students caught up and reminisced with each other about their summers on the first day of class Monday, Coastal Carolina University administrators continued to work on the university's plan in the event of a hurricane evacuation.
Carissa Medeiros, the director of emergency management at CCU, is in charge of a plan to get students from outside the area - roughly half the student body - prepared in the event they have to be evacuated.
"We have started a program for our new student orientation where we have the ability to talk to parents and students about not only basic emergency preparedness, but specifically hurricane preparedness," Medeiros said. "We've developed an emergency kit bag that we've had printed. On the front of the bag there's items that we suggest you put in the bag, for all new students coming to campus. And we've also developed an emergency preparedness guide."
The guide details university policy in addition to providing useful tools.
For example, one page in the front of the book is left blank with space for students to fill out contact information for emergency contacts. This is in the case the power goes out for an extended period of time, students would not have to rely on their cell phones to contact loved ones.
The programs is only a few years old, and so far it has been introduced to students at orientation.
Several students on campus do not know about the program. That is why CCU's Department of Emergency Management plans on using social media as well as other available outlets to expand the program to reach a more substantial part of the student body.
"Every year we celebrate national preparedness month here at Coastal. And so this year we'll be holding our annual prepareathon day of action on campus, which normally is at the end of September," Medeiros said. "And this year we'll be handing out those emergency kit bags and the books to students that are already on campus, to make sure that they're aware and can be prepared as well."