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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Storm watch: GW warns students to brace for Hurricane Sandy

Updated Oct. 26, 2012 at 4:32 p.m.

The University cautioned students Friday to stock up on emergency supplies in advance of the impending Hurricane Sandy, which forecasters have warned could be the worst to hit the Northeast in a century.

A campus advisory posted at 2:15 p.m. told students to load up on batteries, water, snacks and first aid supplies and “make a plan” to keep in touch with friends and family if the Category 1 superstorm pummels the region as predicted.

Government meteorologists have outlined a doomsday forecast of several days of heavy rains and winds that could slam the East Coast with $5 billion of damage and leave millions of homes in the dark.

University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said Friday afternoon that emergency protocols will be put into place “if the situation warrants it,” and that staff will communicate more information “as appropriate.”

The severe weather could knock down tree limbs or produce flooding, Senior Associate Vice President for Safety and Security Darrell Darnell said, adding that GW is coordinating with local emergency management officials to clear “objects on campus that have the potential to be strewn about due to the high winds.”

“We are also ensuring that back-up generators, in the event of a power outage, are working properly,” Darnell said. “Essentially, we are activating our emergency plans that have already been developed for this type of weather event.”

GW’s housing and facilities offices reminded students by email to shut windows and balcony doors to keep out pelting rains.

Hurricane Sandy crossed the Caribbean earlier this week, killing more than two-dozen people. The brunt of the storm is expected to ravage the D.C. area starting as early as Sunday, but its precise path is still unknown.

The city has prepared crews from the Department of Public Works and the Department of Transportation to assume work Sunday, Pedro Ribeiro, a spokesman for the mayor’s office, told The Washington Post Friday.

“It’s not a matter of whether we’ll get hit; it’s a matter of how severe we’ll get hit,” he told The Post.

Last fall, Hurricane Irene knocked out trees, canceling University events and forcing departments to close early, but did not cause major damage on campus.

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