By Erin Mei
On Sunday, October 28, students subscribed to LIU Post’s Emergency Notification System received a text message announcing that school would be closed on Monday and Tuesday, October 29 and 30. The “Super Storm”, better known as Hurricane Sandy, was predicted to hit campus early Monday morning.
In preparation for Sandy, Facilities Services started their normal storm procedures to make sure all the buildings were safe and secure and that all tools needed in an event of an emergency would be available. “Every storm is different,” said William Kirker, Director of Facilities Services. “We never know what to expect so we anticipate the worst.” Kirker also explained that the most common safety risk for students are the hanging tree limbs due to the strong winds from storms.
The Office of Residential Life prepared the students for the weekend by putting up multiple informational flyers and passing out information with the procedure about what students were expected to do during the storm and what supplies they needed to stock up on. Most items on the list included water, batteries and non-perishable foods, since a power outage was anticipated. On Sunday, October 28, each Resident Hall Director went around their halls to ask students what their plans were for the following days—whether they planning to stay on campus or going home? Many of the RHD’s urged students to go home to be with their families rather than to stay on campus.
To further ensure the safety of LIU Post’s residential students, Res Life posted flyers on all residential hall exits warning students to stay indoors due to the high winds that the campus was experiencing late Sunday night.
By late Monday afternoon, the campus lost power and relied on back up generators. On November 1, the Office of Residential Life released a letter to residential students and parents updating them on the life on campus after Hurricane Sandy. Parents of over 600 students that were still on campus were informed that the back up generators was providing “emergency lighting, heat and hot water”. Winnick was also open the next morning, “serving a continental breakfast, sandwich lunch, and dinner” from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
By the next morning, students could see the obvious damage created by Sandy on campus. Although no major property damage was sustained by any of the buildings on campus, there were many fallen tree branches, uprooted trees and trees split right in half. One of the trees in front of the Chapel was cut down immediately as it lost a huge branch. Kirker explained: “When this happened the tree was split down the middle. That tree had to come down before it fell down.”
The clean up process for the storm may take months. The school was without power for a total of five days. Working with Long Island Power Authority, the majority of the campus regained power on Saturday afternoon. Criminal Justice senior Brian Rojas, a resident in Brookville Hall explained his joy when power was restored. “I was told that my hall didn’t have a charging station so I was charging my phone in my car. I was extremely excited when I realized the power was back on. You never realize how much you depend on electricity until everything stops working.”