10 Hurricane Florence Safety Tips For College Students

10 Safety Tips For College Students Preparing For Hurricane Florence

Could it be the worst one yet?


Hurricane Florence is the topic of the week on college campuses along the East Coast. Everyone is preparing for what could be one of the strongest and most costly hurricanes yet. Some colleges and universities have already canceled classes and are in the midst of preparing for evacuation. Others are waiting until 5:30 a.m. Friday morning to call off classes (ugh).

As a Northerner attending school in Virginia, I've experienced my fair share of bad storms (mainly involving snow), and so I wasn't too worried to hear about another storm underway. However, being in the middle of where the storm is predicted to experience the greatest effects, I'm not going to lie, it makes me a little nervous hearing about the possibility of mass flooding. As James Madison University students know, Harrisonburg, Virginia is known to flood easily. My freshman year of college, parts of our campus flooded quickly and students were out mattress surfing in the pools of water.

So, to all of the college students who are still on campus, here are 10 tips for preparing for Hurricane Florence.

1. Be prepared to not leave the house.

Probably the most obvious tip when preparing for a massive, unpredictable storm. Why risk getting stuck on the road when you can enjoy a day at home? Most college students are constantly on the go, so being stuck in the house might feel rare to some people.

2. Get errands done beforehand.


There's nothing worse than not being able to leave the house and realizing that you're out of toilet paper. Get your errands done beforehand because the store shelves are already almost out of supplies.

3. Stock up on non-perishable snacks and drinks

It's the perfect excuse to buy the family-size bag of potato chips and a bottle of wine. You'll probably be stressing about the storm the whole time, so why not at least have some snacks to enjoy? And if you have a pet, don't forget about stocking up on food them as well!

4. Make a movie marathon list.


If you're going to be stuck inside for most likely a few days, put on your comfiest clothes and make a list of movies/ TV shows to binge watch.

5. Pack a bag in case of evacuation.

It's always better to be safe than sorry. In case of emergency evacuation, pack a bag with clothes, electronics, and any necessities you don't want to leave behind.

6. Always have some candles and flashlights as backups.


It's the perfect excuse to buy another fall-scented Yankee Candle and not feel guilty about it. I am definitely taking advantage of this (shout out to Target for the amazing pumpkin vanilla candle I just got). Having a flashlight as a backup with plenty of batteries is also good to have if the power goes out.

7. Have your important documents close by.

In case you need to evacuate quickly or there's a high chance of flooding, have all of your important documents together in a plastic bag. This includes your insurance/medical card, license, social security card, etc.

8. Charge all of your electronics beforehand and have a portable charger handy.


This is especially important if you need to get in emergency contact with anyone. It's also smart to write down any phone numbers you may need on a sticky note in case you lose power and your phone is out of battery.

9. Make sure you have enough water set aside.


If you're used to re-using plastic water bottles and filling them up, it's always good to have a couple gallons or packs of bottled water just in case you don't have access to running water for a few days. Don't wait until the day before the storm hits, because you will find empty shelves at every store in the area.

10. Stay updated on the status of the storm.

It's important to keep a close eye on the weather radar to track the movement of the storm. With Hurricane Florence's unusual already storm pattern, it's going to be really important to frequently check on it.

Good luck to all of the college students out there, we hope you all stay safe.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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5 Reasons Teachers Deserve Better Salaries

The national average salary for teachers is $38,000.


Let's not beat around the bush: teachers do way too much and get paid way too little. As a future educator, I have spent a lot of time observing my former teachers, and I can tell you that they do way more than just what students experience in the classroom. Yes, some teachers can be tough graders and yes, teachers receive longer breaks. But, that does not justify the unreasonably low wages they receive. What exactly do teachers do? Well...

1. They literally create ALL other jobs

No job can exist without a teacher giving you the foundation of it. Elementary school teachers are responsible for encouraging students to have hopes and dreams, therefore allowing them to open up their minds to any type of future. Middle school teachers lay down the foundation of each type of subject, teaching students about different fields, and encouraging them to pursue knowledge. High school teachers help students to increase their knowledge in multiple fields and guide them to a course of specialization in high school

2. They are much more than just teachers to students

Especially in high school, teachers are more than just teachers — they are mentors, confidantes, coaches, and friends. Students spend a large chunk of their lives in school, so it's no surprise that they rely on teachers for moral and emotional guidance. Students tend to turn to teachers for life advice, especially in terms of future planning. So why, again, are we paying them so little?

3. Many teachers work two or more jobs to stay afloat

Depending on what area of the country you are in, your teacher might be making just above the poverty line as their salary. This is evidently not enough to support oneself with rent, groceries, and amenities — let alone support a family. Many teachers are also tutors, side business owners, or even bartenders. They work long hours, both in school and out of it, and deserve better rights.

4. When they are not teaching, they are grading, planning, coaching, and more

Before and after school, teachers are often coaches or sponsors for extracurricular activities, which means that they are in the school building for sometimes up to 10 hours a day. On top of that, they grade work, lesson plan, and have to take care of their homes and families. (Especially women, but that's a topic for another day.)

5. They create a home away from home

If you've ever walked into a classroom, you know that it isn't blank. There are motivational posters up, students' work displayed, and other things to make students feel more comfortable. Teachers are creating safe spaces for children whose home lives aren't the best so that they at least have one place they feel welcomed.

So the next time you encounter your teachers, thank them. They did a lot more for you than you may realize, and they truly do care about your success. Give them a handshake, a hug, or (if I'm your teacher in the future) a $5 Starbucks gift card never killed nobody. But, in all seriousness, advocate for your teachers. Although they knew what profession they were choosing, it is always nice to know that someone has your back. After all, they have yours!

If you're interested in learning more, visit http://teachersalaryproject.org/resource-center.

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