By Taylor Summey, Class of 2021
While summertime can be a time of fun and relaxation, it is still important to keep safety in mind. Mary Erin Morrissey, Clemson’s deputy emergency manager, offers a few key tips to stay safe while enjoying the end of the summer semester on campus.
“We want everyone to have a safe and fun summer, whether they stay close to Clemson or not. Taking a few minutes to prepare and plan will go a long way in staying safe no matter where you are,” said Morrissey.
Download the Rave Guardian app
The Rave Guardian app is available for free in the Apple Store and Google Play for all Clemson University students, faculty and staff. It has several useful features that can make your time on campus safer.
First, the app allows you to contact the authorities (CUPD or 911) in case of emergency or simply to submit crime tips. Second, the app comes with a call directory listing important phone numbers to know on campus, including Parking and Transportation Services, Tiger Transit and CAPS. Third (and most uniquely) is Rave Guardian’s emergency timer. This tool allows the user to set a timer that, if the user does not turn it off by the time it goes off, will notify a specified individual so that they can check on the user. This is a great feature for situations where you may be walking alone at night. Rather than feeling afraid and vulnerable, users can feel more confident as they make their way to their car at the end of a long day on campus, knowing that someone is watching out for them.
Avoid heat-related illness
With temperatures peaking at over 90 degrees on some days, it is important to avoid heat-related illness. “Especially once we get into the first few football games,” explained Morrissey, “[heat-related illness] becomes a big issue for us.”
While football season doesn’t begin until the summer is winding down, the heat can still cause illness if proper precautions are not observed.
Make sure to drink plenty of fluids and find air conditioning when possible. Wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothing is also helpful. Lastly, recognize the signs of heat-related illness to know when to seek help. These can include muscle pains and spasms, sweating, tiredness, weakness, nausea and vomiting, fainting and many more. Always call 911 when you require medical assistance.
Visit https://ready.gov/heat for more information and tips on heat-related illness.
Know a safe location during severe weather
With the summer comes severe weather, including hurricane season, which starts in June and lasts throughout the fall. Knowing safe locations to take shelter during inclement weather will make the experience safer. Find a sturdy building that can withstand the weather. Pick a room with as many walls as possible between yourself and the weather outside and avoid any windows or doors.
“Take all weather alerts seriously – even if it’s just thunder and lightning,” Morrissey added.
There are two categories of weather alerts: A watch and A warning. A watch means that inclement weather may potentially occur. A warning, in contrast, means that inclement weather has already happened or is imminent.
Visit https://www.ready.gov/severe-weather for more information on staying safe during severe weather.
Know multiple routes out of locations you frequent
During an emergency situation, every moment counts. You may need to find an alternate route due to flooded roads or other hazards. If you are on the main campus, be aware of construction, road closures and detours so you can navigate safety.
University Facilities provides a live construction map that provides up-to-date information on road closures and detours. The map is a great tool to plan alternate routes out of the main campus in case an emergency arises.
Have a plan
Think through plans for different emergency scenarios. What would you do if you were without power for 72 hours, for example? Do you know important phone numbers in case you are unable to charge your cell phone? Are your important documents backed up in the Cloud? Considering these factors with your family and friends is helpful and will allow you to feel prepared if disaster were to strike.
Planning for potential emergencies and safety hazards doesn’t have to be time-consuming.
“Just take five minutes today, take five minutes next week. You’re going to be in a much better place after that five minutes,” Morrissey said.
Check out https://www.ready.gov/ and Clemson’s emergency management website for additional resources.