Severe weather prompts students to learn safety procedures

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    A lack of structured drills for severe weather means students must prepare on their own.

    In the past two weeks, TCU has alerted students of dangerous weather conditions in the Fort Worth area.

    According to TCU Housing and Residence Life officials, though 500 students live on campus for the summer, none of them go through drills for weather emergencies. Students are encouraged to educate themselves on safety protocol.

    TCU Housing and Residence Life conducts two fire drills during the regular academic year. However, no tornado or flash flood drills take place at any point, including summer.

    “We get asked sometimes by parents what we do when there’s a tornado warning,” said Craig Allen, the Director of Housing and Residence Life. “When there’s a tornado warning, students need to know what to do for themselves. We don’t do anything.”

    Allen said that two fire drills are required, though there has not been a major fire emergency in his ten years at TCU. While there are a lack of major fires on campus, TCU is no stranger to severe weather conditions.

    “Unfortunately, these things can be very dangerous, but there is nothing we can do to prevent them.” Allen said. “Students have to educate themselves and know what to do.”

    GrandMarc hosts around 300 summer residents, many of whom move from other halls to stay over summer.

    “We do have fire drills, but no other types of drills,” said Ron Laldbruce Manning Jr., a community assistant at GrandMarc.

    Though 2014 was relatively quiet in terms of tornados, Fort Worth is still situated along Tornado Alley. The National Weather Service reported that in May 2013, 16 tornados ripped through nearby Granbury. The storms killed six people and destroyed hundreds of structures.

    Earlier in May, the National Weather Service in Fort Worth gave a rating of EF-3 to a tornado that touched down in Van, Texas. The tornado killed two people and injured over 40.

    “I would encourage students to be watching the weather channel, staying informed,” Manning said.

    Students receive email and text alerts from the Strategic Communication Department any time there is an emergency on campus.

    “I think that in this age of instant communication that we live in, there should be no question of if people know severe weather is around,” Allen said. “If a student has a question about what to do, they need to ask someone.”

    The TCU website has information on what to do during severe weather under the “Emergency Preparedness” tab. This includes directions for where to go in each building in the case of a weather emergency.