Monday September 15, 2008

Safety First in Windstorm's Wake

Work continues in the region and on campus to restore power to those left in the dark by Sunday's windstorm. At UD, students are reminded to keep safety first.

UD continues to recover from Sunday's damaging windstorms.

Electricity is expected to be restored to the student neighborhoods on Tuesday morning, according to information received from Dayton Power & Light.

All classes are scheduled because academic buildings have not been affected. The Bombeck Center may remain closed tomorrow if electricity isn't restored by 5 a.m. That decision will be communicated through the local media.

"This power outage goes way beyond the University," said Beth Keyes, assistant vice president of facilities management. "Most of southwest Ohio is without power. Power companies are working diligently to restore power quickly and safely. However, it is a fluid situation that requires flexibility and patience."

Here is important information for students living in areas without electricity:

  • All students, even those without meal plans, are welcome to eat at University dining facilities - Virginia W. Kettering Residence Hall, Kennedy Union (dinner only) and Marycrest Residence Hall. Students can eat dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday and breakfast 7 to 9 a.m. Tuesday. Students must bring their student ID cards. The cost is the meal plan price for these meals.
  • Students will be able to spend the night in RecPlex and take showers there. Please bring a blanket and a pillow.
  • The library will be open until 5 a.m. It reopens at 8 a.m.
  • If students choose to eat food at their residences, they should be aware of the food safety guidelines found at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site, http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/keeping_food_Safe_during_an_emergency/index.asp
  • Any students who need to refrigerate medication can bring it to the student health center in Gosiger Hall.
  • University officials will decide by 5 a.m. Tuesday whether to open the Bombeck Center. Because of sporadic e-mail and cable outages throughout the region, local radio may be the best place to receive information about UD closings or delays. As of Monday afternoon, there is one UD cancellation - the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is closed Monday. If you do not hear about a cancellation, then the event or class is scheduled.
  • Students with evening classes should use their own judgment about commuting to class. Professors will accommodate students on a case-by-case basis.
  • Do not use candles to light your residence, and do not use open-pit fires to cook food or provide heat. This is a fire hazard. "UD and local fire and police resources are taxed. We encourage students not to engage in any behavior that may result in a situation that further taxes these resources," Keyes said.
  • If you are living in a residence facility with low water pressure on the upper floors, please use the restrooms on the bottom floors.
  • When power is restored to the area, fire alarms will go into "trouble mode." Alarms will beep for 60 to 90 minutes. Do not disconnect the alarms. UD facilities management will work quickly to resolve the problem.
  • When power is restored to the area, there is a chance of a power surge. UD officials encourage students to unplug any unnecessary appliances and turn off heating and air conditioning to reduce the draw on local power-generating facilities.
  • The University has identified downed power line(s) with caution tape. If you come across any other downed power lines in the student neighborhoods, always assume they are live. Do do not touch them.

In the event of an emergency, call the UD department of public safety at 229-2121 (off campus) or 9-2121 (on campus). Public safety officers and neighborhood fellows will be canvassing the student neighborhoods tonight to provide assistance.  Security will be increased.

"We encourage everyone's help to make our community safe during this power outage," Keyes said.

For updates, see the public safety's emergency Web site.