College Planning & Management

JAN 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY IN THE PATH OF THE STORM. On the campus of Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ, within walking distance of the Atlantic Ocean, the University's Boylan Gym and Multipurpose Activity Center served as a temporary emergency evacuation center for more than 1,000 campus residents and people from surrounding communities. The shelter provided social, welfare, and medical services; counselors; and volunteers, and also housed members of the New Jersey National Guard. "We were in island mode for about 24 hours, with nothing coming off the grid," says Williams. "We did power down a number of buildings to sustain buildings with critical services, including the occupied residence halls." The high winds felled 110 trees, says Williams, damaging buildings, vehicles, and fences across campus. Fortunately no one was injured. "After the storm, the concern became getting students back to campus," continues Williams. "We set up a bus service from the airport and to Princeton Junction, which connects to the University from the main rail line between New York and Philadelphia. A small train usually makes that run, but it was out of service." Monmouth, Georgian Court, and Princeton took care of relatively small populations during the storm. By contrast, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, serves about 58,000 students, including 14,800 graduate students. Of those, about 18,000 students waited out the storm on Rutgers' five New Brunswick campuses — three campuses in New Brunswick proper and two across the river in Piscataway. "To prepare, we brought in extra staff and rotated duty around the clock throughout the storm," says Steve Keleman, Rutgers' emergency management director. "With 18,000 students on campus, we couldn't close. We kept the dining halls and student services open. We also brought students residing off campus onto campus to sleep and eat." Rutgers also provided two of New Jersey's mega shelters from Sunday when the storm struck through the following Friday, taking in evacuees from Atlantic City. "Something we will plan for in the future — we use a number of VoIP (Voiceover-Internet-Protocol) phone systems on campus," Keleman says. "We also have hard-wired plain old telephones. When the power went out, the VoIP phones went down, while the hard-wired phones continued to work." When the storm arrived, strong winds brought down lots of trees, Keleman reports. Falling trees and blowing branches covered the roads and cut power to all five campuses. Generators kept the lights, heat, and kitchens turned on. Thanks to a 60-kV substation located on the Piscataway campus, power there came back on within 24 hours. The New Brunswick campuses, however, get power from the grid, so it took longer to reconnect. When the power went off there, the water went off. To compensate, officials moved students to residence halls on the Piscataway side to wait out the storm. "Before the storm, we staged vehicle and human resources for fire, medical, and other emergencies on each campus so that we could respond quickly to whatever problems arose," Keleman says. New Jersey state government also assigned Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT) to various locations around the state, including Rutgers. "During Hurricane Irene, we discovered that some people are going to need skilled nursing care," Keleman says. "That's what these teams provided." After the storm, crews moved out to clear the roads across campus. Fuel tanks for vehicles and generators had been topped off, so there was plenty of fuel for a while. Anticipating the need for more fuel, Keleman had arranged for priority deliveries from vendors. He also dispatched individuals to check the generators to make sure each had enough fuel. The campus television system piped movies into the residence halls and also provided regular updates on the status of the campus. By they time Hurricane Sandy moved on to New York and other locations, lives had been lost and billions of dollars of property had been destroyed. While Monmouth, Georgian, Princeton, and Rutgers lost property, no lives were lost. In fact, the four schools reported only one injury — a sprained wrist. That's a tribute the skills these schools displayed in preparing and in executing their emergency operations plans. CPM JANUARY 2013 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 21

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