Marist Storm Emergency Plan Facts

Every student worries whether a major storm or snow storm will hit their campus. They wonder how prepared their college is for the storm. Although you will have some who are exited over the possibility it would cancel classes, the fact that it could disrupt the student bodies standard of living might just out way the benefits of a cancelled 8 am class.

At Marist College we expect the administration and staff to have our back to ensure we remain safe on campus. The following are the ways and means in which the Marist Administration and services prepares to protect students during any weather emergency.

Snowy campus. Photo by Bob Tognetti

Snowy campus. Photo by Bob Tognetti

  1. Food Storage

What could be more important than food? How can one study or survive on an empty stomach.

  • Luckily Sodexo General Manager, Mohamad Charafeddine says they have enough food to “survive on campus at least three days.” Of course that does not mean you’ll be eating steak all those days. He added Sodexo has a special menu if the power goes out. One dish is pasta salad. Since the vegetables and pasta do not need to be heated up, it’s a perfect dish if there is no power on campus.
  • But what keeps the food from rotting away if there is no power? Dry ice is used for that very purpose. Sodexo possesses a couple thousand pounds of dry ice to keep the food cold.
  • One also has to wonder how the workers get to campus. According to Mohamad, the one staff living closest to Marist are their first line of defense. Or the ones the ones who are most likely to make it to campus in the case of a weather emergency. He added during Hurricane Irene in 2011 he rented out hotel rooms in Hyde Park for the staff, so it would be a shorter commute for his staff..
  • Mohammad also offer rides in his SUV. Otherwise, Marist security would offer rides to and from the hotel for the Sodexo staff.
  • Sodexo would use paper supplies too. So when their staff is not available at full capacity, they can cut back on the dish washing staff for the duration of the storm and or power outage.
  • If anyone needs anymore reassurance Mohamad also said, “In my eight years here, I don’t think we closed (or missed) a meal, even when we’ve had the dining room closed.”
  1. Power Outage?

What will the modern day college students do without electricity?  Luckily Marist doe have our backs when it comes to powering our campus

  • Most buildings have generators and or gas in case of power outages.

    A tree that fell over my town as a result from Sandy. Photo by Bob Tognetti Sr.

    A tree that fell onto the main road by my home in Westchester. Photo by Bob Tognetti Sr.

  • According the Director of Physical Plant Justin Butwell, Upper West is coincidentally on the same power grid as the hospital. As a result, they will receive a quicker response time to any power outage than other residence halls around campus. Yet the longest power outage record caused by a storm on Marist belongs to Gartland during Irene, which lasted for only four hours.
  • Some building will always have power like the McCann Center or the Student Center, so if you’re residence hall does not have power than you could go over there.
  1. Class Cancellations
  • Director of Public Safety, John Gildard says he usually reports class cancellations by about 4:30 in the morning, after his staff has looked over the weather reports. This will ensure that the school does not have to cancel classes immaturely when there is not a snow emergency.  Yet it’s not perfect.  Gildard did point out there were times where he has cancelled classes in anticpation of a storm that never passed by the campus.
  • One can simply call 845.575.5500 to hear whether classes have been cancelled or not. Also students can simply go to the campus’s main website too.
  • He also added that any cancellation will not be for long period of time (weeks without the end in sight) as the Marist grounds crew does get to work the moment that begins to snow.
  1. Advice?
  • If any major storm is about to approach before a semester begins, like in the case of Irene, the college will give you the option to come prior to or after the storm hits.

    A Marist student (now a graduate) gets ready to shovel out his girlfriends car. Photo by Bob Tognetti

    A Marist student (now a graduate) gets ready to shovel out his girlfriends car. Photo by Bob Tognetti

  • Stays in your residence halls. According to the Dean of Student Affairs Deborah DiCaprio, if the administration feels unsafe about students walking outside for the food, the administration will have workers bring food to them.
  • Stay away from the big glass doors, although glass is intended to be hurricane resistant.
  • Listen to your RA’s.
  • Check your Marist emails for either the school or your professors cancelling class.
  • My Own Advice:  Keep in mind they won’t shovel out your car, so that responsibility resides with you. So Gentlemen, if you have a girlfriend be prepared to at least help her out.

In what some are calling the next snow apocalypse or with the increasing risk of hurricanes hitting the Northeast, hopefully these facts about our schools preparedness for such events will alleviate some of your worries of any such weather disaster occurring on-campus.

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