Natural disasters like hurricanes and tropical storms are a normal occurrence for Florida natives.
Tropical Storm Nicole — which made landfall last Wednesday as a Category 1 hurricane — was the state’s most recent barrage of severe weather.
It grew in the Atlantic Ocean and made its way towards the Bahamas on Tuesday before shifting northward and moving along Florida’s Big Bend, prompting Florida A&M to cancel classes on Thursday.
Although out-of-state students grew up with a vastly different climate, most are adjusting to Southern weather and storm protocol to stay safe during hurricane season.
Second-year Rattler Christopher Scarver is from Chicago and majoring in chemistry at FAMU. Much like down south, Chicago’s weather stays mostly hot but reaches extreme temperatures in the winter.
“Thirty degrees would be warm in the winter,” said Scarver. “Ten would be a normal day in January. Blizzards would be our equivalent to hurricanes.”
Scarver’s routine didn’t change much from his first time as he recalls how he felt and prepared for his first hurricane.
“At first it was scary. I stocked up on a lot of food just to make sure if something happened, I’d have something to eat and braved it out for the most part. That’s what I essentially did for Nicole, too. I just ate mostly TV dinners,” he said.
He also took some studious and personal advantage of the brief break.
“It was relaxing for the most part because I got to spend time catching up on work, and I slept a lot,” he added.
Coleman Library senior technical assistant Oppong Ofosu, a native of Ghana, says he’s not the fond of the annual hurricanes and tropical storms.
“This is my first time experiencing it. It’s never been in Ghana before, so it’s scary,” he said. “You just have to make sure you have things at your disposal, and you have to seek proper shelter when things like this happen.”
Junior nursing student Sala Conoly is from Atlanta. She also opted to stock up on food supplies in preparation for Nicole.
“I just bought a bunch of snacks that I don’t have to warm up or store in the refrigerator,” she said. “I also got canned food, water bottles, trail mix and chips.”
Conoly was surprised to hear of a certain hurricane season tradition involving individuals joining resources with others or throwing a social gathering during the storm.
“I heard of a hurricane watch party and I didn’t know what that is. Being from Atlanta, it’s weird,” she said.
Instead, Conoly rested in the safety of her home.
“I don’t know why people would throw parties, but I was glad to not have any classes or go to school, so I slept in.”