A category-five hurricane has ripped through the Bahamas and is making its way up the east coast. And for many Elon students, their home is in danger.
According to the registrar’s report, more than 500 Elon students are from states in Hurricane Dorian’s path –– including the coast of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Cole McCurdy, Elon sophomore from Jacksonville Beach, Fla., said when it comes to hurricanes, his family is always careful.
“Unpredictability is the name of the game,” McCurdy said. “These models can show where it might go but we’ve never known where it’s gonna hit. Regardless of if it’s going to hit us directly or if it’s going to just drop a ton of rain on us we’re always going to prepare the same way.”
To prepare, McCurdy’s family will fill up water jugs, pull out the camping stoves and even once bought an inflatable kayak in case their street was flooded and they needed to get out.
McCurdy, though, said his religion plays a large role in his preparation. During a recent hurricane, McCurdy painted a Bible verse on a boarded window to try to heed off the storm.
"I spray painted Matthew 8:23-27 and in that it’s the calming of the storm," he said. "We had some sticks in our yard, we had some shingles off our roof but we were perfectly fine. All our neighbors were fine."
Growing up on the beach, McCurdy said hurricanes have become a normal part of his life.
“Nothing compares to a category-three, category-four hurricane,” he said. “I just really do feel for people who have not gone through it before because this is easy for me. But for them, I can’t imagine the amount of stress they can potentially be under.”
Anna Sutton, Elon sophomore, and her family just moved to Savannah, Ga. from Boston — where hurricanes are few and far between.
“They don’t know how the house is gonna hold up because they haven’t lived there for very long,” Sutton said.
Sutton said her parents bought extra food and water in preparation and have been keeping up with the forecast — a similar procedure to preparing for Massachusetts blizzards.
“Not knowing exactly when it’s gonna hit or exactly how bad I think is a little bit hard,” she said.
Hurricanes aren’t new for Emma Sossamon, Charleston native and Elon junior.
The National Hurricane Center estimated Dorian could bring winds over 100 miles per hour and up to 15 inches of rainfall to the coastal Carolinas, which Sossamon said can be devastating.
South Carolina was evacuated for Hurricane Florence last year, which left an everlasting mark on the Sossamon family.
“That included my grandfather who had dementia and Alzheimers and the stress of the actual evacuation is what caused his death days later,” Sossamon said. “So I do take these things seriously.”
Sossamon recalled Hurricane Michael in 2018, which left water seeping down her house’s walls, ceiling damage and cars floating in the street.
In preparation for Dorian, Sossamon said her family isn’t taking any risks.
“If there's a four percent chance of water damage or flooding, my family decides to evacuate,” she said. “Because that means about 10 to 12 inches of rain and that could flood your car.”
All three students said their families will continue to watch the forecast before deciding to evacuate.