Rita a new experience for some students

12 years ago Comments Off on Rita a new experience for some students

Although Hurricane Rita didn’t bombard Huntsville and its residents with the serious damage that many expected, several people still took precautions that led to panic involving evacuation troubles like traffic, running out of gas, beverages and food. Due to the chaos, many of the local stores were closed.

The possibility of the hurricane hitting is not unusual here in Texas; however, it was the first time for some of the international students at Sam to experience this kind of the natural disaster.

The Office of International Program at SHSU sent emails to all of the international students to inform them about what they might expect if the hurricane hit near Huntsville. The e-mail said to expect adverse effects of wind, rain, flooding and power outages. OIP also tried to ensure the students that they were safe.

“The only way that we can confirm the safety of our students is through communication-the email is our lifeline. We had only a few telephone calls from students who were concerned. I believe that the majority of our international students were either not worried or felt that the information we sent to them was sufficient,” said Coordinator of Office of International Program, Donna Rogers.

As more news surfaced throughout week about the hurricane, many students hurried to fill up their gas tanks and headed to the grocery store to stock up on food and water. Many of the international students decided to stay in their dorms or apartments during the weekend.

Ken Matsui, a sophomore marketing major from Japan, was amazed by the people who were in the line for gas at the gas station and food in the grocery stores.

“I thought this hurricane would be very bad,” Matsui said.

Yujiro Sakurai, who just came to SHSU two weeks ago to study English, never expected to experience a natural disaster like this.

“I heard about the hurricane from my English teacher on Wednesday. I didn’t even know that the school would be closed, so I went the next day and there was nobody in the classroom or on campus,” said Salurai.

Some of the international students have had some experiences of natural disasters like this hurricane before in their country. For example, in Japan where majority of the international students are from, experience typhoons every year.

Although most of the students were not in panic, many became worried when the electricity went out.

“I was scared a little bit and thought about the fear of the natural disaster again. I heard from some of my friends that the electricity was down at their apartment. Bearkat Village, where I stay, had the power, TV and Internet, so people came and spent night at my place. I realized how thankful it is to use different amenities and how dependent we are to them,” said sophomore journalism major, Masashi Takeuchi.

Many of the international students were not too nervous about the hurricane; but their families in their home countries were very worried about the safety of their children. The parents of Mankin Leung, a sophomore advertising graphic design major, called him ten times a day from Hong Kong to ensure that their son was safe.

“My parents were more freaked out than I was. They worried about me a lot. My dad called me a lot and gave me the latest information about the hurricane. For me, he was the source to get the information about the hurricane rather than TV news or the Internet,” Leung said.