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Students Take Shelter

FAU evacuated on-campus residents to Boca Raton Community High before Irma hit. Three students share their shelter experiences.

October 10, 2017

It was the Thursday night before Hurricane Irma made landfall and 18-year-old John Gao was alone in his Glades Park Towers dorm room.

The freshman English major had just received an email from FAU Housing, and he was nervous to open it.

After reading the announcement, his fears were confirmed. All remaining on-campus residents were to be evacuated to a nearby shelter the following morning, Sept. 8.

“I was frantically online googling, ‘What are hurricane shelters like?’” John said.


John Gao, 18, freshman English major took shelter from Hurricane Irma at Boca Raton Community High School. Alexander Rodriguez | Photo Editor


He came across articles from when Hurricane Katrina hit that described dangerous and violent conditions inside shelters, which he said only further worried him.

Preparing for the worst, John stuffed his suitcase mostly with water and food.

> Continue Reading: John, Rivka, and Alvaro’s experience sheltering in Boca High


Thomas Chiles is the features editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @thomas_iv.

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