What to do during a storm at Paly

    Editor’s note: Correction — Castilleja will announce tomorrow morning whether or not school will be held. It has not been confirmed, as stated in an earlier version of this article, that its school day tomorrow has been canceled.

    A storm is set to begin later tonight and Palo Alto is currently on high wind warning, flash flood watch and hazardous weather outlook. Tomorrow, the city will possibly see thunderstorms and winds up to 43 mph, according to the National Weather Service. In an email message sent to Palo Alto parents today, Superintendent Max McGee stated, “We are aware that several school districts in the North Bay are closing, but most South Bay school districts are remaining open as is Palo Alto Unified.”

    School custodians placed foot bridges across campus to prepare for the flooding that is expected to occur on campus tomorrow. Photo by George Lu.

    School custodians placed foot bridges across campus to prepare for the flooding that is expected to occur on campus tomorrow. Photo by George Lu.

    So it starts raining, a lot. What are students and employees on Palo Alto High School campus supposed to do? Of course, we hope for the best, but let’s also prepare for the worst scenarios in order to ensure the safety of all people on campus if an emergency situation were to occur. After all, San Francisco, Oakland and North Bay school districts have already canceled school for tomorrow because of the storm, and Castilleja is currently considering canceling class. Here are some tips as to what to do during these times.

    1) What to do if the power goes out

    — Stay away from fallen power lines, as they may still be active.

    — If you are on campus, stay on school grounds until given directions from a teacher or administrator.

    — Turn off or disconnect any electronic equipment you were using when the power went out. (For people who sit in the back of the classroom to charge their iPhones, this means you.)

    2) What to do around heavily flooded areas

    — Take caution when proceeding over the bridges set up by the school. We suggest wearing rain boots tomorrow so you don’t need to use the bridges in the first place.

    — If an area seems unsafe, say something to an administrator or custodian so they can make it safe.

    — Do not go swimming in flooded areas.

    Paly alumnus Jack Anderson goes puddle jumping during a storm in November 2012. While flood control at Paly has improved over the past two years, we do not recommend puddle jumping in severely affected areas. Photo by Keri Gee.

    Paly alumnus Jack Anderson goes puddle jumping during a storm in November 2012. While flood control at Paly has improved over the past two years, we do not recommend puddle jumping in severely affected areas. Photo courtesy of Keri Gee.

    3) When driving to and from school

    — Don’t drive over the speed limit, and avoid sharp turns and stops. Yes, this is the law, but it is extra important to remember this while rushing to get to school on time.

    — Beware of hydroplaning, which occurs when a layer of water between your tires and the road causes your vehicle to skid, resulting in a possible loss of control. Here are instructions on what to do if your car begins to hydroplane.

    — Don’t drive into flooded areas, ever. It is hard to tell how deep they are.

    — Drive with headlights on for better visibility during the day if possible.

    During these times, it is important to stay alert in order to ensure the safety of both you and those around you. If it’s any consolation, it’s supposed to be mostly sunny this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

     

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