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Severe Weather & Hurricane Season Guidelines

Severe Weather & Hurricane Season Guidelines

When a hurricane heads toward our part of Florida from the Gulf of Mexico, it takes many days before it is known how strong it will get and whether or not it will affect Tallahassee directly. Hopefully there will be minimal effects bit it is also possible that our area can be severely affected. Here is some information about serious weather events and general guidelines, particularly since our Department may a number of new faculty who may not have any experience with hurricanes and may not be familiar with FSU procedures.

Pay attention to the alerts from FSU (http://alerts.fsu.edu/ and you should have alerts sent to your cell phone). Campus and classes operate normally unless FSU officials cancel main campus classes. If FSU cancels classes, you will receive an alert from FSU and you will get the information at the same time as your colleagues or anyone else in Department administration. Note that we are the MAIN campus. There is also a Panama City Campus and another campus in Sarasota that could close while the main campus stays open. You should let your students in your classes know that they should pay attention to the FSU Alerts as well, especially over hurricane season.

If FSU closes the main campus and cancels classes that means ALL of our classes are cancelled. No exceptions. You do not have to individually check with the Chair or other colleagues. You may not disregard the closure and you are not to hold graduate nor undergraduate classes nor meetings. If FSU closes the campus, then you may not hold office hours and meetings while the campus is closed, and grad students are not expected to go to classes and meetings. Also, if FSU has only provided warnings, but has not cancelled classes then you may not cancel classes. If you have questions about this, please ask the Associate Chair.

If the main campus is still holding classes then absences are not excused. However, storm related excuses may be handled on a case-by-case basis. If you are an instructor, you will need to handle student absences caused by the storm and use your best judgement. You can discuss these with the Associate Chair for Academice Affairs if you have any questions. If you have a Lab or Recitation TA working with your classes, the TAs have been instructed to refer students to their lecturer regarding absences.

Do take precautions. It will become difficult to find batteries, generators, and bottled water, the closer the storm gets so do what you can to have the essentials available as soon as possible before the storm. (Note that you can fill clean empty bottles with tap water for homemade bottled water - but do this well in advance) If you have prescriptions get them re-filled. Non-perishable food items that do not require cooking are also good to have on your shelf.

For storm tracking go to the National Hurricane Center and a good source for preparation and safety guidelines is at https://www.weather.gov/safety/hurricane.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask and Associate Chair. Stay safe and be prepared.