Hurricanes are the most likely natural hazard for UNCW
Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 of each year. UNCW has a well practiced, federally compliant Hurricane Operations Plan. UNCW has faced many hurricanes and tropical storms since its founding, and the Hurricane Operations Plan enables UNCW emergency personnel to respond effectively and efficiently to tropical weather. The Hurricane Operations Plan details how UNCW will prepare before a storm and how it will recover after a storm.
For security purposes, the full plan is not available online. If you would like a copy of the Hurricane Operations Plan, please contact Eric Griffin (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 962-7874
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION
The Atlantic Basin remains on track for an active hurricane season, according to the scheduled seasonal outlook update issued by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. With the season’s peak just around the corner – late August through October – the need for preparedness plans is essential.
There are several important definitions to remember that are part of the Hurricane Operations Plan.
|UNCW Hurricane Operations Terminology|
|Classes Cancelled||Period of time when classes will not take place at UNCW, therefore grading and attendance policies are revoked.|
|Emergency Operations Center||The location at UNCW where all resources and information will be routed during a hurricane emergency.|
|Hurricane Emergency||The period of time at UNCW from when a hurricane threat is identified in the Atlantic Basin to the completion of the recovery period and all reparations of UNCW damages from the hurricane and its subsequent effects|
|Mandatory Evacuation||An evacuation order in which students are required to leave campus for a safer location. The campus will soon close following a mandatory evacuation and all residence halls will be locked and all entrances to campus blocked.|
|Shelter-in-Place||An emergency action where resident students will be asked to remain on campus through the hurricane emergency instead of evacuating. The students will not be allowed to leave the residence halls in this situation. A shelter-in-place scenario will rarely occur.|
|University Closed||All business operations will cease at UNCW. No UNCW faculty, staff, or students will be allowed on campus unless designated as emergency personnel. Entrances will be blocked and all services stopped until the university is once again opened. UNCW reserves the right to partially open the university for business operations and continue the cancellation of classes if necessary. This will be specified in public announcements.|
|University Opened||Accesses to campus will open to traffic and UNCW students, faculty, and staff will be allowed on campus. Business operations and education processes will resume where possible. However, classes may or may not resume at this time and residence halls may or may not remain closed. UNCW reserves the right to partially open the university for business operations and continue the cancellation of classes if necessary. This will be specified in public announcements.|
|Voluntary Evacuation||An evacuation order given to UNCW students well before the arrival of a hurricane. Classes are officially canceled and the grading and attendance policies are revoked. Students are encouraged to leave campus for a safer location but are not required to do so.|
|Tropical Weather Terminology|
|Hurricane||Tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed is above 74 mph.|
|Hurricane Eye||The calm center of the storm. In this area, winds are light and the sky is only partly covered by clouds. The eye’s period of calm may only last for a short time before severe weather returns.|
|Hurricane Eye Wall||A doughnut shaped zone of the highest winds inside a hurricane surrounding the eye.|
|Hurricane Season||The period of time when conditions are most favorable for tropical cyclone development. Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30, but hurricanes may develop outside of this timeframe.|
|Hurricane Warning||A warning that sustained winds of 74 mph or higher and associated hurricane conditions are possible within 36 hours.|
|Hurricane Watch||An announcement that sustained winds of 74 mph or higher and associated hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.|
A scale used to classify hurricanes. Under this scale, hurricanes are classified as follows:
|Storm Surge||An abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm.|
|Tropical Depression||Tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed is less than 38 mph.|
|Tropical Storm||Tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed is between 39 and 73 mph.|
|Tropical Storm Warning||A warning that tropical storm force winds (39mph-73mph) may pose a threat to an area within 24 hours.|
|Tropical Storm Watch||An announcement that tropical storm force winds (39mph-73mph) may pose a threat to an area within 48 hours.|
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When a voluntary beach evacuation is issued for New Hanover County, a voluntary evacuation will be issued for UNCW. However, if a voluntary evacuation is not issued for New Hanover County, UNCW reserves the right to issue a voluntary evacuation for the university. All academic policies will be suspended and classes will be officially canceled when a voluntary evacuation is issued. Students will be encouraged to leave campus and find shelter with friends or family outside of Wilmington, but may remain on campus if they choose.
When New Hanover County issues a mandatory beach evacuation, UNCW will issue a mandatory evacuation for all students. However, UNCW reserves the right to issue a mandatory evacuation even if New Hanover County does not issue one for the county. Upon mandatory evacuation of UNCW, students will be evacuated from all residence halls according to evacuation procedures.
The time of the mandatory evacuation notice will allow students six hours of safe driving time in daylight hours prior to the arrival of 40 mile per hour winds.
Students will be encouraged to leave the Wilmington area and will be required to leave an address and phone number for the location to which they evacuate. Housing and Residence Life staff will coordinate check-out of students. If a student does not have anywhere to evacuate they must contact the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) to make other arrangements. (910) 962-3119.
After students have been evacuated from residence halls, no one will be allowed in residence halls until UNCW officially reopens.
All emergency personnel will maintain UNCW emergency operations from the EOC.
Upon recommendation by the CDT, the Chancellor will make a decision whether or not to close UNCW. The Chancellor has the designated authority to close the university from the President’s Office and will notify the President’s Office once a decision has been made.
When departmental checklists are completed, all buildings on campus will be evacuated of all faculty, staff, and students, except for emergency personnel. The university will be officially closed.
Once the university is closed, all campus entrances will be locked and monitored by UNCW Police.
I-40 Lane Reversal
In the event of an I-40 lane reversal, UNCW will notify faculty, staff, and students of the decision and prepare as necessary. EH&S will keep copies of I-40 brochures on hand for distribution. Emergency personnel should return to campus before an I-40 lane reversal occurs
In the event of an anticipated lane reversal decision, UNCW will ensure that evacuating students have enough time to evacuate before the lane reversal is ordered.
UNCW will coordinate with New Hanover County to find out when and if an I-40 lane reversal will occur during the hurricane emergency.
For more information about the I-40 lane reversal, click here.
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