Safety Message #6Hurricane Season
Floridians are well aware June 1st marks the official start of the hurricane season. The Tampa Bay area has been fortunate to avoid a direct hit or even near miss over the last several years. Regardless, we must always remember to be prepared and vigilant during this season as storms can develop quickly. Over the past few years we have welcomed faculty and staff from across the United States to join our college. Many of you might not be as aware of practical considerations during this rough weather season. So in this safety message I would like to address both personal and professional hurricane preparedness.
Personal Preparedness: There are several storm hazards, which include heavy rainfall and flash flooding, high winds and tornadoes, storm surge and rip currents associated with hurricanes. It is important that your hurricane preparedness plan takes these and any other relevant hazards into account. Everyone in your family should be familiar with this plan and it should be reviewed at least once a year. Be prepared by having a basic emergency supply kit ready, know your evacuation route, and communicate your plan to family, friends, and co-workers. There are several helpful planning guides on this website: http://www.ready.gov/be-informed
Professional Preparedness: All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to monitor the weather very closely during hurricane season and follow directions and guidance provided by USF. All campus communications will be sent via email and MoBull Messaging, including campus closures and reopening. Additional information will be provided on the USF main website. If possible, faculty members are encouraged to stay in touch with students by email while the campus is closed. All faculty and staff are encouraged to keep a personal and professional contact list for emergencies. Additional information may be found on the USF Emergency & Safety Management webpage.
In preparation for the 2014 hurricane season, the National Weather Service and partner agencies observed National Hurricane Preparedness week from May 25th to May 31st. The National Weather Service is responsible for the issuance of hurricane watches and warnings, but you should still stay abreast of the news and aware of the conditions in your area.
Please remember that the most important tool at your disposal when facing a hurricane is common sense.