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A hurricane is a tropical storm with wind speeds of at least 74 miles an hour. It is capable of changing direction and intensity quickly and is likely to include rain and sometimes thunder and lightning, as well.

Hurricanes are divided into five categories, depending on wind speed. A Category 5 storm has wind speeds of at least 155 miles an hour. 

Individual and Group Safety Information

The following are important safety considerations for individuals:

  • Remember that the National Weather Service issues a HURRICANE WATCH when the possibility of the path of a hurricane could threaten the region.
  • A HURRICANE WARNING is issued when a hurricane is spotted or its path
    indicated on Doppler radar.
  • All faculty and staff should know the difference between a HURRICANE WATCH and HURRICANE WARNING.
  • Stay in basements OR interior hallways on the ground floor that are NOT parallel to the hurricane's path.
  • Never take shelter in buildings with wide, free-span roofs, unless locations within those buildings have been designated as severe weather shelter zones.
  • Avoid all windows and other glassed areas.
  • Faculty and staff are advised to become familiar with the Severe Weather Shelter Zone buildings closest to their office/work stations.
  • Upon notice of a HURRICANE WATCH, faculty and staff should take special note of the location of their personal belongings in the event that an evacuation should take place in the near future. Upon notice of a HURRICANE WARNING, turn your computer off, gather personal items (purse, cell phone, office keys), lock your office, and move quickly to a Severe Weather Shelter Zone.
  • Once in a shelter area, individuals should assume a protective posture, including covering one's head, facing an interior wall.
  • Remember that most hurricane deaths are caused by head injuries.
  • Please do not leave the shelter until the "all clear" sign is given on the WeatherChek line, public address system and/or by members of the University Police Department.
  • Notify the program manager responsible for animal safety precautions within any animal-based university research labs. The program manager is responsible for ensuring the continuity of this research and academic programming.


Severe Weather Shelter Zones 


The following buildings have areas that should be used as Severe Weather Shelter Zones:

East Side of Campus:

Adanti Student Center - Loading Dock, Movie Theater, 2nd Floor Interior Rooms

Buley Library - Front half of basement away from glass

Davis Hall  - Stair Towers (away from glass),

Lecture Halls 101 & 102

Engleman Hall - Wings A and B (Basement Only)

Facilities Operations Building - Operation in lower level adjacent to street

Jennings Hall  - Interior hallways and stair towers

Lyman Center - Basement only

Morrill Hall - Basement only

Pelz Gymnasium - Basement only 


West Side of Campus:

Admissions Building - Basement only

Connecticut Hall - Middle section of basement

Granoff Hall  - Basement Only

Lang House - Basement Only 

Moore Field House - The locker rooms in the pool area and the main and lower corridors leading to the pool area

North Campus - Interior hallways, Floors 1 to 5

Orlando House - Basement Only

Residence Halls: Hickerson, Chase, Wilkinson, Farnham, Neff - Basements away from windows

Schwartz Hall - Basement corridors

West Campus Residence Hall - Inside wing hallways

The following buildings do NOT have areas that are used as Severe Weather Shelter Zones.

Individuals should evacuate to the nearest building that has such a shelter zone. Faculty and staff in these facilities are strongly encouraged to identify NOW the closest available protection zone. In the event of an ALERT, essential personnel will be available to assist in directing building evacuations.

East Side of Campus:

IT Temporary Building - Should evacuate to Pelz Gym basement 

Nursing Building - Should evacuate to Facilities Operations Building lower level 

Seabury Hall - Should evacuate to Engleman Hall C-wing basement

TE-8 Building -  Should evacuate to Engleman Hall C-wing basement

West Side of Campus:

Brownell Hall - Should evacuate to Wilkinson, Farnham, Chase or Neff hall basements

North Campus Townhouses - Should evacuate to North Campus Midrise 

Office Building 1 (OB1) - Should evacuate to Chase Hall basement

Temporary Building 6 (TE6) - Should evacuate to Chase Hall basement

Wintergreen Building* - Should evacuate to the locker rooms in the Moore Field House pool area and the main and lower corridors leading to the pool area

* Those individuals who are not able to safely leave the Wintergreen Building and need to seek shelter immediately may seek shelter in the following areas of the Wintergreen Building:

  • The restrooms in the front lobby
  • The offices below the mezzanine area
  • The academic advisement computer lab