Employee Preparation Procedures

Hurricane preparation procedures for staff, personnel, and facilities.


General Information

WUWF-FM (88.1MHz) is the official information source for the University. Any pertinent information regarding closings, cancellations, and the re-opening of campus will be broadcast. When the threat of a hurricane becomes imminent, WUWF will suspend regular programming to begin airing an emergency broadcast "clock," consisting of regularly scheduled information updates throughout each hour.

In the event that hurricane preparation procedures are initiated, the UWF home page (www.uwf.edu) and NAUTICAL (nautical.uwf.edu) will both provide current information regarding hurricane preparation procedures, the status of classes, and the closing of the University.

Calls to the University Switchboard and the Department of Public Safety should be limited to ESSENTIAL AND EMERGENCY CALLS ONLY. Limiting non-essential calls will free up the switchboard to receive and deliver pertinent information. Following the emergency, please tune in to WUWF for general information about reporting to work and resumption of classes and campus activities.

If your department is hosting an event or activity please make an attempt to notify the participants of any cancellation or change. If direct contact is not possible, please give detailed information to the Office of Public Affairs at x2426 or WUWF at x3300 so that accurate information may be disseminated.

Employees should contact their immediate supervisors, or others designated by their department, to determine when they should return to work.

Select departments and personnel are designated to remain on campus during and after the storm. Those include, but are not limited to, Facilities Maintenance, University Police/Switchboard, and University Housing. These staff members are assigned specific duties and responsibilities to organize individuals unable to leave campus, provide security, repair minor damage to facilities, and re-open access to the campus and buildings.

Tropical Storm Warning

Tropical storm force winds are forecasted in the Pensacola area by the National Hurricane Center within the next 24 hours along with possible heavy rains. The University will monitor the situation and heed advice from the local Emergency Management Operations Center.

Hurricane Watch

This means that a hurricane has been reported or is forecasted to form and is considered a possible danger to this area within 36 hours. The campus remains open and will continue to function normally until further notice.

Hurricane Warning

When the storm is in the gulf and there is an increased possibility of the storm making land fall at or near Pensacola within 24 hours.

UWF shall initiate hurricane preparation procedures when a hurricane or tropical storm enters the Gulf of Mexico. Once the National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane warning for the Pensacola area, the University President shall issue information regarding the continued operation of the University or cancellation of classes. Employees are advised to await official word from the University before closing offices and evacuating campus.

University Closing

When the hurricane conditions are expected in the Pensacola area early decisions will be made to cancel classes or close the University. All classes and campus activities scheduled for the closing dates will be canceled. Employees should complete emergency preparation in their offices and check in with their supervisors before leaving work.

Students living on campus are permitted to go home if they can do so safely. Students who leave campus are requested to provide the housing staff with contact information and are encouraged to notify their parents of their plans. Students who are unable to leave campus will be permitted to remain in their residence halls and apartments.

Shelter Evacuation

In the event of a direct landfall by the storm, students may be required to evacuate to the shelter located in the Commons (Building 22.) This shelter will be staffed by University personnel, and the facility is supported by a back-up generator. Food and basic first aid will be provided in the shelter. A decision regarding student evacuation to the shelter will be made as the storm progresses. Should the shelter be activated, incoming calls for information can be made to 1-866-UWF-NEWS.

When hurricane conditions are expected in the Pensacola area the decision may be made to evacuate students to the hurricane shelter located in the Commons (Building 22.) This means that all residents remaining on campus (except those in Pace and Martin Hall) will be required to move immediately to the shelter for the remainder of the storm. Pace and Martin Hall residents may not be required to evacuate and should check with housing staff in their buildings before leaving. Once students check into the shelter they will not be permitted to leave until after the storm has passed. Students are requested not to attempt to travel to off-campus destinations.

Students should bring bedding, several changes of clothes, personal hygiene items, flashlights, books, snacks and any necessary medication to the shelter. The shelter will provide basic food and first aid services, and is equipped with a back-up generator. Students should notify their parents that they are moving to the shelter and provide their parents with the shelter phone number for emergency contact. That number is 1-866-UWF-NEWS. Classes will remain closed until further notice.

Notification regarding the storm and status of the campus will continually be available through WUWF-FM 88.1 and also on the WUWF web page http://wuwf.org.

Hurricane Shelter Number Message: 1-866-UWF-NEWS (893-6397).

When this number is activated, a verbal update using the appropriate above information will be placed on the recording. In addition, the phone would be forwarded to the following numbers and contain the following information:

When the shelter is not activated, the phone will forward to the University information number and state: "At this point, the shelter has not been activated for the university and students are permitted to stay in their rooms. Please press (4) if you wish to be connected to the University Information Center for further information or assistance."
Once the shelter has been activated, calls should be forwarded to (1) x2405 (front desk), (2) x2010 (back office) and then (3) x7300 (managers office), in that order. The recorded message should contain the above information and:"If you wish to be connected to the University Shelter at this time, please press (1) and you will be forwarded to the next available staff member."

Office Preparation

  • All University departments and offices should prepare their equipment and essential files prior to leaving campus.
  • All electronic equipment (computers, modems, monitors, copiers, UPS systems, etc.) should be turned off and unplugged.
  • Electronic equipment should be moved away from windows (if feasible) and covered with plastic sheeting. Plastic sheeting and plastic bags are available and will be distributed by Physical Plant to all building coordinators.
  • Building coordinators will be responsible for storing and distributing the materials within their respective areas.
  • Essential files should be placed in file cabinets and secured. Do not leave valuable materials on desks or shelving.
  • Personal belongings of value should be taken home. The University will not replace personal items which have been damaged or are missing or stolen.
  • All office doors and building doors must be closed and locked.

University Employees and Their Families

Due to the number of resident students needing shelter, the University does not encourage employees and their families to use our facilities as shelter space. However, the families of University employees who are required to work may stay on campus during the storm.

Public Shelters

Persons seeking shelter, not specifically included in the essential service employees categories listed above, should report to one of the designated County Shelters. As a public facility, University buildings are subject to being used as emergency shelters by the American Red Cross and Escambia County Emergency Management in times of extreme need. Therefore, please adhere to the request to secure your office areas and remove any personal belongings of value. The University has designated certain buildings to be used as public shelters, shelters for essential service employees, and those in which occupancy is not permitted.

Emergency Closings

The Governor or the University's Chief Administrative Officer may close the University in the case of a natural disaster such as a hurricane.

All employees must consult with their supervisors regarding work hour compensation during emergency operations. Due to revised employee classifications, Attendance and Leave Report procedures may be different from those previously used.

Those on prior approved leave during the closing shall not have the leave changed to administrative leave.

A&P and faculty do not account for the closing on their leave reports.

For more information regarding university closings due to natural disasters, please call Human Resources at 850-474-2610.

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