Hurricane and Tropical Storm Preparedness
The Gulf Coast of Florida is a region known for experiencing tropical activity.
The UWF Office of Emergency Management works closely with the National Weather Service in Mobile, Alabama and the Escambia County Department of Public Safety to monitor and react appropriately in the event a tropical system approaches our area.
UWF is an official Storm Ready University and has plans in place to protect the University Community, minimize damage to UWF facilities and expedite recovery to bring the campus back to operational status as quickly as possible.
In the event of a hurricane or tropical storm approaching Northwest Florida, University officials communicate with students via email, uwf.edu, UWF social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter) and the UWF text messaging system.
Additional communication outlets include desktop/computer notifications and loud speakers/sirens and electronic displays on campus, when deemed necessary.
Hurricane and Tropical Storm Terms
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 warnings indicate that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph), the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds to allow for important preparation.
Shelters for UWF Residential Students
When hurricane conditions are expected in the Pensacola area, the decision may be made to evacuate UWF residential students to the on-campus shelter. A decision regarding student evacuation to the shelter will be made as the storm progresses and communicated in a timely manner to residential students.
The official on-campus hurricane shelter for UWF residential students is located in the Science and Engineering Building (Bldg. 4). If sheltering beyond the storm becomes necessary (loss of power, damage to buildings, etc.), sheltered students will be moved from Bldg. 4 to the University Commons (Bldg. 22), pending the appropriate clearance of Bldg. 22.
In some circumstances it may be appropriate to shelter in place (e.g., instruct residents to remain in their buildings during a weather situation that does not pose a particular structural threat).
To learn more about residential student operations, visit this student preparedness webpage.
All non-residential students seeking shelter should report to one of the designated County Shelters:
Due to space available, the University does not encourage employees and their families to use facilities as shelter space. However, the families of University employees who are required to work may stay on campus during the storm.
- NOAA Hurricane Preparedness: Be Ready
- Are You Ready for a Hurricane? (pdf)
- Hurricane Season: Are You Ready?
- Atlantic Hurricane Tracking Chart (pdf)
- UWF Hurricane Tasks Preparation Checklist for Labs and Research Areas (pdf)
- Hurricane Response Overview for UWF Senior Administrators (pdf)
- Be Red Cross Ready: Hurricane Safety Checklist (pdf)
- FEMA - When The Waves Swell (video)