UWF Severe Weather Frequently Asked Questions
The University of West Florida is committed to supporting UWF students, faculty and staff before, during and after severe weather. Below are FAQs with the most commonly asked storm-related questions by our campus community. As you navigate through this webpage, you will find there are several resources to assist you, including information on returning to class and getting back on track academically, shelters and financial aid.
When does the University begin monitoring for potential hurricanes that may impact UWF?
UWF constantly monitors tropical system formation in the Atlantic Basin throughout the year and especially during the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. As storm systems approach our area, the University community will be notified and kept informed of the progress of such systems.
How does the University decide to close during inclement weather?
UWF constantly monitors information provided by the National Weather Service. Decisions to close are based on input from the NWS and in coordination with the Escambia County and State of Florida Emergency Operations Centers. The information is provided to the University's Emergency Management Team, who make any necessary closure decisions.
How can I stay updated about hurricanes and tropical storms?
In the event of a hurricane or tropical storm approaching Northwest Florida, University officials communicate with the campus community via email, uwf.edu, UWF Facebook and Twitter, the UWF Newsroom and the UWF Mobile Alert text messaging system. Additional communication outlets include desktop/computer notifications, loud speakers/sirens and electronic displays on campus, when necessary. Weather information is available by tuning into WUWF at 88.1FM or online at wuwf.org. Updates from the National Weather Service are available at weather.gov/mob, facebook.com/NWSMobile and twitter.com/nwsmobile.
Which "ride-out" facilities are available for residential students?
When storm/hurricane conditions are expected in the Pensacola area, UWF residential students may be directed to either shelter in place or evacuate to the on-campus ride-out facility. A decision regarding student evacuation to the ride-out facility will be made as the storm progresses and communicated in a timely manner to residential students.
The official on-campus hurricane ride-out facility for UWF residential students is located in the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering, Building 4. If this shelter becomes unavailable, residential students will be moved from Building 4 to the University Commons, Building 22, pending the appropriate clearance of Building 22.
Which shelters are available for non-residential students, faculty and staff?
All non-residential students, faculty and staff seeking shelter should report to one of the designated county shelters: Escambia County, Okaloosa County and Santa Rosa County.
If my family needs to stay in Pensacola are there available spaces on campus?
Families evacuating from affected areas should contact the designated county shelters: Escambia County, Okaloosa County and Santa Rosa County. These facilities are staffed with emergency volunteers and equipped with food, water and other essentials. Residential students with specific needs may contact UWF Housing for information about limited guest housing by calling 850.474.2463 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Housing staff will assist on a case-by-case basis to determine the best course of action. The families of University employees who are required to work may also stay on campus during the storm.
I need to withdraw from the University as a result of inclement weather. Where do I start that process?
Before making a decision to withdraw, students should consult with their academic advisor and faculty/instructor to discuss available options. This is also an important step as they will be able to document your withdrawal and help adjust your graduation plans to help keep you on track academically. To determine which withdrawal option best fits your circumstances, review the UWF Withdrawals webpage.
If I need to go home to help my family, will I be excused from class?
Please notify your professors and let them know your situation. Also, reach out to your academic advisor and discuss your situation with them. Together, you may develop a plan of action to accommodate your situation and keep you on track academically.
I am unable to attend classes because I am dealing with weather-related issues. What should I do?
Please contact your professors and check your course syllabi to determine if your professors have given direction for bad weather or missed classes. Your professor will help you determine whether or not you can complete the missed work in your course and get back on track. Also, contact your academic advisor to work on a plan of action to handle your enrollment this semester. If you are unsure about who your academic advisor is, visit the Academic Advising website for more information.
How do I know if I need to withdraw from my classes as a result of missing class?
Please reach out to your professors. They will let you know your academic standing in the class and if makeup work is possible. After reviewing your options, work with your academic advisor or the Office of the Registrar regarding options for withdrawing from your courses.
How will I make up the classes that were canceled because UWF was closed for inclement weather?
Please reach out to your professors. Your professors will let you know how coursework will be made up as the result of missed classes.
I am a fully online student living in an area affected by inclement weather. What do I do?
If you are participating in online courses from an area that has been affected by inclement weather, please contact your faculty members as soon as possible to let them know of your situation. We ask faculty to work with you to allow extra time on assignment completion and engagement in your fully online courses during inclement weather situations.
How will I know when it is safe to return to campus and classes will resume?
Students will be notified that the University has reopened and classes will resume via email, uwf.edu, UWF social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter) and the UWF Mobile Alert text messaging system.
I need additional help with financial aid due to the inclement weather. Who do I contact?
Since students could be in various stages of the financial aid process, please directly contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships to discuss any questions or concerns related to your status. Questions or concerns could include, but are not limited to:
- Completing verification or other requirements after severe weather complications
- Withdrawing from coursework and associated implications to financial aid
- Changes in eligibility due to loss of employment or significant expenses due to severe weather complications
- Emergency assistance
I am struggling psychologically with the impact from inclement weather. Is there someone I can talk to for help?
Counseling and Psychological Services has a counselor on call 24 hours a day to help UWF students in a psychological crisis. During normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. when the University is open, call Counseling and Psychological Services at 850.474.2420 for immediate assistance or walk into Building 960, Suite 200A and ask to be seen. After hours, or when the University is closed, call 850.474.2420 and the automated system will instruct you on how to page the counselor on call. We also have helpful tips and links related to coping with the aftermath of a natural disaster on the Counseling and Psychological Services website. No matter how bad it seems in the moment, there is hope and there is help. Do not hesitate to reach out. We are here to help.
I have significant personal hardship as a result of inclement weather and I’m not sure what to do about classes. What should I do?
Please contact your academic advisor who can help you find the appropriate resources. Other offices you may want to contact for assistance include the Dean of Students (850.474.2384, email@example.com), Counseling and Psychological Services (850.474.2420, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Financial Aid (850.474.2400, email@example.com).
I am a current student and my family home was impacted by inclement weather. I need to go home to help out. Can I cancel my UWF Housing contract?
Housing will work with students on a case-by-case basis. Please contact housing staff by visiting Building 19, calling 850.474.2463 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am an Active Duty Member / Military Veteran looking for additional guidance, what resources do I have available?
The UWF Military & Veterans Resource Center has a variety of services available for military-related students (dependents, retirees, and active duty). The MVRC can provide assistance with coordinating academic advising, tutoring, counseling and disability accommodations among other services, as well as access off-campus resources. Students can contact the MVRC at email@example.com or 850.474.2550.
I have been affected by the inclement weather and need financial assistance. Are there any resources available to me?
The Dean of Students Office provides opportunities for Emergency Student Assistance in the form of emergency grants, emergency loans and the student emergency support fund.
I have questions about my admissions, financial aid or registrar. Who can I contact?
Argo Central is a one-stop shop for Admissions, Financial Aid, Financial Services and the Registrar's Office and is available to assist you with any questions you may have. Students can contact Argo Central at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850.474.2400.
I returned to work and found damage (wet carpet, damp walls, etc.) in my office. What should I do?
If you notice any damage in your office or building, especially wetness/moisture, please take photos and contact Facilities at 850.857.6000 or submit a Facilities Work Order (only accessible from on-campus locations) through MyUWF.
My family and friends have been devastated by inclement weather. How can we find help?
The Aetna Employee Assistance Program is available for all University employees via phone at 800.272.7252 or online at mylifevalues.com (username and password are both UWF in all capital letters). The website features a disaster resources section that includes practical tips as well as resources for coping with a disaster. All services and calls are strictly confidential between the employee and Aetna.
What can I do to support students that may have been impacted?
We encourage faculty members to work with students who have been directly impacted by inclement weather by assisting them with coursework outside of normal class hours (or through electronic means) until these students have been able to assist their families with the recovery effort. When appropriate, we also encourage faculty to consider excusing absences on a short-term basis for those students who have been directly impacted by inclement weather.
Will the University closure impact my paychecks?
University officials will make every effort to ensure that payroll services are not disrupted and regularly scheduled payroll occurs. Any changes or updates will be posted online to the UWF Human Resources website and emailed directly to faculty and staff.
How do I volunteer to assist with relief efforts?
UWF students may have the opportunity to serve as volunteers for those evacuating and sheltering in our community. Argos may sign up to volunteer and indicate their availability by contacting UWF Student Engagement by calling 850.474.3155. You can also visit volunteerflorida.org for information about volunteering or donating before, during and after disasters.
Will I be excused from class if I am serving as an American Red Cross volunteer after inclement weather?
The American Red Cross will provide the list of volunteers to UWF. Professors will be asked to be flexible with those students. We are extremely appreciative of your dedication.
What if my plans to get involved in the coming weeks are interrupted by inclement weather (ex. sorority recruitment, applications for leadership programs)?
We encourage students to reach out to the appropriate contact person(s) to discuss your particular situation, or contact UWF Student Engagement by calling 850.474.3155 if you are unsure whom to contact.
Emergency Preparedness Apps:
Disaster Recovery and Assistance: