President Mark B. Rosenberg sent the following memo to the university community June 1:
Dear FIU family:
Today is the official start of the 2017 hurricane season.
Over the past several years, we have been very lucky. South Florida has been spared. We have not had to experience the long-term, devastating and disruptive effects of a major hurricane. Certainly not like we did 25 years ago this summer.
August 24, 1992: Early that morning, Hurricane Andrew made landfall, tearing through our neighborhoods with powerful winds that reached 165 miles per hour. Some of the places that we knew so well were completely unrecognizable, others were gone. Thousands of people became temporarily homeless. Miami was forever changed.
Andrew taught us lessons in preparation.
If you haven’t started to prepare, now is the time.
The start of the season is the time to review, revise or create your personal hurricane plan and purchase the supplies necessary for your disaster kit. Before a storm, you should always follow any protective actions issued by emergency officials.
Hurricane preparation may be a new experience for many members of our university community. If you are new to South Florida, there are resources available online and we urge you to review them to make sure you are ready.
FIU’s Department of Emergency Management has also partnered with FIU Online to develop a free emergency preparedness course. The hurricane preparedness portion of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is available here.
Review FIU’s emergency procedures.
As a member of the FIU family, become familiar with the university’s emergency procedures – which apply to all potential hazards – and be an active participant in your own safety by staying alert to messages from university and local officials.
In the event of an emergency, we have an emergency notification system known as FIU Alert that will alert you through some or all of the following channels of communication:
- Text messages (only issued in the event of imminent danger)
- Informacast (phones in classrooms and outdoor speakers)
- Email messages to your FIU account
- Updates on the FIU homepage edu and news.fiu.edu
- Social Media:
- FIU Help Line: 305-FIU-HELP (305-348-4357)
- Local media
- Radio (88.1 FM and/or 95.3 FM)
All faculty and staff should also review their department’s Continuity of Operations Plan. In the case there is a storm, please remember to take the following steps:
- Back up all your data. You may use CrashPlan, an online cloud storage solution or Microsoft OneDrive for Business from Office365.
- Guard against flood damage by raising any sensitive equipment off the floor, especially in ground floor offices.
- Cover all electronic equipment to protect it from any water leakage that may occur as a result of the storm.
Please remember that storm preparation time is for securing work areas and not doing any extensive cleaning. Dumpsters are dedicated solely for storm preparation and should not be unnecessarily overfilled.
Dangers of storm surge
Storm surge poses a great threat to many areas of Miami. It is the primary reason residents must evacuate prior to a hurricane. As a result, the Miami-Dade Office of Emergency Management has identified Storm Surge Planning Zones in areas where storm surge has the highest incidence of occurrence.
Our School of Computing and Information Sciences has also developed a Storm Surge Simulator that allows you to input your address and see the possibility of storm surge affecting your home. Please understand that this technology is only for information purposes and should never be used to determine whether to evacuate.
We care deeply about the safety of our entire FIU family.
Being informed, prepared and following these steps will make for a safer hurricane season and quicker recovery should a hazardous event affect our university community.
Have a safe hurricane season.
Mark B. Rosenberg