President Rosenberg: ‘We must take hurricane season seriously’

President Mark B. Rosenberg sent the following memo to the university community on Friday, June 1:

Last year’s hurricane season is one we will never forget. Hurricane Irma dealt a blow to us in South Florida, and it was among a devastating series of hurricanes from which our neighbors in Texas and the Caribbean are still recovering.

This past weekend, even before the official start of the hurricane season, subtropical storm Alberto drenched the southeast United States, causing at least two deaths.

Today, the official first day of the 2018 hurricane season, reminds us that we must take hurricane season seriously. Now is the time to make preparations, if you have not already.

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.

The 2018 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday for Florida is Friday, June 1, through Thursday, June 7. During this time, qualifying items related to disaster preparedness are exempt from sales tax. For more information, please click here.

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
  • 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 case of a storm, please remember to take the following steps:

  1. Back up all your data on the cloud. Faculty and staff have access toCrashPlan and Microsoft OneDrive from Office365, our backup and storage solutions. Students can use Google Drive, available through their PantherMail.
  2. Guard against flood damage by raising any sensitive equipment off the floor, especially in ground floor offices.
  3. 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. 

Remember: Living in South Florida means living with the threat of hurricanes. 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.