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Hurricane season begins tomorrow

Hurricane season begins tomorrow

May 31, 2019 at 12:53pm

On Friday, May 31, President Rosenberg sent the following message to the university community:

Tomorrow marks the start of the 2019 hurricane season.

Over the next six months, we must stay alert to news reports and be ready to face a major hurricane on short notice. This is why it is important that we take steps now to be prepared. We know that hurricane preparation may be a new experience for many members of our university community. Please take a few minutes to read this message; it contains important information and resources to help you prepare.

Hurricane preparedness

Now is the time to review, revise or create your personal hurricane plan and purchase the supplies necessary for your disaster kit.

The 2019 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday for Florida begins today, Friday, May 31 and runs through Thursday, June 6. During this time, qualifying items related to disaster preparedness are exempt from sales tax. For more information, please click here.

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 and only takes around 25 minutes to complete.

FIU as a shelter

For the first time this year, FIU will be offering shelter space in the newly renovated section of the Wellness and Recreation Center at MMC only to FIU faculty and staff who live in a storm surge planning zone (evacuation zone) or a trailer park that has been ordered by Miami-Dade County to evacuate.

Space will be limited and on a first come first serve basis. Please note that cots will not be provided and pets will not be allowed. If you must evacuate and own a pet, Miami-Dade County operates several pet friendly shelters.

Please complete a registration form if you live in a storm surge planning zone and are considering sheltering at FIU. Completing this form does not guarantee space in the shelter. 

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.

If you live in an area that has not been ordered to evacuate, FIU will not be able to accommodate you. However, in the event of a hurricane, local shelters operated by Miami-Dade County will be opened. Please click here for more information.

In addition, FIU will continue to serve as a shelter location for special needs residents of Monroe County.

FIU Housing will also continue to provide space for residential students at MMC who live outside of South Florida. The hallways of Parkview Hall at MMC have been designated to serve as shelter areas. Students who live on campus should speak to their resident advisors for more information.

FIU Garage Parking

In the event that a storm happens to impact our area, parking will be made available in the FIU parking garages to the FIU community. Space will be limited and on a first come first serve basis.

Please complete a reservation form if you are considering parking your vehicle in one of the garages. Completing the form does not guarantee a space will be available.

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: Your FIU email – and local media – will be your source of information for all FIU hurricane related information.
  • Updates on the FIU homepage edu and
  • Social Media:
  • FIU Help Line: 305-FIU-HELP (305-348-4357)

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:

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

Remember: Living in South Florida means living with the threat of hurricanes. While we hope that the 2019 season will be a quiet one, we must prepare for the worst. Being informed, prepared and following these steps will make for a safer hurricane season and quicker recovery should a hazardous event of any kind affect our university community.