Update: Aug. 29 at 10 a.m.: This story was originally posted on FIU News in 2013. The information provided is still pertinent and a great resource to prepare for Hurricane Dorian.
Hurricane season is here, and FIU’s Director of Emergency Management Amy Aiken has prepared this FAQ to help you understand the facts about being prepared for an emergency at FIU. Whether you live on campus or commute, pay close attention to the information in this post and stay safe.
When is the official start of hurricane season?
How long does hurricane season last?
6 months, June 1 – Nov. 30
What exactly is a hurricane?
A hurricane is a large, spiraling tropical cyclone that can pack wind speeds of 74 mph to more than 155 mph. A category 3 storm is considered a major hurricane.
What’s the difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane?
Wind speed. Tropical storms have sustained wind speeds of 39 to 73 mph.
A hurricane is coming and I live on campus. What should I do?
Make plans to go home or stay with a friend.
I live in a residence hall and can’t go home. What should I do?
Shelter will be provided for residential students in the common areas and hallways of EH. You will be safe, but it isn’t the most comfortable place to be. You’re better off going home or staying with a friend in a house that is protected.
What should I put in my emergency disaster kit?
Water, food, lots of batteries, flashlights. For a complete list, visit dem.fiu.edu
How much water do I need?
At least three gallons. One gallon per person, per day, for a minimum of three days.
Do I need cash?
Better get some before the storm. If electricity is out, ATMs and credit card machines won’t work.
Should I charge my devices?
Fully charge all of your electronic devices before a storm in case electricity is lost, and keep extra batteries if possible.
What about access to gasoline after a storm?
Fill your tank before a storm. If electricity is out, gas pumps won’t work.
I am trying to reach my parents but my cell phone will not work. What should I do?
The cell towers often get overloaded. We recommend sending a text. Often a text will go through when a call won’t. If cell towers are down, landline/analog telephones will often still be functional.
How will I know my family is safe if I can’t reach them?
Identify an out-of-state friend or relative that everyone can call to check in with. Write down the number.
How will the university communicate with me about a hurricane?
We know when a hurricane is coming, so the university will use your e-mail, the main FIU website and FIU News to relay information. We will also update Facebook and Twitter.
How will the university communicate if there is no power?
Tune in to local media. You should have a battery-powered radio on hand to get important information.
What should I do about any prescription medication I have?
Be sure to fill all prescriptions prior to a storm.
Where can I get a list of gas stations and supermarkets that have generators?
Go the lower portion of this page for the most updated lists and be sure to print them: http://www.miamidade.gov/fire/consumer-survival-kit.asp
I have food in my fridge. Should I cook it before the storm?
Yes. Cooked food will last longer if the power goes out.
Should I crack open a window to reduce the pressure inside a house or building?
No. This is a common misconception. We have learned that if you do this, hurricane-force winds can get into your structure and create lots more damage.
If a hurricane is coming, when will the university close and how soon will it reopen?
The decision to close the university will be made in plenty of time for students, faculty and staff to make preparations and get home before the storm is expected to arrive. FIU will reopen when it is safe to do so. As soon as that information is available, it will be posted on FIU’s main website, FIU News, Twitter, Facebook, sent out in an e-mail and shared with local media.
I heard that the Biscayne Bay Campus (BBC) is in an evacuation zone? Where should I go?
FIU will send buses to the BBC to bring any student who can’t go home to Modesto A. Maidique Campus.