Hurricane Preparedness Guide


Be Informed

The Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico hurricane season extends from June 1 to November 30 each year. Forecasters expect a busy storm season, estimating approximately 17 named storms this season, eight or nine of which may become hurricanes. It is also predicted that four to six of the storms may develop into major hurricanes (with sustained winds of 110 miles per hours). This is a good time to review your hurricane plan for your home and your workplace, as well as the university's plan.

Armstrong is responsible for establishing procedures designed to provide for the safety of students and the protection of all university property. It is not safe to remain on campus once an evacuation is mandated and the university enters into its Hurricane Implementation Plan.

NOTE: The university will close when Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) announces "Voluntary Evacuation of the Islands."

When Armstrong State University is confronted with the possibility of a hurricane, it is critical that you remain informed of the status of the storm and the university's response. The University's Hurricane Decision Team determines whether to activate the Hurricane Implementation Plan.
 

Watch vs. Warning

Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions could develop within 36 hours. This is an indication that you should begin preparations for a potential disaster. When a Hurricane Watch is announced by the National Weather Center/National Hurricane Center, Armstrong officials should have at least 36 hours to take precautions for the safety of students, faculty and staff and to leave campus physical facilities as secure as possible.
A Hurricane Warning means that sustained winds of 74 mph or more are expected within 24 hours.



Hurricane Information for Students & Parents

Students Living on Campus

  • Students will receive information pertaining to storm preparations and evacuation (if necessary) from their Resident Assistant (RA), The BLAST system that can be accessed through your cell phone (if registered), and through information posted in Compass Point, University Crossings and University Terrace.
  • Prior to leaving campus, please inform your Resident Assistant where you are going and provide a contact number.
  • Students should contact their parents prior to the storm to advise them of their location and then again shortly after the storm to inform them of their status. It is easier for students to contact their parents than for parents to locate students.
  • Dining service on campus will be closed during an impending storm.
  • Additional information and updates will be supplied to students in the residence halls by staff, as specifics of a storm situation are determined.

Before, during and after a storm, you are encouraged to check the university's website for updates and cancellation of classes and events. You should check the website for the date that classes will resume. The university will use BLAST to notify you of cancellation of classes and reopening of the university. Tune into local news channels for notification of the university closing and date of reopening. You should also call 912.344.2500 for the latest updates from the university.
 

Before Leaving

  • Be sure you have enough cash. ATMs can run out of money quickly.
  • Clean out your refrigerator. (All resident students must empty their apartment refrigerator of food. Food left in the refrigerator will spoil when the electricity shuts off as a result of the storm. You will be responsible for the purchase of a new refrigerator for your apartment as a result of damage caused to the unit because of spoiled food.)
  • Place any valuables/musical instruments you choose to leave in an area in your room that you can secure. Move items away from the windows and off the floor (in case of flooding). Unplug all computers and electronic equipment. Make sure ALL windows are closed and locked. LOCK YOUR DOOR AS YOU LEAVE!
  • Fill your car tank with gas before getting on the road.
  • Decide ahead of time which route out of Savannah you will take:
    US 80 away from the coast towards Statesboro and points northwest
    SR 205 West to US 280 towards Claxton and points west
    SR 21 North across I-95 and northward towards Sylvania
    I-16 West towards Macon
  • Be informed about how Contra-flow changes normal traffic patterns on major highways to speed evacuation. I-16 Contra-Flow: During a hurricane evacuation, all four lanes of I-16 are turned into westbound-only lanes until west of Dublin. Also, several Savannah eastbound exit ramps are converted into westbound entrance ramps.
  • These are:
    • West Broad Street
    • SR 204/37th Street Connector
    • I-516/Lynes Parkway
    • SR 307 between Savannah & I-95
  • Plan your route ahead of time and have good maps in your car in case conditions necessitate changes along the way.

Packing Tips for Evacuation

Pack wisely. Include the following, if possible:

  • Prescription medication and any over-the-counter medications
  • Passport, visa, and driver's license
  • Laptop, cell phone, I-pod, small expensive items
  • Sleeping bag, blanket, pillows, flashlight
  • Textbooks
  • Three days of clothing--bring tennis shoes; do not rely on flip flops
  • Toiletries-deodorant, soap, toothbrush and paste, towel, shampoo, toilet paper

Evacuation from Armstrong

Once the university is closed and an evacuation from the campus is ordered, no student can remain in the residence halls.
Armstrong will not provide any emergency hurricane shelter on campus.

Housing & Residence Life staff will check every resident's room to make sure you have evacuated. Once the emergency tape is placed on your front door, you cannot re-enter the room without the Director of Housing & Residence Life's permission. Refusal to leave your residence hall room once an evacuation has been mandated will result in your arrest and transportation to jail. You will also face university disciplinary action once Armstrong has reopened.

YOU SHOULD FIND TRANSPORTATION WITH A FRIEND, FAMILY MEMBER OR USE YOUR PERSONAL VEHICLE TO EVACUATE THE CAMPUS.

The University is not responsible for damages to, or for loss of, personal property as a result of a hurricane. Be sure you have renters' insurance prior to hurricane season.



Hurricane Information for Commuter Students & Parents

Emergency Supplies to Have At Home:

  • Week's supply of medicines, prescriptions
  • Battery-operated radio and clock; flashlights/batteries
  • Important telephone numbers (in case cell phone runs out of battery)
  • Car charger for your cell phone (if you own a car)
  • Important papers (lease, passport, valid ID)
  • Plenty of cash (in case ATMs do not work)
  • Toiletries (toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, toilet paper)
  • Manual can opener
  • Ice chest and ice
  • First aid supplies, mosquito repellent
  • Non-perishable foods such as bread, crackers, cereals, cookies, snacks, peanut butter and jelly, bottled water, instant coffee and tea, canned meats, fruits, vegetables, soups, puddings, pet food—have enough to last two weeks.

COMMUTER STUDENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN EVACUATION OUT OF THE CITY. AASU DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY SHELTER ON CAMPUS. MAKE ARRANGEMENTS AHEAD OF ANY ANNOUNCED HURRICANE SO THAT YOU HAVE TRANSPORTATION BEFORE LEAVING.

  • Be sure you have enough cash. ATMs can run out of money quickly.
  • Clean out your refrigerator of all food. Electricity will likely go off and food will spoil before you return. You do not want to try to clean a refrigerator that has held spoiled food for any period of time.
  • Place any valuables you choose to leave in an area in your room that you can secure. Move items away from the windows and off the floor (in the event of flooding). Unplug all computers and electronic equipment. Make sure ALL windows are closed and locked.
  • Fill your car tank with gas before getting on the road.
  • Decide ahead of time which route out of Savannah you will take:
    • US 80 away from the coast towards Statesboro and points northwest
    • SR 205 West to US 280 towards Claxton and points west
    • SR 21 North across I-95 and northward towards Sylvania
    • I-16 west towards Macon
  • Be informed about how Contra-flow changes normal traffic patterns on major highways to speed evacuation. I-16 Contra-Flow: During a hurricane evacuation, all four lanes of I-16 are turned into westbound-only lanes until west of Dublin. Also, several Savannah eastbound exit ramps are converted into westbound entrance ramps. These are:
    • West Broad Street
    • SR 204/37th Street Connector
    • I-516/Lynes Parkway
    • SR 307 between Savannah & I-95
  • Plan your route ahead of time and have good maps in your car in case conditions necessitate changes along the way.

PACKING TIPS FOR EVACUATION

Pack wisely: Include the following, if possible:
*Prescription medication and any over-the-counter medications
*Cash, credit cards
*Musical instruments
*Passport, visa, and driver's license
*Laptop, computer, cell phone, I-pod, small expensive items
*Sleeping bag, blanket, pillows, flashlight/batteries
*Bottled water
*Snacks
*Textbooks
*Three days of clothing-bring tennis shoes; do not rely on flip flops
*Toiletries-deodorant, soap, toothbrush and paste, towel, shampoo, toilet paper


Before, during and after a storm, you are encouraged to check the university's website for updates and cancellation of classes and events. You should also check the website for the date that classes will resume. You should also call 912.344.2500 for the latest updates from the University.

 

Hurricane Terminology

Watch vs. Warning--Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions could develop within 36 hours. This is an indication that you should begin preparations for a potential disaster. Hurricane Warning means that sustained winds of 74 mph or more are expected within 24 hours.

Storm Categories
Category 1 (WIND SPEED 74-95 MPH) Damage mainly to shrubbery, trees, and light structures. Four- to five-foot storm surge. Flooding and small craft damage.

Category 2 (WIND SPEED 96-110 MPH) Considerable damage to trees. Roofs and poor construction damaged or destroyed. Flooding, eight- to ten-foot storm surge.

Category 3 (WIND SPEED 111-130 MPH) Trees blown down. Serious damage done to roofs and building structures. Nine- to twelve- foot storm surge and serious storm surge flooding. Evacuation possibly required. Utility poles down.

Category 4 (WIND SPEED 131-155 MPH) Extensive damage to trees, roofs and buildings. Storm surge 13- to 18-feet. Major flood damage and erosion. Massive evacuation necessary for residents in low-lying areas. Utility poles snapped off.

Category 5 (WIND SPEED 155+ MPH) Major damage to trees. Buildings shattered or blown away. Major damage in all areas with infrastructure. Massive evacuation essential. Storm surge over 18 feet.



Tropical Storm Terminology

While the wind is less than a hurricane, these storms can still do physical damage and cause flooding. You should remain indoors during a tropical storm.
Tropical Storm Watch — Tropical storm conditions with sustained winds from 39 to 73 mph are possible in the area within the next 36 hours.
Tropical Storm Warning — Tropical storm conditions are expected within the next 24 hours.
 

Downloadable Guides and Information Sites

National Weather Service-Southern Region http://www.srh.noaa.gov
National Weather Service http://www.noaa.gov
The Weather Channel http://www.weather.com/newscenter/tropical/
Severe Weather (National Weather Service) http://www.weather.gov
 

Local Weather Sites:

http://www.wsav.com/midatlantic/sav/home.html
http://www.wjcl.com
http://www.wtoctv.com

Transportation Directory
AMTRAKwww.amtrak.com 1.800.USA.RAIL (1.800.872.7245)
Greyhound http://www.greyound.com 1.800.231.2222
AIR TRAN http://www.airtran.com 1.800.AIR.TRAN (1.800.247.8726)
Continental http://www.continental.com 1.800.523.FARE (800.523.3273)
Delta Airlines http://www.delta.com/home/index.jsp 1.800.221.1212
Northwest Airlines http://www.nwa.com 1.800.225.2525
United Express Airlines http://www.united.com 1.800.864.8331
US Airways America West http://www.usairways.com/awa/default.aspx 1.800.428.4322 (flights to U.S. and Canada)

SEE ALSO

Click hereimage to download this as a PDF.