The National Hurricane Center (NHC) describes hurricanes and tropical storms as categories of tropical cyclones – storms which originate over tropical or subtropical waters and which have closed surface wind circulation about a well-defined center.  Hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings are disseminated from the NHC.

A tropical storm is a tropical cyclone in which the maximum surface wind speed ranges from 39 to 73 miles per hour.  A hurricane is a tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind is 74 or greater miles per hour (NHC). Additionally, tropical cyclones can produce storm surge along the coast, spawn tornados with little or no warning, and may produce a significant rain event which may cause flooding.  Hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings are disseminated from the NHC.

Employees, students, and visitors should follow guidance communicated by University officials.

To prepare for a hurricane, FEMA has provided Basic Preparedness Tips:

  • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
  • Put together a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate
  • If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
  • Make a family emergency communication plan.
  • Pay attention to all hurricane/tropical storm notifications and updates sent by University officials.