Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
It is not often we have to prepare for a hurricane in the mountains, but we are doing so on our campus.
We are monitoring the storm track, and are in regular communications with the National Weather Service, regarding pending forecast developments. The forecast is currently calling for rain and wind — the severity is yet to be determined.
Although it is not yet clear we will experience severe weather in the Boone area, we are preparing for the potential impacts of the storm, which could include heavy rainfall, flooding and damaging winds.
Please know models are not conclusive and we do not yet have a confident forecast about weather in the Boone area. That said, we always encourage preparation.
What the university is doing
In accordance with established emergency readiness plans, the university has been taking preparedness steps since last week, and continues to prepare as the storm develops. Some of these actions will be visible on campus, and include:
- Clearing drainage areas to encourage drainage
- Performing pre-storm checks on residence halls and other campus buildings
- Placing sandbags in areas known to accumulate water
- Stocking up on food and water supplies
- Coordinating with local and state partners should we need to implement emergency response plans
Additionally, as with any severe weather event, a number of university employees responsible for critical services including food services, building safety and maintenance and emergency response teams will be on campus and responding in the event of any critical or crisis situation.
Residence halls and dining facilities will remain open.
Many of our students come from areas that are likely to experience severe impacts of Hurricane Florence. This was the impetus for this week’s class cancellation.
What you should do
- Stay alert for messages that will be sent to you via your appstate email.
- Register for text alerts at http://appstatealert.com
- Stay calm, and prepare — it’s always good to have a readiness kit.
- Unless absolutely necessary, don’t drive in severe weather.
- Wading, driving through or entering the water during times of heavy rain can be extremely dangerous. Curb the impulse to drive around or pursue outdoor activities during extreme weather.
- Messages related to class closings and cancellations are emailed, posted to appstatealert.com, distributed to local media and posted to university Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Will the AppalCart run?
AppalCART will keep us informed if they feel they cannot safely run. We will stay in close touch with them. Monitor www.appalcart.com for AppalCART schedules, delays or cancellations. You can also download the Nextbus App.
Planning to attend events taking place on campus this weekend?
Because of the uncertainty of the storm path, decisions about closings or cancellations will not be made until later in the week.
As we move forward with hosting our first home football game of the season on Saturday, we are in close communication with Southern Miss Athletics, as well as the National Weather Service, regarding the storm track of Hurricane Florence.
Football schedule updates will be posted here.
If any changes need to be made to the game schedule, we will communicate this to campus and ticket holders via the university website, email and local and regional media outlets.
There are many events taking place on campus. To avoid confusion, be sure to check with the presenter of any event you are planning to attend. Many of us are monitoring the weather and the ability for guest presenters to travel to our campus. Event presenters should work through their managers and advisers to determine whether or not to cancel or postpone events. Please note: If you are canceling an event, you should use the same method to announce a cancellation that you did to publicize the event. Pay particular attention to places on the web you have placed notifications. Wherever your event is listed on the web, you should be sure to post any updates to that same location.
A note on terminology
On the news and in weather announcements, you may notice the National Weather Service will now be using the terms “Tropical Storm Watch” or “Tropical Storm Warning” rather than “high wind warnings” or “wind advisories” to describe wind speeds. As in the past, these announcements will include wind speed information so you are fully informed.
Links for further information
We will provide regular updates as we learn more about the storm track and what this will mean for our campus, our off-campus students, faculty and staff, and the surrounding area.
Director, Environmental Health, Safety, and Emergency Management
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608