Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
As we continue monitoring the Hurricane Florence storm track, confidence is increasing we will experience significant heavy rainfall, flooding and damaging winds.
Please know the forecast is still developing, but we are encouraging continued preparation.
Below please find important information:
The latest information on class cancellation and employee adverse weather status is at AppStateAlert.com.
In accordance with established emergency readiness plans, the university continues to prepare:
- Buildings have been made ready: roof drains cleared, sandbags and gravel are on hand and in place.
- Flood maintenance/repair supplies checked.
- Food and water supplies are stocked.
- Teams are in place to stay on campus and on call during storm.
- Storm drains are clear of obstructions, temporary flood barriers are in place.
- We are coordinating with local and state partners should we need to implement emergency response plans.
Housing and dining for students
Residence halls and dining facilities will remain open. Residence halls are being carefully monitored and dining facilities have stocked up on extra food and water.
Additionally, the university has set up a temporary shelter for off-campus students, faculty and staff in need of safe shelter. The Quinn Center at 303 Stadium Drive will open at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15.
What you should do
Prepare and plan
- Discuss with your family and significant other: if you had to evacuate from your home, where would you go and how would you get there?
- Make sure you have more than one way to communicate.
- Charge your phones and essential electronics.
- Fill up water bottles from your sink – you don’t have to buy bottled water.
- Consider where you have parked your car. On campus, some lots are prone to flooding.
- Stay calm, and have a plan — it’s always good to have a readiness kit.
- Our biggest concern is rain. Heavy rainfall can bring with it the potential for landslides and flooding.
- Unless absolutely necessary, don’t drive in severe weather.
- NEVER drive through flooded streets or around barricades — they are there to protect people from danger.
- Fast-moving water, even if it is pretty shallow, is dangerous. It takes only 6 inches of fast-moving water to knock over an adult. 12 inches of rushing water can carry away a small car, and 2 feet can carry away most vehicles.
- Tornadoes aren’t common in this area, but there is a small chance we might see some. Be sure you know how you would get alerts at night.
- Resist the urge to throw large objects into storm drains and fast-moving water. This causes flooding hazards and is unsafe for maintenance workers who are trying to keep drains clear of obstructions.
- Stay alert for messages that will be sent to you via your appstate email.
- Register for text alerts at http://appstatealert.com
- 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.
- Use reliable sources — Monitor AppStateAlert.com and appstate email addresses for important university updates. Watauga County Emergency Management and Boone Police have official social media accounts — be sure you know where your information is coming from.
- Visit ReadyNC.org and/or download the ReadyNC mobile app for helpful tips and safety information.
- Visit National Weather Service or National Hurricane Center websites for weather forecast and safety information.
During the time that classes are cancelled, gates to restricted parking areas are lifted and students, faculty, staff and the public can park in those lots. Always be mindful of signage. Some lots are prone to flooding.
Will the AppalCart run?
What if my power goes out?
Be sure to prepare in case this happens. Make sure your phone is charged and you have batteries on hand in case you need them.
New River Light & Power is making preparations to help and/or receive assistance from other utilities across the state. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates. Customers with questions related to NRLP electric service, or who need to report an outage, should call at 828-264-3671.
What events are being cancelled?
Many events scheduled to take place on campus are being canceled or re-scheduled, but Student Affairs is making sure there are things to do. 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