We continue to monitor Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm that could bring catastrophic winds and torrential rainfall to Florida starting late this week.
Due to uncertainty in the storm’s track, we do not know what impacts Gainesville or other areas of the state may experience. As we await further developments, we advise the following:
· Any announcements regarding UF’s response, including schedule changes or cancellations, will be made through official UF channels, including the emergency notification system UF Alert.
· Please check your email and the UF homepage at www.ufl.edu for up-to-date information. Another resource is UF’s information line at 866-833-2287 or 866-UF-FACTS.
· To ensure you are receiving news and updates, now is a good time to verify your emergency contact information in the myUFL system. To do so, login to myUFL (my.ufl.edu) and navigate to Main Menu > My Account > Update Emergency Contact. Scroll to the bottom of the page to select the correct UF Alert preference.
· UF employees in South Florida or other parts of the state should be prepared to implement tropical weather plans by Thursday and Friday and closely monitor announcements from local governments. UF employees in facilities outside of Alachua County will generally follow closures of their local government. For example, the Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, as well as UF’s County Extension Office in Miami-Dade County, will be closed beginning tomorrow.
· If you plan to travel in the coming days, please be mindful of potential traffic associated with evacuation orders from around the state, as well as changing weather conditions. It will be important to talk with family members about whether you may be safer in your home or apartment, with family in another location or at a shelter. In some cases, UF’s residence halls may be the safest option.
· Depending on what we learn in the next day or so about the hurricane’s expected impacts, campus shelters may be opened for students, faculty and staff, as well as extended family members fleeing from coastal areas.
· The University Athletic Association has moved Saturday’s football game against Northern Colorado to noon. For other schedules or cancellations of UF athletic events, go to floridagators.com.
· UF emergency preparedness information is available on Twitter by following @UFPublicSafety. Smartphone users can download the free GatorSafe app as an additional safety resource.
· In addition, the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network http://fpbs.org/emergency-management/ is offering Florida Storms, a free mobile weather application that offers a simple way to stay informed of potential weather and other hazards. It is newly available through the Apple App Store.
We understand that many of you have relatives in South Florida and share your concerns as they prepare to evacuate or take other needed precautions. With Irma expected to impact Florida late this week and Gainesville as early as Saturday evening, we urge everyone to make safety their first priority and to continue to monitor the situation closely.
Thank you for being our safety partners.