Tornadoes and hurricanes can inflict heavy casualties and damage. It is very difficult to make anything other than routine preparation for tornadoes because of their unpredictability and the lack of reliable warning information. Hurricanes, however, generally allow for sufficient lead-time to take actions that minimize losses and contribute to timely recovery.
For the purpose of clarification, the following definitions are noted:
Hurricane Season—June 1–November 30
Hurricane Watch/Alert—This is the first warning that a hurricane is a definite threat to a portion of the Florida East Coast. The watch is usually given 36 hours before the storm is expected to hit the coast. Landfall of the hurricane is uncertain and broad geographic areas are alerted. This is the time for preliminary storm preparation.
Hurricane Warning—Normally issued 24 hours before the storm is expected to strike the coast (Space Coast). More accurate landfall is predicted, with narrower geographic boundaries.
Should Florida Tech fall under a Hurricane Watch, students are requested to keep their radio or television tuned to one of the stations listed under Emergency Information Sources for up-to-date information on the hurricane. Additional information can be found under Emergency Phone Numbers and Emergency Notification System.
If the university has not evacuated the campus/closed the residential facilities, it is essential that all residents who have chosen to remain on campus stay indoors throughout the entire hurricane. Residents must not leave their living units unless directed by the Residence Life staff. Depending on the severity of the storm, campus curfews may be in effect during and after the storm.
In addition to the procedures outlined above, the residents of Southgate Apartments and Columbia and Harris Village Suites are alerted to the following procedures:
Note: Do not rely on the use of electric can openers.
Evacuation of the campus may be ordered by the Brevard County Emergency Management Division or depending on the severity of the storm, the university may evacuate the campus and close the residential facilities. The campus and/or residential facilities will remain closed until such time as all services have been restored and it has been deemed safe to reopen. There will be no refund of charges or fees for the time the university is closed due to hurricanes, tornados, other natural disasters or acts of God. In the event an evacuation of campus is ordered, the university is NOT a designated shelter and WILL NOT provide shelter to anyone.
The evacuation center for students living on campus is Meadowlane School, 2785 Wingate Blvd., West Melbourne. This center will be used until capacity is reached. At that time, a secondary facility will be opened and people will be redirected to the alternate facility. If, before the storm, students are concerned for their safety and would prefer to go to the evacuation center, they should do so, but first should notify their RA and parents/legal guardians of their intentions.
Those who own and operate motor vehicles should transport themselves to the evacuation site and offer transportation to others. The university will provide limited shuttle service to the designated shelter as long as it is determined to be safe to provide said transportation. Shuttle schedules will be posted at Panther Dining Hall, the residential facilities and Campus Security.
The university reserves the right to make emergency reassignments and/or restrict access to residence halls/apartments before, during or after any storm.
Before the storm, develop a plan for you and your family at home, work, school and when outdoors. Keep a map of approaching storm movements by listening to weather bulletins. Have a NOAA weather radio to receive warnings. If planning to be outdoors, listen to latest forecasts and plan accordingly.
Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that advance warning is not possible. Remain alert for signs of an approaching tornado. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most deaths and injuries. If you see a dark, often greenish sky, a wall cloud, large hail or hear a loud roar similar to a freight train, take shelter immediately.
In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement, interior room or hallway on the lowest floor, and get under a sturdy piece of furniture. Stay away from windows. Get out of automobiles. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead, leave it immediately. If caught outside or in a vehicle, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression.