Kevin Orsak, Director
Ana M. Bastias, Program Assistant
For all EMERGENCY CALLS dial 9-1-1
University Status Hotline
This program is governed by
University Policy 1.14 (Emergency Management)
Essential Personnel Program Policy.
In the event of severe weather conditions or emergency situations, the University may suspend normal operations and/or cancel classes. If this occurs, all units and employees deemed essential must remain at or report to their campuses as soon as conditions reasonably permit. During an emergency, Essential Units and Personnel provide services that relate directly to the health, safety, and welfare of the University, ensure continuity of critical/essential operations and functions, and maintain and protect University assets.
The designation of essential depends on an employee’s duties as well as the circumstances for the closing.
Example 1: Buildings and Grounds employee. This employee will be essential for securing loose items on campus grounds, trimming trees and collecting and removing debris with regards to tropical cyclone preparation, response and recovery.
Example 2: An employee with a deadline responsibility. This employee may have the responsibility to perform a certain task on a certain day, such as payroll/timekeeping input. On the day this task must be performed, the employee may be essential. However, on any other day, the employee may not be essential.
Example 3: University Police. This employee may be essential in all cases to ensure safety and protect life.
Additions and EP Category Changes must be approved by the appropriate Dean or Director and the Provost's Office or appropriate Vice President. Deletions must be approved by the Dean or Director. Personal information (home address, phone and e-mail) is optional but would be useful in contacting individuals. Questions regarding the Essential Personnel program should be directed to the appropriate Dean or Director or to the Department of Emergency Management.
Information & Resources
Florida Atlantic University is a StormReady® University. All FAU campuses are recognized as StormReady®. Approximately 90% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $14 billion in damage. StormReady® began in 1999 to help communities validate their communication capabilities and safety skills needed to respond to severe weather. StormReady® communities are better prepared through improved planning, education, and awareness programs. While no community is storm proof, being StormReady® does help save lives.
1. Communications & Coordination Center
FAU has a "24-hour warning point" to receive National Weather Service information and provide local reports and advice. This operation is the University Police dispatch center. Our 24-hour warning point:
• Operates 24/7/365
• Receives notification from the local municipalities and counties when severe weather alerts are announced
• Activates modules within the FAU Alert System
FAU also has an Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Members of the EOC include senior administration, key decision makers, and the emergency management staff. The University President or designee can activate the EOC based on established procedures.
2. National Weather Service Warning Reception
The University Police dispatch center and EOC receive National Weather Service warnings from multiple sources that include:
• NOAA Weather Radio
• Private sector web-based providers and direct internet access to National Weather Service information and warnings
• Statewide and local municipality, county, state telecommunications
• Local radio and television broadcasts
3. Hydrometeorological Monitoring
In addition to the above sources of weather information; FAU utilizes the internet and mobile device access as a means of gathering ancillary weather information including high definition and Doppler radar.
4. Warning Dissemination
FAU Alert modules may be utilized as a means of ensuring timely warnings to the University community.
5. University Community Preparedness
FAU recognizes the value of educating students, faculty, and staff about severe weather and how to respond properly to weather threats. Members of our University community are more likely to seek additional methods for receiving weather warnings, recognize potentially threatening weather situations, and act appropriately when severe weather strikes when they have participated in awareness programs. To that end, FAU:
• Conducts preparedness presentations and talks
• Promotes and encourages attending a National Weather Service SkyWarn weather spotter training when offered
Senior administration and key leadership at FAU support the requirements of the StormReady® program. Written plans and procedures have been formally developed and are maintained to provide:
• Emergency Response and Continuity of Operations
• Storm spotter activation criteria, reporting procedures, roster, and training record
• Standard operating procedures for activation of the FAU Alert System
• Exercises and training
Skywarn® is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service’s (NWS) severe weather spotting program with nearly 290,000 trained volunteers nationwide.
The NWS’s mission is to protect lives and property. When weather conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms or tornadoes are expected to develop, a severe thunderstorm or tornado WATCH is issued. A Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado WARNING is issued when severe weather has been reported by a Skywarn spotter or indicated by Doppler radar.
Skywarn volunteers become the NWS’s and local Emergency Management’s eyes and ears, helping to provide better weather watch and warning services.
Storm Spotter Program
The FAU Storm Spotter is a university-wide network of volunteers trained by the NWS to report significant weather. Everyone is encouraged to participate. If you would like to join our storm spotter team, please send a request via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NWS and/or the local emergency management authorities may activate the Storm Spotter net whenever there is a threat of severe weather or the NWS issues a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch. In this case information may be relayed through amateur radio repeaters.
A Guide to Reporting Severe Weather:
WHAT to Report:
|Tornado||Hail 1/2 inch diameter or larger|
|Funnel Cloud||Wind speed greater than 40 mph|
|Rotating Wall Cloud||Cloud features suggesting storm organization|
|Flash Flood||Other locally-defined critera|
Do Not Report
|Hail 3/4 inch diameter or larger||Lightening|
|Wind speed greater than 58 mph||Small hail (less than dime size)|
|Persistent non-rotating wall cloud||Wind speed less than 40 mph|
|Rainfall 1" or more per hour||Non-flooding rain fall|
|Damage not weather related|
WIND SPEED ESTIMATES
|25-30||Large branches in motion; whistling in utility wires; empty trash cans blown several yards; hats blow off|
|31-40||Whole trees in motion; leaves and twigs blown off; difficult to handle high profile vehicles; small umbrellas damaged|
|41-57||Large palm fronds down; weak branches (e.g. umbrella trees) broken; ripe fruit blown off tree; patio furniture and potted plants overturned; difficult driving all vehicles; umbrellas destroyed|
|58-73||Large tree limbs broken; shallow rooted trees pushed over; un-ripened fruit blown off trees; awnings/antennae twisted; porch screening ripped loose; mobile homes damaged; signs bent and some traffic signals downed; some truck trailers toppled; difficulty walking|
|74-110 (Hurricane strength)||Numerous trees uprooted; highway signs blown down or twisted; screened patios heavily damaged; windows broken; some shingles blown off frame houses; mobile homes severely damaged; utility wires down; cars overturned; unable to stand without holding on|
How to Report:• Telephone severe weather observations immediately to the University Police at (561) 297-3500. (When in doubt, make your report anyway).
• Identify yourself as a trained Storm Spotter and provide your SkyWarn® certification number.
• Provide your name and location.
• Give the details. Always use the "Four Ws" when reporting.
1. What you saw…
• Report any strong winds (50 mph or greater), or any wind that produces damage.
• Report any hail. Refer to hail size in comparison to coin (dime, nickel, penny, quarter). DO NOT mention "marble" size hail.
• Report funnel clouds, wall clouds, tornadoes or water spouts. Remember, rotation and persistence are the keys!
• Report damage (even well after the event).
• Report flooding.
2. Where you saw it…
• The direction and distance from a known location or intersection.
3. When you saw it…
• Make sure you note the time of the observation.
4. What it is doing...
• Describe the storm’s direction and speed of travel, size, intensity and destructiveness.