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Severe Weather at UCF

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs June 1 through November 30, and Florida’s unique shape and location may put Central Florida in the path of a hurricane.

UCF’s Emergency Management team works to prevent, prepare for, manage, and recover from a variety of threats to UCF, including severe weather. They plan and train for hurricane season year-round and regularly communicate with local, state, and national partners so that the latest information can be shared with the UCF community.

As they make their way ashore, hurricanes can cause a variety of weather hazards — like storm surge, inland flooding, and even tornadoes — which is why we encourage all Knights to have their own personal plan before an imminent storm.

If a serious storm or hurricane threatens our region, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and UCF President Alexander N. Cartwright have the authority to cancel classes or close campuses. Time-sensitive and emergency notifications are shared through UCF Alert.

aerial view of hurricane

UCF is certified by the National Weather Service as a StormReady university.

example of UCF Alert text message

UCF Alert

All students and faculty and staff members are automatically enrolled in the UCF Alert mass notification system, but now is a good time to make sure contact information is current.

To do this, log on to UCF Alert using your NID and password. Under the “My Account” tab, verify the information including your email address and phone number. Your UCF email address is listed by default.

UCF students and employees also may add secondary email accounts, such as for a parent or partner.

Before the Storm

We encourage students and employees to put together their own hurricane safety kits and to create a plan with their loved ones should a storm impact Central Florida. Kits should provide enough essentials to survive at least three days, and include water, non-perishable food, prescription medications, and important documents, among other necessities.

Student Procedures

Be sure to notify your family where you are staying and that you are safe. Remind them that we could lose cell phone service and access to local phones in the Central Florida area. You should take measures to protect personal possessions that are left behind. The university is not responsible for loss or damage of UCF Housing residents’ possessions. Below is a reference list of items that should be done prior to leaving for a shelter or evacuating:

  • Move personal items away from windows and off the floor.
  • Cover electronic equipment, books and important papers with plastic to prevent water damage.
  • Shut off all computers and save any important items.
  • Lock all doors when occupants are not in the room or apartment. Also, windows must be closed tightly, and any window blinds should be closed.
  • Any resident who owns a car should take measures to protect it. If you have a valid UCF parking permit, we recommend parking your vehicle in a parking garage to allow for adequate protection. Fill up your gas tank prior to the storm, as gas supplies post-storm may become scarce.

If you are moving to a shelter or ride-out location, you should be prepared to to be there for several days while the storm passes. Bring essential personal belongings and a book, game or other activity to keep yourself busy.

Employee Procedures

Faculty and staff should ensure their work space is protected and secure. It is highly recommended to bring personal belongings home with you in case your building or office sustains damage. Before the campus closes, employees should:

  • Turn off computers, printers and other technology.
  • Turn off and unplug any small appliances such as microwaves, toasters, coffee makers, etc.
  • Take home all food items and clean kitchen (if applicable)
  • Close window shades and turn off lights

If your office is student-serving, be sure to have signage indicating the space is closed and set phones as out-of-office. Ensure any lobby areas and common spaces in the building are also protected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Stay up-to-date with the most frequently asked questions about hurricanes and severe weather by UCF students, faculty, parents and more.

Campus Operations

All students and faculty and staff members are automatically enrolled in the UCF Alert mass notification system, but now is a good time to make sure contact information is current.

To do this, log on to using your NID and password. Under the “My Account” tab, verify the information including your email address and phone number. Your UCF email address is listed by default.

To add an additional email address, such as a parent, spouse or other emergency contact, click the “add” button.

Although closing campus disrupts classes, research and normal university operations, safety is our absolute priority, and in consultation with local and state leaders, the university may decide to close its campuses.

Timing for campus closures is designed to give our community time to prepare before a storm’s forecasted impact and to evacuate if they choose.

Hurricanes are large storms that produce fast winds and heavy rain. There are five categories of hurricanes based on wind speed.

Hurricanes can produce heavy flooding and lead to power outages and other hazardous damage. The dangerous wind speeds also make it unsafe for first responders to be on the roads during the height of the storm.

That’s why it’s critical that you have a plan for a safe location to ride-out the storm that includes stocking up on any supplies necessary to sustain you for 72 hours, should the storm’s impact prevent regular businesses and services from immediate reopening once the storm passes.

UCF does not serve as a public shelter during hurricanes.

UCF encourages you to remember that Knights Pantry is available to take donations of any extra, unneeded hurricane supplies. Knights Pantry relies on the support of the UCF community to provide food, toiletries, and clothing to students in need. The Pantry is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Donations can be made around the clock at any of the donation bins spread across campus.

Learn more about Knights Pantry, as well as a list of items in high demand.

If it is an emergency, please call 911. For all other requests, please submit a Work Request Form at

Additional Resources and News

National Experts on Hurricanes

UCF has subject-matter experts on a variety of hurricane-related topics, including:

  • Chris Emrich, a public administration professor, founding member of the National Center for Integrated Coastal Research at the University of Central Florida (UCF Coastal), and former FEMA employee, has done extensive research on disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
  • Kelly Kibler, an expert on water-resource engineering and aquatic ecology, can speak on the following positive benefits that tropical disturbances have made on the Sunshine State.
  • Claire Connolly Knox, Ph.D., an associate professor in the School of Public Administration and serves as the emergency management and homeland security program director, has focused her research on emergency management, coastal hazards and coastal resiliency. She also helps debunks myths about hurricanes.
  • Axel Stock, a marketing professor, has expertise in product scarcity. He can speak on the following topics related to the shortage of products.
  • Joe Thalheimer ’08, UCF’s Director of Emergency Management, leads a team of employees during emergency events such as hurricanes and the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Thomas Wahl, a civil engineering professor, researches sea-level rise and coastal flooding as well as sustainable adaption measures that can make coastal cities more resilient to flooding.


Police (Non–emergency)
Victim Services
407-823-1200 (24/7 crisis line)
407-823-6868 (24/7 text line)
Housing and Residence Life
Main Office: 407-823-4663
Maintenance: 407-823-5589
Environmental Health & Safety
Health Services
855-870-3647 (24-Hour Nurse Line)
407-823-2701 (Information)
Employee Assistance Program
Computer Services & Telecommunications
407-823-2908 or 407-823-0019
Counseling and Psychological Services
407-823-2811 (24-hour crisis line)
Parking Services
Work Center Control