Florida’s hurricane season starts June 1, and now is the time to familiarize yourself with UCF’s hurricane policies and develop a personal safety plan.

While it is difficult to think about the impact of a hurricane in the time of COVID-19, this is a possibility we all must be prepared for. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, reports that this hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30, is expected to have above-normal activity.

University and Personal Planning 

At UCF, teams plan and train for hurricane season year-round. Those teams are re-evaluating existing plans to account for changes necessitated by COVID-19, such as the need for continued physical distancing.

Last year, UCF renewed its designation as a StormReady university through the National Weather Service. The recognition will remain in effect until May 28, 2022.

Portrait of Joe Thalheimer in front of Pegasus symbol on building
Joe Thalheimer ’08

In addition to the work being done at the central level, led by the Department of Emergency Management, we encourage all departments to evaluate their own hurricane procedures and staffing plans at this time, in advance of an imminent storm.

When tropical weather systems are threatening, Emergency Management is in communication with our local National Weather Service office in Melbourne, NOAA and the National Hurricane Center. If a serious storm or hurricane threatens our region, Governor DeSantis and UCF President Alexander N. Cartwright have the authority to cancel classes or close campuses. UCF often does so in consultation with other area colleges, school districts and government officials.

We encourage students and UCF employees to put together their own hurricane safety kits and to create a plan with their families and loved ones should a storm impact Central Florida.

Prepping a Hurricane Kit

Knights should assemble a hurricane kit, which should provide enough essentials to survive at least three days. Kits should include:

  • Water
  • Nonperishable food
  • Weather radio
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Batteries
  • Can opener
  • Cash
  • Cell phone charge
  • Identification cards
  • Any necessary prescription medications

This year’s Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday extends through Thursday, June 4. During this time, qualifying items related to disaster preparedness will be exempt from sales tax.

How to Stay Informed

The UCF Alert text and email message system will be used to keep the university community notified of severe weather threats. All students and employees automatically are signed up to receive these messages, and settings can be updated via myUCF.

In addition to UCF Alert messages, details about any class cancelations, impact to services or campus closures will be shared on the UCF homepage, and @UCF and @UCFPolice on social media. Faculty members also are encouraged to post any changes to class assignments due to campus closures on Webcourses.

UCF has been impacted by hurricanes before, and we have been able to weather those storms while maintaining our strong commitment to academic excellence and student success.

While we hope for a hurricane-free season, it is always best to prepare and educate yourself in advance of a storm, especially in time such as now that requires extra considerations and flexibility.

Let’s each do our part by staying aware and prepared, and together, we’ll make UCF a safer place for all of us.