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Emergency Management

Tropical Storm Preparedness

The UNF Emergency Management Teams work closely with the National Weather Service to monitor and react appropriately in the event a tropical system approaches our area.

University Communications

In the event of a hurricane or tropical storm approaching the First Coast, University officials will communicate with students, faculty and staff through multiple outlets, including email, voice message, text, social media and the Safe Ospreys app.

Additional communication outlets include desktop/computer notifications, indoor/outdoor public address systems and electronic displays on campus, when deemed necessary.

Hurricane and Tropical Storm Terms

  • Hurricane Season: June-November
  • Tropical Storm: An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph.
  • Hurricane: An intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.

Tropical Storm Warning

Tropical force winds and heavy rain forecasted within the next 24 hours by the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Watch

A hurricane has been reported or is forecasted to form and is considered a possible danger to the area within 36 hours.

Hurricane Warning

When there is an increased possibility of the hurricane making landfall within 24 hours.


Student Preparation

  • Notify your family where you will be for the duration of the storm. Remind them there is a possibility we could lose electricity, cell phone service, and local phones in the area. Let them know about website updates at
  • Take measures to protect personal possessions that are left behind in rooms/apartments during a storm. Personal items should be moved away from windows and taken off the floor. Electronic equipment and important books and papers should be placed in plastic bags to prevent water damage.
  • Make copies of all of your important electronic files (in case your computer is damaged) and put them on your UNF OneDrive or other cloud file storage location. Shut off your computer(s) and related equipment.
  • Valuables should be placed in safekeeping. The University is not responsible for loss or damage of residents' possessions.
  • All windows must be closed tightly and locked. All window blinds should be closed.
  • All doors should be locked when you leave your room or apartment.
  • Each student should provide his/her own flashlight in case of power failure. DO NOT USE CANDLES OR OTHER FLAME-TYPE LIGHTING UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES; FIRE IS UNCONTROLLABLE DURING A HURRICANE. Use battery-powered lighting only!
  • Make sure you have enough cash to last you a few days. ATMs may be unavailable. If you do withdraw cash, take the necessary precautions to keep it safe.
  • Make sure you have an adequate supply of any prescription medications.
  • Fully charge cell phones, portable chargers, laptops, and any other battery powered items.
  • If you have a bicycle on campus, make sure it is securely locked to a bicycle rack.
  • Report all accidents, injuries, broken windows, or excessive water to Housing staff.
  • Before the storm, stock up on non-perishable food and water.
  • If you go to a shelter, we recommend you bring the following personal items:
    • Bedding (pillow/blankets)
    • Several changes of clothing
    • Medication that may be needed during your stay
    • Personal hygiene items
    • Books/Cards/Games
    • Flashlights/Batteries
    • Snacks (food options may be limited)


Shelters for UNF Residential Students

When hurricane conditions are expected in the Jacksonville area, the decision may be made to evacuate UNF residential students to the on-campus shelter. A decision regarding student evacuation to the shelter will be made as the storm progresses and communicated in a timely manner to residential students.

The official on-campus hurricane shelter for UNF residential students is Building 55 Osprey Fountains. In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to shelter in place (e.g., instructing residents to remain in their buildings during a weather situation that does not pose a particular structural threat). If the Hurricane increases in strength beyond a Category 2, a decision may be made to evacuate all students and personnel from campus.

Public Shelters

We recommend that all non-residential students seeking shelter in the city of Jacksonville follow the COJ Website and download the JaxReady App for updated shelter locations.

Faculty & Staff Preparations

In the event that the University suspends normal operations in response to the threat of a hurricane or other rain/flood event, the following activities should be implemented prior to faculty and staff being released.

  1. Make sure any mission-critical information is stored on a UNF network drive or OneDrive. These are backed up.
  2. Unplug computers, printers and other electrical appliances.
  3. Check contents of refrigerators and set to coldest setting.
  4. Empty trash receptacles of items likely to rot.
  5. Take home all personal items of value.
  6. Close and lock all windows and doors.
  7. All occupants:
    1. Relocate contents from bottom drawers of desks and file cabinets to locations safe from water damage.
    2. Move all equipment, books, papers and valuables away from windows, off the floor, and to interior areas of the building. (Be sure that equipment and valuables that are moved outside your office are tagged for easy identification and retrieval).
    3. Cover and secure or encase and seal equipment and other valuables with plastic.
    4. Clear desktops, tables and exposed horizontal surfaces of materials subject to damage.
    5. Close and latch (or secure with tape) all filing cabinets.
    6. To the extent possible, turn bookcases, shelving units, etc. around to face walls.
    7. Place telephones in desk drawers. Leave telephones plugged in (you will be able to receive emergency messages)
  8. Ground floor occupants in buildings subject to flooding:
    1. If necessary, relocate equipment and valuables to a higher floor. (Be sure that equipment and valuables that are moved outside your office are tagged for easy identification and retrieval).
    2. If relocation to a higher floor is not feasible, cover and secure or encase and seal equipment and other valuables with plastic
  9. In lab areas:
    1. In lab areas subject to flooding, store sensitive apparatus and glassware.
    2. Attend to critical utility-dependent processes and make arrangements for back-up supply.
    3. Assure all hazardous and biohazards materials and wastes are properly protected.