It’s still a little early to tell how Tropical Storm Isaac will affect us here in Tampa, but this is as good a time as any to discuss hurricane preparation.
First, when is hurricane season? The best chance for hurricane formation occurs between June and November. The height of the season is August through October, with the peak generally around the first few weeks of September.
“The Atlantic hurricane season is officially from 1 June to 30 November. There is nothing magical in these dates, and hurricanes have occurred outside of these six months, but these dates were selected to encompass over 97% of tropical activity. June 1st has been the traditional start of the Atlantic hurricane season for decades. However, the end date has been slowly shifted outward, from October 31st to November 15th until its current date of November 30th.” [source]
Second, how do I keep track of storm systems? You can keep track of storm at the National Weather Service National Hurricane Center.
The National Weather Service’s projection of the path of Tropical Storm Isaac. This image was created Wednesday morning, August 22.
As of this morning, Wednesday August 22, it’s still too early to tell how Isaac will affect us here at the University of Tampa. It’s possible the storm may dissipate before it ever reaches us. Or, it may only bring a few showers our way. We’ll learn more over the next few days. If Isaac becomes a hurricane and starts moving our way here are a few important links:
If it is evident that a hurricane is headed our way and likely to strike (which is not the case right now) consider relocating before it arrives. If a hurricane does arrive then University members will be evacuated to a Red Cross shelter. However, both the Red Cross and the University of Tampa recommend finding alternatives to staying in an evacuation shelter if at all possible.
“Make arrangements to stay with family or a friend who lives on higher ground, or find out where your nearest shelter is located. Shelters should be used as a last resort and remember, most do not accept pets.“
If there is cause for alarm UT will use multiple methods to inform students, faculty, and staff. The following is from UT’s page on tropical weather.
The Emergency Operations Team will announce closings and other weather-related communications via global e-mails, www.ut.edu, text messaging and voicemail messages.
The University offers a free emergency text messaging service to students, faculty and staff. This optional service will only be used in campus emergency situations. Students, faculty and staff can sign up for SMART-Spartan Mobile AleRT by visiting SpartanWeb. Details and frequently asked questions can be found at www.ut.edu/safety.
In case of an evacuation, the UT phone message system and Web site will be maintained at remote locations. Information can be obtained by calling UT’s toll-free number 1-888-646-2738 or by visiting http://www.ut.edu. Please remember to use these important resources for updated information.
If, in the absolute worst-case scenario, you must be evacuated, here is a checklist to make sure things move as orderly as possible.
Finally, did you know that UT is the home of a live weather station? You can find information generated by UT’s weather station here.