Sweet Briar College is preparing for possibly severe weather brought on by Hurricane Florence. We have communicated the following to our community:
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018
Parents and students,
It seems like Hurricane Florence is taking a more southerly track and Sweet Briar will be spared the worst of the effects from the storm. That said, we do still expect several inches of rain over the course of several days, perhaps through Tuesday, coupled with high winds. Here on campus, we’re amply prepared for whatever the storm brings and we’re thinking about the members of our extended community who may be in the path of the storm.
As we communicated earlier this week, dining services will be on hand to make sure everyone stays fed. Campus Safety officers will remain on campus — as they always do — and are equipped with flashlights and will be able to provide assistance to those who need it. Physical plant is clearing drains and inspecting trees in preparation for what the wind and rain may do. Though we won’t put our staff in harm’s way during the worst of the storm, they do have the tools necessary to make necessary repairs when it is safe to do so. The AT&T cell tower on campus has 48 hours of battery backup, so we are hopeful that we’ll be able to stay connected. Student Life is gearing up for a weekend of games and other fun in Prothro to help keep folks safe and focused on things other than the weather.
To stay up-to-date on any emergency messages the College sends out about this or future events, visit our website.
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018
Students and Parents,
Hurricane Florence is coming. Here’s what you need to know.
At this time, Hurricane Florence is a category 4 storm. It looks like landfall will happen overnight Thursday into Friday, somewhere along the southern coast of North Carolina. Right now, the storm is tracking a little further south than was originally thought, but we may get 6-12″ of rain, which might cause some flooding in the area. Wind may also be gusty. Wet ground and wind gusts may cause some trees to come down. Keep an eye on your favorite weather forecast for the most up-to-date information over the next few days.
What Does This Mean for Sweet Briar?
The College is hard at work making preparations to keep all students safe no matter what the storm may do. We will have ample staff in campus safety, dining, physical plant, residence life, etc., to ensure the safety and well-being of every member of our community. These staff members will stay on campus throughout the storm.
Students who are staying on campus for the weekend should plan to stay in their residence halls. The Office of Student Life is gathering information about who plans to stay on campus as well as the travel plans for those students who are planning to leave. As such, students should reach out to their RA, if they haven’t already done so, to let them know what their travel plans are or if they plan to stay on campus.
We have food and water on hand for up to five days for every student. Prothro has an emergency generator, as does the library, though right now, the plan is to close the library for the weekend. The generators won’t provide full power, but will enable safety lighting and some power for charging devices, etc. Physical plant and campus safety employees will all have flashlights. We have a certified EMT on campus and she will remain on campus throughout the storm. All professional student life staff will be on campus throughout the weekend and will be in regular contact with all students who remain on campus. Student Life also has extra flashlights and batteries. Student Life also plans to host activities in Prothro Commons including movie marathons and board game to keep everyone entertained.
It’s possible that we may lose internet connectivity. We’ll do our best to keep our network running, but it’s possible we’ll lose our off-campus connection and if we lose power, that may affect our network as well.
Depending on what the storm does, everyone will need to be understanding. It’s possible we’ll need to move residents to one place, although that is not our plan now. We’ll open the library should that be required. Our food options may be limited and less interesting than we’re used to. We may lose power and/or internet.
We do plan to be open for classes on Monday morning.
What Should Students Do to Prepare?
- Charge all of your devices: phones, laptops, tablets, etc.
- If you have a flashlight, make sure you have batteries. Do NOT use candles for light.
- Secure your bicycle, if you have one.
- Download LiveSafe: Apple Store | Google Play. Not only will it allow you to get safety messages from the College, but it will also allow you to easily let campus safety know if you see flooding or other damage.
- I have travel plans. What should I do? It’s likely the weather will be less than ideal throughout the mid-Atlantic states and flights and trains may be canceled. That said, you should take into consideration all of the variables and make the best decision for your particular situation.
- I had planned to leave, but now would like to stay on campus. Can I? Of course. Your safety is our highest concern. If you had planned to travel, but would like to stay on campus, just make sure that your RA knows. The same is true if your flight or train is canceled. We’ll be able to provide food and water for ALL students who choose to stay on campus.
- What if I get stuck at an airport or train station? Can someone on campus come get me? No. We’ll need to be ensuring the safety of the students on campus.
- What if I have guests coming? Guests should be discouraged from visiting this weekend unless emergency conditions require them to be on campus for their personal safety. In this case, please notify your RA and contact the director of residence life for permission. We need to know who is on campus for everyone’s safety.
- What if I can’t get back to campus for class on Monday? We do plan to hold classes as scheduled on Monday. If you can’t make it back, you’ll need to work with your professors to make up any work you may have missed. Please notify the Dean’s Office or the Office of Student Life.