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University of Maryland News

President Loh's Message Regarding Hurricane Irene

August 26, 2011

To the University of Maryland Family:

As the University of Maryland anticipates the impact of Hurricane Irene over the weekend, I wanted to send this message to assure you that we are taking the prudent steps to prepare for this potential weather emergency and to remind you of the many various ways in which you can stay updated on university announcements.

Irene is expected to hit the area sometime between noon and 6 pm on Saturday, bringing sustained wind gusts up to 89 mph to the Maryland coastline.  Anticipated times for strongest storm conditions in College Park are Saturday evening from approximately 5pm to noon Sunday.    

Our talented emergency management team is well-seasoned in handling these weather emergencies, and is taking the necessary precautions to assure that the UMD community is safe. Our top priority is the safety of our students and family members arriving on campus this weekend.  If you are planning on coming to the campus this weekend, please consider the forecasted storm conditions in your area, as well as those of College Park.  

Our Departments of Public Safety, Resident Life, Facilities Management, Residential Facilities, Dining Services and Transportation Services are working closely together to ensure the safety and comfort of students arriving at the University this weekend.

Students who have already arrived on campus are instructed to seek shelter and remain indoors as the storm passes through the area.  The Public Safety alert system, UMD Alerts, will be activated if a serious life threatening situation arises as a result of the storm.

For now, all weekend programs and activities will proceed as scheduled. I also want to remind you of the many ways in which we update the University community during such weather conditions and their impact on potential university closings and student move-in.   Announcements about weekend closings and other impacts will be made to the University community in several ways:

• The University homepage will post key Hot Topic updates at www.umd.edu

• Weather Alerts will be posted at http://www.umd.edu/emergencypreparedness/weather_emer/

• Emergency text alerts Information on how to register for text alert emergency notifications on your mobile device: http://www.alert.umd.edu

• Area Media—Closing and status announcements will also be posted to the area’s major radio and television stations, as well as to the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun

• Facebook—Check periodic updates on the UMD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UnivofMaryland

• Twitter—Check out the UMD Twitter feed at: http://twitter.com/#!/UofMaryland

• Information from Resident Life about early check-in: http://www.resnet.umd.edu/movein/weatheralert/

• Information from Dining Services on accommodations for early check-in: http://dining.umd.edu/whats-new/1004

• Helpful tips from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center on Hurricane Preparedness may be found at: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/action.shtml

Finally, we should all keep in mind some basic precautionary steps that will add to your peace of mind:

• Assure that you have cash on hand in the event of power outages that may affect ATM locations.

• Make sure that your vehicles are topped off with fuel.

• If there are problems with cell phones, use your phone’s text messaging capacity.

• If you experience a campus emergency involving police, fire, rescue, dial #3333 from a cell phone or 301.405.3333 from a landline. Of course, always use 911.

As usual, we will all pull together to weather this storm as safely and as comfortably as possible.  Have a great weekend!


Wallace D. Loh