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Hurricane Awareness and Preparedness: Palm Beach State-Hurricane Information

Palm Beach State's Hurricane Preparedness Plan

Purpose and Introduction

The Palm Beach State College administration and staff recognize their responsibility for the life safety of individuals associated with the college as well as the protection of college property in the event of a major storm. This Hurricane Preparedness Plan is in place to provide direction for those involved in these efforts. The plan is not all-inclusive, however, and may be supplemented by additional actions.

 (Image by NOAA)

Authority

Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 as amended  

Federal Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-28)

State Legislation specified for post secondary educational institutions

Basic Hurricane Information

Hurricane season extends from June 1 through November 30. That is the period when climatic conditions are optimum for the formation and sustained movement of hurricane winds. The stages of hurricane announcements given by the National Hurricane Center are as follows:

·         Tropical Storm  Winds in excess of 39 mph can be expected

·         Hurricane Watch Winds of at least 74 mph may affect the area within 24-36 hours

·         Hurricane Warning Winds of at least 74 mph are expected in the area within 24 hours

Storm Preparation

At the hurricane watch level, the Supervisor of Safety and Security will be stationed in the office of Vice President of Administration and Business Services to assist with implementation of the plan, coordinating communication as well as monitoring storm progress.

To allow adequate time, all preparations should be made at the HURRICANE WATCH level. Since the college may be closed at the issuance of a Hurricane Warning, all preparations except for executing the call list need to be done at the Hurricane Watch level.

Upon leaving the building cover and unplug computer from electrical outlet only, close window treatments, remove personal items, and turn off lights. Once the order to close the college has been issued, the Facilities Department will be installing shutters, powering down A/C units, placing trash and paper bins inside, securing buildings, placing sandbags, locking elevators and doing other duties related to storm preparation. Non-Facility personnel should no longer be present on the campus during this phase of preparation.

Decision to Close

The decision to close the College will be based upon the projection of a threatening situation. Bulletins issued by the National Hurricane Center, the Palm Beach County Office of Emergency Management as well as the Palm Beach County School Board will be considered in determining the implementation of emergency procedures. The President or Vice President of Administration and Business Services may close the college in advance of a hurricane warning depending on local conditions, however, classes will be canceled once a hurricane warning has been issued by the National Hurricane Center. The college Centers for Early Learning will close upon the announcement of closure by the School Board. The general public will be notified through both the media and the College’s LED message boards. All facilities in the district will be closed upon announcement of the decision to close the college.

Notification of Closing

Closing announcement information will be announced in the following methods:

  • Web Page (www.palmbeachstate.edu)
  • All-User E-mail
  • Phone Messages
  • LED Signs
  • News Media (TV and radio)
  • Main PBSC Phone Number:  561-967-PBSC (7272) 

Reopening of the College 

College re-opening will be announced on the Palm Beach State College web page or main number, 561-967-PBSC (7272).

 

Palm Beach State College’s Emergency Communications Protocol

 

In the event of a hurricane, PBSC will communicate any change in operations through:    (Image by NOAA)

·         Palm Beach State Alert emergency text messaging system

·         Palm Beach State Web site, www.palmbeachstate.edu

·         College-wide e-mails to students, faculty and staff

·         College Information Center (561) 967-PBSC or toll-free (866) 576-PBSC 

·         Override messages placed on all PBSC phones

·         Palm Beach State social network sites, including MySpace, Facebook and Twitter

·         Press releases to local news media, including newspapers, radio, TV and their online sites

·         Campus LED signs and CCTV monitors                           

Information will be released as soon as decisions are made regarding campus closings and re-openings, with regular updates as needed

Immediate safety alerts, emergency closings, cancellations, re-openings and updates will be sent directly to you through any of the devices that you register in Palm Beach State Alert.  Keep in mind that loss of electrical power, phone service, Internet network service and/or cable service could cut off access to one or more of the above; you should be aware of all of these outlets so that you have more than one resource for staying informed.    

To register for Palm Beach State Alert emergency messaging, go to  www.palmbeachstate.edu/alert.xmlBe sure Palm Beach State has up-to-date information:  phone numbers, e-mail address, etc.

 Grace H. Truman,  Director, College Relations & Marketing