Information for Students

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How we'll contact you

University officials closely monitor the weather for potential threats to campus. In the case of a cyclone (a tropical system), detailed tracking begins early in the development of a storm.

Jacksonville University will communicate to students through the following methods:

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Weather Safety

Heat-related illnesses

When temperatures rise in the summer, extremely hot weather can make you sick. Heat stress is heat-related illness caused by your body’s inability to cool down properly. The body normally cools itself by sweating, but, under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough for your body to compensate for the heat. It is important to stay cool and hydrated to protect yourself.

  • Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, go to a public place such as a shopping mall or a library to stay cool. Cooling stations and senior centers are also available in many large cities for people of all ages.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Drink water often. Don’t wait until you are thirsty.
  • Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities if you are outside or in a building without air-conditioning.
  • Avoid unnecessary sun exposure. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim.
  • Air conditioning is the strongest protective factor against heat-related illness. Exposure to air conditioning for even a few hours a day will reduce the risk for heat-related illness.

UV radiation

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is emitted by the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds. While it has some benefits for people, including the creation of Vitamin D, it also can cause health risks, including sunburn, eye damage, and skin cancer.

To protect yourself from UV radiation:

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours.
  • Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs.
  • Wear a wide brim hat to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher, for both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Avoid indoor tanning. Indoor tanning is particularly dangerous for younger users; people who begin indoor tanning during adolescence or early adulthood have a higher risk of developing melanoma.

Mosquitoes

Mosquito bites can be more than just annoying and itchy. They can spread viruses that make you sick or, in rare cases, cause death. Although most kinds of mosquitoes are just nuisance mosquitoes, some kinds of mosquitoes in the United States and around the world spread viruses that can cause disease.

  • Use insect repellent: When used as directed, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent with one of the following active ingredients:
    • DEET
    • Picaridin
    • IR3535
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
    • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
    • 2-undecanone
  • Cover up: Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Keep mosquitoes outside: Use air conditioning, or window and door screens. If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net.

Lightning

Florida has been called the “lightning capital” of the United States, with more than 2,000 lightning injuries over the past 50 years. Most of those injuries are preventable with some basic safety precautions.

Outdoors

  • If the weather forecast calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity.
  • Remember: When thunder roars, go indoors. Find a safe, enclosed shelter.
  • The main lightning safety guide is the 30-30 rule. After you see lightning, start counting to 30. If you hear thunder before you reach 30, go indoors. Suspend activities for at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
  • If no shelter is available, crouch low, with as little of your body touching the ground as possible. Lightning causes electric currents along the top of the ground that can be deadly over 100 feet away.
  • Stay away from concrete floors or walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
  • Although you should move into a non-concrete structure if possible, being indoors does not automatically protect you from lightning. In fact, about one-third of lightning-strike injuries occur indoors.

Indoors

  • Avoid water during a thunderstorm. Lightning can travel through plumbing.
  • Avoid electronic equipment of all types. Lightning can travel through electrical systems and radio and television reception systems.
  • Avoid corded phones. However, cordless or cellular phones are safe to use during a storm.
  • Avoid concrete floors and walls.

Flash flooding

On average, more people are killed by flooding than by any other single severe weather hazard, including tornadoes, lightning, and hurricanes. Most of these deaths occur at night, when it is harder to see standing water.

Remember…

  • DO NOT drive onto a flooded roadway.
  • DO NOT drive through flowing water.
  • If you approach a roadway that is flooded, TURN AROUND - DON’T DROWN.
  • Drive with extreme caution if roads are even just wet or it is raining. You can lose control of your vehicle if hydroplaning occurs, which is when a layer of water builds up between your tires and the road, causing there to be no direct contact between your vehicle and the road.

If a Flash Flood Warning is issued for your area…

  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately! Act quickly to save yourself, you may not have much time.
  • Get out of areas that are subject to flooding and move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood waters. Low spots such as dips, canyons, and washes are not the places you want to be during flooding!
  • DO NOT drive if not necessary. If driving is necessary, do not attempt to drive over a flooded road, as the depth of the water is not always obvious, and the roadway may no longer be intact under the water. Never drive around a barricade; they are placed there for your protection! If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately, and move to higher ground before water sweeps you and your vehicle away.
  • DO NOT try to walk, swim, or play in flood water. You may not be able to determine if there are holes or submerged debris, or how quickly the water is flowing, and you may be swept away. If water is moving swiftly, as little as 6 inches of water can knock you off of your feet! There is also a danger of hazardous materials polluting the water. Also remember that water is an electrical conductor; if there are power lines down, there is a possibility of electrocution.

Debris

The rain and wind associated with thunderstorms can produce some debris, especially in Jacksonville, where many areas of town are home to gorgeous, mature trees. Branches fall, and, if the ground is saturated, trees can uproot. Pay attention to your surroundings.

Tornadoes

Remember, the difference between a tornado watch and a warning is:

  • Authorities are watching severe weather conditions for possible funnels.
  • A tornado has been sighted and authorities are warning you to take necessary precautions.

You should be prepared to:

  • Seek shelter indoors, preferably an interior hallway or lower floor.
  • If you are on campus, avoid seeking shelter in the gymnasium.
  • Avoid windows and doors, taking shelter under heavy furniture, if available.
  • If outdoors, find shelter in a ditch or depression.
  • Report any injuries, damage, and/or flooding on campus to Campus Security at (904) 256-7585.

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University Procedures

Cancellations & Evacuations

Depending on the severity of the emergency, Jacksonville University may choose to cancel classes while maintaining essential operations on campus. Please familiarize yourself with the campus procedures that may take effect in the event of a severe weather emergency.

Classes Canceled

  • The Provost and Chief Academic Affairs Officer will determine the cancellation of classes. Please check the University web site and University email for information related to class cancellations.
  • Residential facilities will remain open.

University Closed

  • All classes will be canceled, and business operations will cease.
  • If possible, JU may keep open portions of the residential facilities and essential University operations.

Voluntary Evacuation

  • When a voluntary evacuation is issued for Duval County, a voluntary evacuation may also be issued for Jacksonville University students.
  • Students will be encouraged to evacuate campus. Students who are unable to travel home will be provided with alternative housing options through the Residential Life Office. Depending on the severity of the storm, students may be asked to relocate to Oak Hall.
  • Students will be allowed to drive home when the hurricane is far from landfall and weather conditions permit.  Students who are not traveling to their permanent residence are expected to notify their parents of their whereabouts and complete the emergency contact information form located on DolphinLink.
  • All students should take all of their notes, course syllabi, assignments, books and additional course materials.  Faculty expect you to continue studying for your courses during an evacuation.
  • University personnel such as Campus Security, maintenance workers, and their supervisors will continue to be on duty during these storms.  Campus officials are in constant contact with local, county and state emergency managers.

Mandatory Evacuation

In the rare occasion that a mandatory evacuation is issued for a hurricane:

  • Students will be allowed several hours of safe driving time in daylight hours before expected landfall.
  • Students who are not traveling to their permanent residence are expected to notify their parents and/or out-of-state relative or friend to advise them of their whereabouts and contact information. Students are required to complete the emergency contact information form located on DolphinLink. Please print this form and provide a copy to your RA before leaving.
  • The Student Life office will help coordinate temporary housing for those students who are unable to travel home.  Students should immediately contact (904) 256-7067 for assistance with accommodations.

Remember, it could take several days to provide a safe environment on campus after a hurricane or major storm.  While away from campus, all students should continually monitor the JU Homepage for information and instructions for returning after the storm.  Please do not return to campus until instructions have been issued.

University Reopening

  • Students, faculty, staff and community traffic will be allowed back on campus.
  • Some or all business operations and processes will resume.
  • Classes may or may not resume.
  • Residential facilities may or may not remain closed.
  • JU may only reopen portions of the University operations.

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Hurricane Preparation Checklist

Essentials to Stock Up On

Before the storm, you should stock up on the following supplies:

  • Plenty of bottled water
  • A flashlight (and plenty of batteries!)
  • Food that doesn't need to be refrigerated or cooked, like chips, crackers, granola bars, etc.
  • Blankets and warm clothes (no electricity = no heat)
  • Battery-powered fan (no electricity = no air conditioning, either)
  • Cash (ATMs and card readers won’t work if the power goes out)
  • Have your license/ID/school ID/passport set aside in case you have to evacuate

Preparation To-Do List

Before the storm

  • Charge your phone
  • Do your laundry (you don’t want to be stuck in dirty clothes!)
  • Shower (in case you lose hot water)
  • Shut and lock your windows
  • If you’re on the ground floor, unplug and move everything you don’t need in case of flooding
  • Lock up valuables in a drawer/storage box
  • Fill up your gas tank if you have a car on campus
  • Pack a bag with clothing, toiletries, and any other essentials you use in case you have to evacuate

During the storm

  • In case of loss of power, defrost your fridge. Put a towel underneath it in case it leaks.
  • Listen for information/announcements from Residential Life or your RA or Campus Security.
  • All residents remaining on campus during a hurricane will be moved to Oak Hall.
  • Stay indoors unless directed otherwise by a school official.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Keep a record of any damage that occurs to your room from the storm.
  • Get in contact with your family and keep them updated.
  • Most importantly, stay calm!

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