breaking news

In an Eckerd College Emergency Notification sent at 2:45 p.m. on Sunday, students were alerted to prepare to evacuate from campus by 5 p.m on Monday in response to incoming Tropical Storm Ian. 

Residence halls will be closed by 3 p.m. Monday and no students will be allowed on campus after that time. Students waiting for a ride to the airport can wait at the mailboxes, Fox Hall or the Pub. 

The college requires that students fill out the appropriate Evacuation Location Form — student or employee — so that they can monitor and ensure everyone’s evacuation from campus. 

As you prepare for evacuation in the next 24 hours, here are important instructions and information to consider. 

 

Plan: 

  • Determine a place to evacuate to: Talk with family and friends  to either find a flight, place to stay or evacuation shelter. Evacuation shelters, due to level of comfort and privacy, should be the last option, but a list of updated openings can be found here. If your plan is still unsure, reach out to your RA or call the Office of the Dean of Students (727-864-8421) or email tropicalassistance@eckerd.edu

  • Prepare: Classes and assignments will carry on. Pack books, course materials, notes and electronic devices. Ensure that electronic devices are properly charged. 

  • Pack at least a week’s worth of supplies and clothing — hygiene supplies, socks, underwear, shoes, shirts, jackets. 

  • Make sure you pack any medications, as well.

Communicate and Check in:

  • Communicate: With friends, family and Eckerd staff about your plan, updates and needs.

  • Check in: With friends, peers and classmates to make sure they have a plan. No one can be left behind. 

  • Keep updated through Eckerd’s Emergency Notification System via text and email, http://www.eckerd.edu/tropical.

  • If you live off campus or are planning to stay with someone off campus in the area, check Know your zone to determine if you are in a designated evacuation zone.

Leaving campus:

  • Prepare your room: Empty fridges and place rolled up towels at the bottom of the door in case defrosting fridges leak; Take important belongings, such as documents of Identification and other records, valued possessions and more; Unplug electronics and power chords and make sure to keep electronics off the floor in case of eventual flooding; close and/or lock windows and lower blinds; remove any trash from your room and lock your door when you leave.

    • Put valuable items up high and/or on your bed. Flooding is likely and can damage belongings left on the floor.

  • Pets: Prepare a safe location or plan with your pet in mind. Take your pet(s) with you. Pack with them in mind – bring food and water, identification records and important documents, a leash, a portable kennel/carrier, medicine, toys and/or blankets and plastic waste bags. If you CANNOT bring your animal, ask friends for help to watch them or find Pinellas County pet shelters here.

  • Vehicles: If you are leaving your car, move it to the North Parking Lot near McArthur Gymnasium. DO NOT park under Omega – flood waters will rise above the sea wall and cause vehicles to slide and collide. Make sure your gas tank is filled – as of today, 7-Eleven is out of fuel and Exxon only carries regular gas. 

Act promptly, as the longer you wait, the more hectic and busy things will get, especially the highways. Be mindful that everyone else will be evacuating and preparing as well. Evacuation time is currently uncertain, so prepare accordingly. 

Keep your composure, these times can and are stressful. This is a part of the hazards of living in Florida. It is absolutely key in moments of potential disaster that we stay calm, that we communicate and that we watch out for one another and make sure everyone stays safe. Keep up with Eckerd’s Emergency Notification system and local media such as https://www.wfla.com/ and https://www.tampabay.com/.

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