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Update: Aug. 28, 8 a.m.
The University’s Emergency Operations Team continues to monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Erika. Erika is heading west/northwest and is poorly organized, according today’s 8 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center. On the forecast track, the center of Erika will move over the Dominican Republic today, move near the Turks and Caicos Islands tonight, and move near the central and northwestern Bahamas Saturday and Saturday night.

Currently there are no plans for operational changes. Please be mindful, however, that lightning is a normal Florida summer time occurrence. If you hear the Thor Guard siren (UT’s lightening detection system), please seek appropriate shelter.

Further updates will be provided as necessary. Please check the UT tropical weather page frequently:

Update: Aug. 27, 9 a.m.
UT’s Emergency Operations Team is currently monitoring Tropical Storm Erika. All university operations are currently functioning as normal. Please check this site for further updates.

Monitoring Storms

When tropical storms develop, the University community is advised to stay informed by following weather reports and projections. The Emergency Operations Team will closely monitor National Hurricane Center projections and news media reports. The following websites offer timely information about storms and their projected paths (cone of uncertainty/probability):


The Emergency Operations Team will announce closings and other weather-related communications via global e-mails,, text messaging, and voicemail messages.

The University offers a free emergency text messaging service to students, faculty and staff. This service will only be used in campus emergency situations. Students, faculty and staff must enter their cell phone number in SpartanWeb, Personal Info link, Biographical Info tab for automatic enrollment in the SMART-Spartan Mobile AleRT system. Details and frequently asked questions can be found at

The UT Web site ( is hosted at a remote location and will remain available in the event of a UT Campus emergency. Information can be obtained by visiting or by calling UT’s toll-free number 1-888-646-2738. Please remember to use these important resources for updated information.

Emergency Operations Plan

The University’s Emergency Operations Team has developed an Emergency Operations Plan that includes contingency planning for weather-related emergencies. View a summary of the Emergency Operations Plan.

Emergency Shelter Site

For those students unable to find shelter with friends/relatives or at other safe locations, the University has a designated American Red Cross approved evacuation site in the northeast section of Tampa – the Lawton Chiles Elementary School building.

Should the UT campus require evacuation, students will be provided with maps illustrating driving routes from campus to Lawton Chiles Elementary School. Additionally, students will receive comprehensive instructions, checklists and other evacuation information. UT’s Residence Life staff members, trained by the American Red Cross, will assist with shelter operations/management and remain with students.