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General Questions

  1. Does The University of Tampa have a hurricane plan?
  2. Do UT officials work with local emergency management officials?
  3. What is a reliable weather source that I can monitor?
  4. Is The University of Tampa located in a flood zone?
  5. Will residential students be required to leave campus if the university closes due to a tropical weather event?
  6. When will the University be evacuated?
  7. How far in advance of the storm will the evacuation notice be given?
  8. Where will evacuated students and staff be taken?
  9. How will students be transported to the evacuation site?
  10. What will happen to my service or emotional support animal if I have to evacuate? Can they come with me?
  11. What resources are available to non-residential or commuter students during a tropical weather event?

University Communications

  1. How can I get more information from UT during a threat of tropical weather?
  2. How will I be updated on class schedules and campus advisories?
  3. How often will we be updated about the hurricane?
  4. How will parents be notified about tropical weather events?
  5. If campus is evacuated, how will that be communicated?
  6. My student is not receiving text alerts. And, can parents sign up to receive text alerts?

Hurricane Preparedness

  1. How can I prepare for a hurricane?

Academic Absences 

  1. Will there be excused absences if students voluntarily left before classes were cancelled?
  2. Will these excused absences be counted against overall class attendance?
  3. What is the process for excused absences due to hurricane travel?

Hurricane Recovery  

  1. Where can I get more information about road/bridge closures, sorting yard debris and safely cleaning up from the hurricane?
  2. I’d like to volunteer; how can I help? 

General Questions

1. Does The University of Tampa have a hurricane plan? | Back to top.

The University has a hurricane plan -- which is part of the Emergency Operations Plan -- that sets out preparation procedures designates responsibilities to UT administrators and outlines courses of action to be followed in response to a possible hurricane landfall in Tampa. The execution and direction of the hurricane plan is the responsibility of the Emergency Operations Team consisting of key members of the University administration and staff, including the president, Student Services, Campus Safety, communications, Dining Services, counseling, health services and others.

2. Do UT officials work with local emergency management officials? | Back to top.

Yes, the Emergency Operations Team works closely with local, state and federal emergency managers. As a StormReady University, UT is in direct contact with meteorologists in the local National Weather Service office. UT is also part of a consortium of higher education officials who meet regularly to discuss emergency preparations, as well as communicate during a large-scale emergency.

3. What is a reliable weather source that I can monitor? | Back to top.

The National Hurricane Center is the best resource to find accurate and up-to-date forecasts.

4. Is The University of Tampa located in a flood zone? | Back to top.

Yes, the UT campus is located within three FEMA-designated flood zones – Zones A, B and C.

5. Will residential students be required to leave campus if the university closes due to a tropical weather event? | Back to top.

The University will decide whether or not to close residence halls prior to a tropical weather event. If the University closes due to tropical weather, residential students will be notified whether or not the residence halls have also been closed.  Depending on the severity of the weather event and even if residence halls remain open, residential students may be encouraged to find secure lodging off campus. However, unless evacuation orders have been issued, the University will make an effort to accommodate residential students if they have no alternate place to go. If campus is evacuated under order of local officials, or is deemed unsafe by University officials, then residential students will be evacuated to a Red Cross-approved shelter.

6. When will the University be evacuated? | Back to top.

Weather events are unpredictable and campus officials will make decisions in the best interest of the UT community. In general, in a tropical weather event, the University will be evacuated when local officials or University administrators deem campus to be threatened. In the case of an evacuation of FEMA Zone A only, occupants of buildings and residence halls located within Zone A (including McKay and Boathouse residence halls, Riverside Center and Macdonald-Kelce Library) will be evacuated to alternate facilities on campus. Smiley Hall may also be evacuated in a weather event due to the fact the building does not have a back-up generator. In the case of mandatory evacuations of Zone A and B, all residential students would be evacuated from campus to a Red Cross-approved shelter.

7. How far in advance of the storm will the evacuation notice be given? | Back to top.

Evacuation orders are made by local county and city officials, or UT administrators, and their timing depends on the nature of the storm.

8. Where will evacuated students and staff be taken? | Back to top.

Whenever possible, occupants of buildings and residences of Zone A, and potentially Smiley Hall, will be evacuated to facilities in Zone B. Once Zone B is evacuated, students would be evacuated to a Red Cross-approved shelter.

9. How will students be transported to the evacuation site? | Back to top.

The University will provide transportation to and from the shelter.

10. What will happen to my service or emotional support animal if I have to evacuate? Can they come with me? | Back to top.

In the event of an evacuation, only service animals will be permitted at the University-designated shelter. Owners of emotional support animals must secure other shelter options. Pet approved shelters in Hillsborough County can be found at http://petfriendlytravel.com/pet_shelters#FL.

11. What resources are available to non-residential or commuter students during a tropical weather event?Back to top.

During tropical weather, non-residential students or commuters will need to utilize city and county resources. UT cannot provide housing or any resources on campus for them, as administrators can manage only the students still remaining on campus. UT encourages all students to secure safe lodging once an announcement to close is made. For more information, please visit Hillsborough County Emergency Management.

University Communications

1. How can I get more information from UT during a threat of tropical weather? | Back to top.

UT’s tropical weather page is regularly updated during a tropical weather event. Depending on the severity and urgency, information may also be posted on the UT homepage and on social media (including Facebook and Twitter). Additionally, University students and employees can sign up for text alerts on SpartanWeb to receive emergency alerts and other safety information.

2. How will I be updated on class schedules and campus advisories? | Back to top.

UT will publish regular advisories on these communication channels:

3. How often will we be updated about the hurricane? | Back to top.

During a tropical weather threat, the EOT meets regularly to receive updates on the status of the hurricane, how it is expected to impact the University and preparations that are being made to prepare the campus and community. Our goal is to communicate regularly with the UT community with updates posted on www.ut.edu/weather, and via email, text alerts and social media.

4. How will parents be notified about tropical weather events? | Back to top.

Parents and other interested parties should regularly check www.ut.edu/weather when there is a threat of tropical weather. It will have the most up-to-date information, and will be updated regularly. Additionally, parents with email addresses on file with the UT Family Association will receive emails, as possible, summarizing campus situations.

5. If campus is evacuated, how will that be communicated? | Back to top.

Through a combination of text alert, email, social media and posting on the UT website and tropical weather page.

6. My student is not receiving text alerts. And, can parents sign up to receive text alerts? | Back to top.

All UT students, faculty and staff who input a cellphone number in SpartanWeb will receive emergency text messages from “UTAlert.” All students should log in to SpartanWeb and update their contact information. The system currently does not have the capability to send text alerts to parents.

Hurricane Preparedness 

1. How can I prepare for a hurricane? | Back to top.

More information can be found on preparing for hurricanes at the bottom of UT’s tropical weather page.

Academic Absences

1. Will there be excused absences if students voluntarily left before classes were cancelled?   Back to top.

Absences due to storms are excused. Please see the General Attendance Policy in the University Catalog. Students should contact instructors as soon as possible in these cases. Instructors may require documentation or verification to excuse unscheduled absences. Instructors will provide an alternative opportunity to replace missed work or assignments; however, arranging to replace missed work is the responsibility of the student.  

2. Will these excused absences be counted against overall class attendance? | Back to top.

No. The General Attendance Policy assures students will be provided an alternative opportunity to replace missed work or assignments; however, arranging to replace missed work is the responsibility of the student. 

3. What is the process for excused absences due to hurricane travel? | Back to top.

Absences due to a storm are excused by the General Attendance Policy, but the student should be prepared to provide documentation or verification that the absence was a consequence of a storm. Students should contact their professors to let them know when they cannot attend due to a storm, and must work with the faculty to arrange to replace work that has been missed.

Hurricane Recovery 

1. Where can I get more information about road/bridge closures, sorting yard debris and safely cleaning up from the hurricane? | Back to top. 

2. I’d like to volunteer; how can I help?   Back to top.

UT’s PEACE Volunteer Center is coordinates volunteer efforts on campus. Contact the office directly to inquire about opportunities at (813) 253-6263 or email peace@ut.edu. As soon as PEACE announces community service opportunities they will be communicated to the UT community.