The Florida A&M University Rural Diversity Healthcare Center, located in Crestview, will reopen Wednesday as Tropical Storm Isaac makes landfall. The complex has programs in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. All other campuses will be open.
Crestview is located just north of Destin, which is expected to receive a more direct hit than the Tallahassee or Orlando campuses. Interim President Larry Robinson made the decision Monday.
As Isaac makes its way through the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Panhandle east of Destin has been taken off its previous tropical storm warning.
Isaac increased to a Category 1 hurricane as it made landfall Tuesday near New Orleans.
“We kind of dodged a bullet on this storm,” said FAMU Police Department Sergeant Sherri Luke, speaking about campus located in Tallahassee and Orlando. Luke met with State and Leon County Emergency Management teams Monday to develop a course of action should the storm shift position and threaten the Panhandle more closely.
“There is a lot of uncertainty in storms,” Luke said. “The university took a more proactive stance [by closing Crestview].”
NWS Meteorologist intern at Florida State University Katie Moore said the biggest concern for the Tallahassee area was the threat of flooding. “We’re just going to get effects from the outer bands,” said Moore who added that the large amount of rain over the summer could increase the effects of flooding.
She also said Tallahassee could be affected by gusts of wind potentially reaching 65 mph.
FAMU is operating normally and is under a level three stage of preparedness, which includes monitoring the storm for changes in forecast.
“The good thing is FAMU’s Emergency Management team is meeting throughout the day. Whenever there is an event, decisions are constantly being made, revisited and changed,” Luke said.
In the event of an emergency situation, students and staff will be contacted through email, the E2Campus alert system or be alerted by on-campus sirens. Students living in on-campus facilities will be provided with food by the university if emergency operations are enacted and are advised to stay on campus in the event of a hurricane.
Current university conditions and updates can be found by calling 1-877-326-6397 or by checking with www.famu.edu, which has set up a Tropical Storm Isaac tab which offers tips for enduring a hurricane to students who may not be familiar with the storms that are common to Florida.
An email account, firstname.lastname@example.org, has also been set up for parents to receive feedback from Emergency Management officials at FAMU.