Hurricane Florence update

posted Sep 11, 2018, 9:15 AM by Mark Anderson

Due to Hurricane Florence’s potential impact on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County area, Wake Forest University continues to monitor the situation and take steps to keep the campus community safe. The University’s highest priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of students, faculty, staff and visitors.


Wake Forest will remain open for regular hours and operations today, Tuesday, Sept. 11, and Wednesday, Sept. 12.


The University plans to communicate a decision regarding classes for Thursday, Sept. 13, and Friday, Sept. 14, no later than 9 p.m. tonight. In the event that classes are canceled, residence halls and dining services will remain open.


All Hurricane Florence-related updates will be posted on the Wake Alert website (wakealert.wfu.edu). Please continue to monitor the Wake Alert website, follow @WakeAlert on Twitter and Facebook (facebook.com/WakeAlert), and add the Wake Forest Weather/Emergency line (336-758-5935) to phone contacts. Be advised that there will be a test of the Wake Alert system this evening.


While the path of the storm remains uncertain, there is a possibility of 4-10 inches of rain, flooding and tropical storm force winds (over 39 mph). Wake Forest recommends that students, faculty and staff stay informed about weather forecasts for the Triad and surrounding areas. Ready.gov and FEMA offer some helpful guidance about hurricane preparedness.


As the University continues to monitor the storm, the following FAQ provides some answers for students, faculty and staff.


Q: Is Wake Forest planning to evacuate campus?

A: At this time, even if classes are canceled, residence halls and dining services will remain open. Other essential services, such as Student Health Service, will operate on a limited basis (see additional information below). Fortunately, the Reynolda Campus and Wake Downtown are not in flood-prone areas. However, Wake Forest’s emergency management team is working to make sure students on campus are as comfortable as possible, given the conditions. For example:


  • Deacon Dining has ordered additional food and water to provide for students on campus.

  • Parking and Transportation has arranged shuttle service for students who wish to pick up their own supplies (see below).

  • The Facilities and Campus Services team is working diligently with pre-storm efforts to minimize water intrusion, maintain power and prepare for strong winds. Clearing residence hall gutters, checking stormwater drains and securing outdoor furniture will continue through Wednesday.

  • Residence Life and Housing is prepared to assist students in their residence halls should issues arise.

  • Off-campus students who experience prolonged power outages are encouraged to contact the Office Residence Life and Housing for assistance. The University is making preparations to accommodate students whose off-campus housing becomes uninhabitable.


Q: Will Wake Forest offer transportation for students wanting additional supplies and provisions?

A: Parking and Transportation will operate a free shuttle for students who would like additional food and supplies from 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. today, Tuesday, Sept. 11, and tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 12. The bus will make a continuous loop to Target (University Parkway), Harris Teeter (Reynolda Road), and Lowes Foods (Reynolda Road). The on-campus pick-up/drop-off location will be in front of the Benson University Center.


Q: Do residence halls have generators?

A: No. Most residence halls have battery backup for emergency lights, fire alarm panels, and other systems relating to safety and navigation. Unauthorized generators are not permitted for safety reasons and will be removed.


The majority of the Reynolda Campus is on an underground power grid and has a far more reliable history of power delivery during most storms than other areas. Students living in North Campus Apartments and houses along Polo Road are on the City of Winston-Salem power grid and have a higher risk of an outage. These students, in particular, may want to take additional measures to stock up on food, water and other emergency preparedness supplies.


In the event of a power outage, all exterior doors on residence halls will remain locked. Staff from the Office of Residence Life and Housing will be available to assist students with gaining access to their communities.


Q: Will Student Health Service have limited hours?

A: Student Health Service will continue normal operations unless classes are canceled. If classes are canceled, SHS will operate on an urgent care model, just as it does after business hours and on weekends. All appointments will be rescheduled but limited staff will be on site to take care of urgent needs. In the event of any emergency, people are always instructed to call 911.  


Q: What if a student needs a prescription refill?

A: Now is the time to avoid last-minute refill requests as resources may be limited. If classes are canceled, the on-campus SHS pharmacy will most likely be closed. Students should contact their off-campus prescribers and have them call in the prescription to an off-campus pharmacy.  If refills are needed by an on-campus physician, SHS will work with area pharmacies to have medications delivered to campus, if possible. Regardless, SHS will have staff available to assist any student if they need help receiving any refill.


Q: How do I know if I’m signed up for Wake Alert text messages?

A: Undergraduate students are required to provide their cell phone number. Faculty, staff, graduate and professional students are encouraged to register. Follow these instructions to make sure your cell phone number is listed.


Q: Will athletic events scheduled for this week still be held?

A: Wake Forest University and the Atlantic Coast Conference office continue to monitor the progress of all weather-related issues as they pertain to athletic events this week. Please monitor all Wake Forest Athletics social media accounts for updates and future notifications.


Wake Forest Communications and External Relations


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