How FSW preps for hurricanes

Devastating superstorms in recent years have become the norm in Florida, and FSW has a plan to keep the school and students safe.

“We treat all storms the same, regardless of [the category],” said Gina Doeble, the vice president administrative services.

Even though Hurricane Dorian missed Southwest Florida last week, FSW closed its doors in precaution. Facilities cleared the campus of hazardous items as soon as local reporting of Dorian began.

When a storm is strong enough, FSW dorms are evacuated and most students make their ways back home, whether that be out of the area or not. If dorms stay open, FSW provides information on local hurricane shelters.

“We did evacuate housing for Irma,” said Doeble. “We won’t evacuate housing until we know that shelters are open for students. We give them plenty of notice [to evacuate].”

None of FSW’s campus facilities are hurricane shelter approved.

Public Safety, however, will stay on the campuses during storms, depending on the circumstances. If safety concerns are high enough, no officers will stay. Public Safety officials were on campus for both Dorian and Irma.

“Of course we watch the media as well and have contact with neighboring institutions like FGCU and the school districts,” Doeble said. “We’re all playing it by ear in making determinations as to what we’re going to do in regards to closings.”

Jose Diaz

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