- Our beautiful island unfortunately comes with a hurricane season. AUA works hard to ensure student safety throughout the year to ensure we’re prepared for emergency situations. Over the past week we have made judicious decisions each day as we’ve received updates on Hurricane Irma, with student safety remaining our highest priority. As there have been many updates in campus emails, we thought it would be helpful for our community to have a summary of our storm preparation action steps:
- All storm-related information instructs students to stay indoors, as this is the most important safety precaution. In addition to a list of community shelters, students living in private residences have been invited to campus if their homes become unstable. We don’t anticipate this, but our doors are open for students in need of a safe place during the storm.
- Classes are cancelled beginning Tuesday and anticipate them to be cancelled through the rest of the week. We will evaluate the status of campus re-opening as needed. We postponed exams that were scheduled for this week, planning to re-schedule once a resumed class schedule has been decided.
- Each student residence has an Emergency Response Team member with first aid equipment, and instructions to ensure residents are safe. We will communicate with these team members to determine the status of students throughout the emergency.
- AUA managed housing was built to withstand severe weather. Students who live close to the beach will be moved by Wednesday, September 6 prior to the full onset of the storm.
- The food bank where non-perishable food is available for students in need has been stocked and opened for students who may need supplies.
- Students who have left the island have been told that there would be no negative consequences for doing so. We have instructed students to make their decision keeping in mind that classes will begin as soon as possible after the storm is over. When classes are ready to resume, we will inform all students immediately. Any student not on campus will need to return as soon as possible at that time.
- The Storm Preparedness Committee has been meeting daily to monitor the progress of our readiness. We met with all students on campus today to discuss the measures we were taking and answer their questions.
- The Academic team has been preparing different scenarios to respond to the possibility that campus may be closed for a couple of days to a couple of weeks, depending on the damage from the storm.
We will continue to make the best decisions possible as we move through this weather emergency. Students will be updated continuously through email and our emergency hotline when Wi-Fi is down. Our students’ welfare is our only concern in this situation, and we are confident it will be maintained throughout Hurricane Irma.