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U. responds to potential hurricane threat

State, University officials advise students to consult Hurricane Plan, prepare for inclement weather

By
Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The University and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency responded Monday to the impending threat of Hurricane Jose, now expected to reach the state as a tropical storm.

The University warned of heavy rainfall and high winds in a community-wide email from Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey ’91 MA’06.

The University called for members of the community to prepare by securing all office and residence hall doors and windows, ensuring that their emergency contact information is up-to-date and reviewing the University’s Hurricane Plan.

The Hurricane Plan, a 16-page document designed to work alongside the University’s Emergency Management & Preparedness Plan as well as its Emergency Action Plan, provides planning information and procedures to enact in the event of a hurricane. It outlines steps including the assembly of the University’s Core Crisis Committee, which convened Monday to review the plan.

“We encourage all members of the Brown community to review our Hurricane Plan and to consider their own personal preparedness,” wrote Stephen Morin, director of environmental health and safety, in an email to The Herald. “We are fortunate that this storm has stayed off the coast and has diminished in strength over the past few days, but we know that there will be other storms in the future.”

The University conducted its regular test of the emergency siren at noon Tuesday.

The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency also issued a statement Monday. The agency advised locals to avoid activities on R.I. waters, particularly given that state beaches are not staffed by lifeguards after Labor Day. The press release warned of high wind, elevated surf, heavy rains and rip tides on coastal waters, which are most likely to occur along the south coast.

Downtown Providence itself is structurally prepared for Hurricane Jose. The city has not suffered from any significant flooding since 1960, when the building of the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier commenced, according to the University’s Hurricane Plan. The Hurricane Barrier obstructs high tides from Narragansett Bay and works to maintain the appropriate level of river flow. The last major hurricane that hit Providence was Hurricane Bob in 1991, which resulted in many fallen trees and an extensive loss of power.

The University will provide updates to the community as the storm progresses, Carey wrote.

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