The following message was emailed to all Duke students on Tuesday, September 11, around 7 p.m., regarding preparations for Hurricane Florence:
By now you should all have received the various messages about class cancellations and campus closures. Let me explain the distinction. Classes will not be held from 5pm Wednesday through Saturday. But, Duke will not be on ‘Severe Weather’ status until noon on Thursday. That means that Duke offices and services should continue in full until Thursday noon, but that after that most offices will be closed (so get to the pharmacy by then if you need to). Duke will maintain some services such as dining and bus services as well as Duke Stores, but you’ll want to check www.emergency.duke.edu for the most up-to-date information about these services. Campus buses are expected to be in full operation until Thursday evening, but again, check the site to be certain. All of this means that if you have to get something done in any Duke office, do so by noon on Thursday.
Now, as to the hurricane itself, let me offer a couple of comments. If you haven’t experienced a hurricane directly, be aware that the challenges will be with significant wind and rain. The combination of rain and wind can result in toppled trees and branches, which can result in downed power lines. Thus, loss of power in the city will be of great concern and if that happens, may last for awhile. Generally, Duke does not ever lose power (have you noticed that there are no above ground power lines?) so we should be fine on campus. All this to say that, at the height of the storm, please stay indoors, stay away from windows and take care of each other. Off-campus students have been advised on how to prepare for the storm. The Brodhead Center and Bryan Center will be open so if you want to wait out the storm on campus, come on in. We’ll follow up with any of you individually who may have unique needs as a result of the storm, so be in touch with DukeReach, Duke Police or your residence hall staff if you need anything.
So, how can you pass the time from Wednesday on? Well, though nearly all the athletic events are being cancelled, the Volleyball team will be playing Elon tomorrow evening at 6:30pm. Wouldn’t it be great to support the team with a full house in Cameron Indoor Stadium? Wilson Recreation and Brodie Gym will both be open Thursday and Saturday (again, subject to safety conditions…check Emergency.Duke.edu as well as your email and social media) so that should be an option for you. Otherwise, you have a few extra days to get caught up on reading, papers and projects.
Finally, please understand that safety is our highest priority…yours as well as the people who will be around to support you. We don’t want you to take unnecessary risks during the storm and we’d prefer not to have to put any first responders at risk as well. Please do as advised and let’s all come together safely after the storm passes to support others who may not be as fortunate.
Vice President for Student Affairs