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Hurricane Dorian Updates

Check back here for all storm updates.

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Update: September 3, 2:00 p.m.

We are continuing to pray for the Bahamas and all of those who have been impacted by Hurricane Dorian or are in the storm’s projected path. 

Based on the current path and timeline for Hurricane Dorian, we anticipate the all-clear to be given for the Southeastern University campus by 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 4. You can expect to receive the all-clear message via the SEU Alerts system. You can sign up for alerts at www.SEU.edu/safety.

Please be advised of the following.

Staff: SEU offices will reopen at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 4, for normal business operations. 

All Traditional Students: Classes will resume on Friday, September 6. Students should email their professor directly if an exception needs to be made due to the weather impacting their return to campus.

Students Who Live on Campus: Students who live on campus will be permitted to return to their dorms on Thursday, September 5, in order to be prepared for classes on Friday. 

Students Traveling Back to Campus: Students are encouraged to exercise caution and pay particular attention to the path of the storm as they make their travel plans back to campus this week. A more westerly route may be advised. SEU has encouraged faculty to be flexible with students who heeded early warnings and chose to evacuate or who may be experiencing difficulty in returning to campus due to the weather impacting their travel plans. Students should not be impacted academically for putting their personal safety first.

Food Service Hours — Wednesday, Sept. 4

Food service will be available limited hours on Wednesday. Normal operating hours will be in effect for all food service beginning on Thursday.

Tuscana Ristorante 
Breakfast: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Dinner: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Mi Casa/Chick-fil-A — 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Portico — 8:00 a.m. –4:30 p.m.

Please continue to monitor your email, the SEU website and SEU social media for further updates. If there are any significant changes to the storm’s path, we will make the necessary adjustments to the schedule. 

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Update: September 2, 12:00 p.m.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the Bahamas and all of those who have been impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Our Southeastern Emergency Response Team (SERT) is continuing to monitor the storm to ensure the safety of the students and staff on campus. 

The most recent forecasts are still calling for a northerly turn of the storm. Polk County continues to be under a tropical storm watch. We are not expected to feel the impacts of the storm until Tuesday. 

As a reminder, the campus is currently closed except for those students who are sheltering on campus. Only essential employees and management are to be on campus at this time. Classes remain cancelled through Thursday, September 5.

Once the “ALL CLEAR” has been given, students, staff and faculty may return to campus. 

Please continue to monitor your email, the SEU website and SEU social media for further updates. Stay safe!

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Update: September 1, 1:30 p.m.

As of 11:00 a.m., a tropical storm watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for all of Polk County, Florida, including the Southeastern University campus. A tropical storm watch means tropical storm-force winds are possible somewhere within this area within the next 48 hours. 

SEU will continue to monitor the hurricane and share more information about campus closures and openings as information is available. Regular updates will be shared on SEU’s website and through the university’s official social media accounts. Critical information will also be sent through the SEU Alerts system as the situation develops.

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Update: August 31, 12:30 p.m.

In response to updated forecasts regarding the predicted path and arrival time of severe weather associated with Hurricane Dorian, the Southeastern Emergency Response Team (SERT) is continuing to meet and monitor the storm.

As of the 11 a.m. forecast on Saturday, the storm is expected to make a northerly turn. All preparations have been made to prepare the campus and ensure the safety of the students who are remaining on campus throughout the storm. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office will be present on campus 24 hours a day as of 6 p.m. today until the storm has passed and the “all clear” has been given. 

A decision on the timing to re-open the campus to students, faculty and staff will be made after the storm has passed and a thorough inspection of the campus has been conducted. At that point an “all clear” will be given. 

We would like to thank everyone for their continued assistance and efforts in keeping our SEU community safe. Please continue to monitor your email, the SEU website and SEU social media for further updates. Stay safe!

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Update: August 30, 2:30 p.m.

The Southeastern Emergency Response Team (SERT) continues to monitor the status of Hurricane Dorian. We have fully enacted our Emergency Response Plan and have anticipated and prepared for the potential effects of a hurricane. 

Classes and student events will be canceled as of Friday, August 30, at 6:00 p.m. We strongly urge that students who have made plans to evacuate from campus move to safe off-campus locations by noon, Saturday, August 31. Remaining students will attend a mandatory meeting on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and receive further instructions at that time. 

To ensure everyone’s safety, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office will have a command center on campus throughout the duration of the storm. 

Extreme Weather Watches/Warnings

A hurricane watch is currently in effect for the northwestern Bahamas, but there are no active watches or warnings issued for Southeastern University at this time. Southeastern University will alert the SEU community when a tropical storm and/or a hurricane warning is issued for our area via the SEU Alerts system. Instructions on how to sign up for SEU Alerts can be found here.

We will continue to provide updates to keep you informed once the storm has passed. Please continue to monitor your email, the main SEU.edu website, and SEU social media feeds for the most recent updates.

AlertPolk Notification System

SEU community members can also sign up for AlertPolk, a notification system that can provide you with critical information related to incidents specific to Polk County, such as severe weather, launch anomalies, boil water notices, law enforcement alerts, protective actions, etc. You can sign up for the AlertPolk notification system here.

FAQs about SERT
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FAQs on Campus Procedures

Updated August 29, 6:30 p.m.

Campus Closures

When will the campus be closed?
All classes and student events will be canceled as of Friday, August 30, at 6:00 p.m. Classes will be canceled through Thursday, September 5, and will resume on Friday, September 6.

Will university offices be open for staff and faculty?
University offices will be closed on Monday and Tuesday and are expected to reopen on Wednesday, September 4, once the “all clear” has been given. Essential employees are to report to work as scheduled on Tuesday, September 5. All employees should check with their supervisors to determine if they are needed on campus.

Academics

Can students miss classes on Friday, August 30, due to Hurricane Dorian?
Students should communicate with their professors if they will need to miss class on Friday due to their travel plans with the storm or use one of their unexcused absences. 

Will academic assignment due dates be enforced?
Grace will be given to students for academic assignments due during or immediately after Hurricane Dorian. Professors will connect with their students for further information. Faculty will be connecting with students, especially for those classes that have not met yet – for example: those classes that just meet on Tuesday.

What about online classes?
Questions about online classes should be directed to the professor.

Will the days off affect any of our upcoming breaks?
No, the Fall Academic calendar will resume as planned. Faculty may post written, audio or video lectures, readings, and tasks on MyFire for students to make up for the week of classes missed.

Athletic Events

What is happening with scheduled Athletic events?
Saturday’s men’s soccer game that was scheduled to take place against Montreat has been moved to Monday, September 2nd at Montreat at 2 p.m. Monday’s originally scheduled game between SEU and the University of the Virgin Islands has been canceled. The women’s soccer game scheduled for Monday against the University of Northwestern Ohio has been canceled. Tuesday’s volleyball match against Johnson University-Florida has been canceled. The volleyball game scheduled for Saturday, September 7, has been moved to October 9 at 7 p.m. The football game scheduled for Saturday, September 7, against Campbellsville has been postponed and will be played September 28.

Remaining on Campus

Are students able to stay on campus during the storm?
Students are strongly encouraged to evacuate the campus; however, resident halls will remain open to students who do not have a safe place to ride out the storm. Students who remain on campus will be required to attend a mandatory meeting in Bush Chapel on Saturday, August 31, at 1 p.m.

How can students prepare if they plan to stay on campus?
Students are required to attend a mandatory meeting in Bush Chapel on Saturday, August 31, at 1 p.m. More detailed information on sheltering in place and the campus ride-out plan will be shared in that meeting. 

Will there be a curfew in place for students on campus?
A curfew will be in place for those students who choose to remain on campus beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Preparing Dorms for the Storm

How can students prepare their dorm rooms for the storm?

  • Move furniture away from windows. 
  • Put all loose objects in drawers or closets.
  • Unplug everything and put electrical equipment in closet, if possible.
  • Close all closets, doors and drawers. Close windows tightly; open blinds completely. 
  • If leaving campus, students need to take all valuable items such as laptops with them. *The university is not responsible for loss of, or damages to, personal property.


Food Service

Will food service remain open during the storm?
Campus food services in Tuscana will maintain normal operations through Sunday, and food will be available for those students who are sheltering in place on campus and at the ride-out location. 

What are the hours for Mi Casa and the Food Court?
The Food Court will close the evening of Friday, August 30, and reopen Friday, September 6. Mi Casa will remain open through Saturday, August 31, and then reopen Wednesday, September 4, for limited hours and returning to normal hours on Thursday, September 5.

Library

When will the library be open?
The library will close Friday at 6:00 p.m. and remain closed through Tuesday. 

Parents

Who can I contact if I am unable to reach my child during the storm?
Calls can be directed to the main campus switchboard, 863-667-5000 . 

Can parents sign up for text alerts?
Parents can sign up for the text alerts here.

After the Storm

When will campus reopen?
Once an all-clear is given on the university’s campus, regular operations will commence. Classes are expected to resume on Friday, September 6. 

What must happen before campus reopens?
A thorough assessment of campus will be completed before the campus is able to reopen to students, staff and faculty. 

What should I do if there is damage to personal property left on campus during the hurricane? 
Please report any damages to your Resident Director.

What if my window was broken during the hurricane or if I have water damage in my room?
Damage to your room should be reported to your Resident Director. 

What if there is damage to my car when left at Southeastern?
Storm-related damage to vehicles should be reported to your insurance company. If you suspect the damage is related to vandalism, report the incident to Security.

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Update: August 29, 1:30 p.m.

Southeastern is continuing to monitor forecasts regarding the trajectory and severity of Hurricane Dorian and understand that it has the potential to have a serious impact on our community. Florida is projected to feel the effects of the hurricane on Saturday evening through Tuesday morning. Southeastern has made all necessary preparations in the event that severe weather is experienced. 

Closures
Based on the latest forecasts and in an effort to provide our students, faculty, and staff more time to make preparations and/or evacuate, the decision has been made to suspend all classes and student events as of Friday, August 30, at 6:00 p.m. Classes will be canceled through Thursday, September 5, and will resume on Friday, September 6.

Additionally, university offices will be closed on Tuesday, September 3. Essential employees are to report to work as scheduled on Tuesday. All employees should check with their supervisors to determine if they are needed on campus. 

Residential Student Options
Residential students are strongly encouraged to evacuate the campus and travel to an area outside of the projected path of the storm. Students are advised to depart from campus no later than noon on Saturday, August 31. 

Students who do not have a safe place to ride out the storm may remain on campus and will be required to attend a mandatory meeting in Bush Chapel on Saturday, August 31, at 1:00 p.m. A curfew will be in place for those students who choose to remain on campus beginning at 8:00 p.m. Saturday night. They will be prohibited from leaving campus until the “all clear” is given following the entirety of the storm (which could be as late as Wednesday). More detailed information on sheltering in place and the campus ride-out plan will be shared in that meeting. 

All student residents are required to complete a Hurricane Information Form detailing their personal hurricane plan. Resident Directors will send the link to this form by 3:00 p.m. today, and the form must be completed by 3:00 p.m. on Friday.  

Campus food services will still maintain normal operations through Saturday, and food will be available for those students who are sheltering in place on campus and at that ride-out location.

Online Student Information
Online classes will continue with the following parameters:

  • Students affected by the storm should let their professors know as soon as possible. Make follow-up arrangements if access to internet/power is not available.
  • If your professor is unavailable for class, he/she will communicate with you at some point either before or after the event to talk about updates for your courses.

Staying informed

Please continue to check your emails, the Southeastern website and social media for further updates. We will continue to assess and communicate situational updates as the storm develops.

FAQs about SERT
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Update: August 28, 3:30 p.m.

The Southeastern Emergency Response Team (SERT) is continuing to monitor the path and magnitude of Hurricane Dorian as it develops. The SERT team is comprised of key campus leaders and works in conjunction with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

While it is still too early to estimate the full nature of the effects of the storm, we are making the necessary preparations in the event that severe weather is experienced. The  safety of our students and campus community is of utmost importance. 

We will continue to assess and communicate any updates as the storm develops. Please continue to monitor your email, the SEU.edu website, and SEU social media feeds for further information. SEU Alert messages containing critical information will also be sent out as the situation develops.

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Update: August 27, 1:30 p.m.

Occasionally, tropical storms and hurricanes can be an unfortunate reality in Florida. Hurricane season occurs annually from June 1st through November 30th, and the university has established procedures to keep students, staff, and faculty safe.

The Southeastern Emergency Response Team (SERT) is closely monitoring the latest weather forecasts in regard to Tropical Storm Dorian in order to prepare the SEU community, as needed. SERT is comprised of multiple departmental leaders who are able to make preparations to secure and prepare the campus.

As of Tuesday morning, Tropical Storm Dorian is approximately 385 miles southeast of Puerto Rico moving toward the west-northwest at 13 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 45 miles from the center. While we are not expecting any impact to the SEU campus, Florida could start to feel the impacts of the storm late on Saturday. However, at this time, it is difficult to predict the exact trajectory of the storm. 

For more information about hurricane preparedness, visit https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

The SERT team will continue to regularly monitor and communicate with the SEU community. Campus communication will be via the home page of SEU.edu (you may refer back to this link for the latest updates), via email, and social media.

FAQs about SERT
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