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Terms To Know

Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions MAY threaten an area within 48 hours. When a Hurricane Watch is issued, listen for further advisories and be prepared to act promptly.

Hurricane Warning:
 Hurricane conditions are expected in a specified area in 36 hours or less. Hurricane conditions include winds of or exceeding 74 miles an hour (64 knots) and/or dangerously high tides or waves. When a Hurricane Warning is issued, actions for protections of life or property should begin immediately.

Flash Flood Watches and Warnings: Flash Flood Watch means a flash flood is possible in the area; stay alert. Flash Flood Warning means a flash flood is imminent; take immediate action.

Tornadoes: Spawned by hurricanes and sometimes produce severe damage and casualties. If a tornado is reported in your area, a warning will be issued.


Be Prepared!

  • Know the hurricane risks in your area. Learn the storm surge history and elevation of your area.
  • Listen for weather updates and stay informed.
  • Learn safe routes inland and official shelter locations. Plan flood-free evacuation route and know where to go.
  • If ordered to evacuate, comply immediately!

Preparing for the Storm

Your first step in preparing for a hurricane should be to develop a personal emergency response plan and discuss it with your family well ahead of a weather emergency. This list will help you in your planning. 

Rental insurance. Purchase insurance for and inventory your personal possessions.  Please visit this website for more information on protecting your belongings:

Develop an emergency communication plan. Have an out-of-state relative or friend serve as a "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance.

Hurricane preparation kit. Pull together useful items such as non-perishable food items and snacks, juices, soft drinks, bottled water, manual can opener, change of clothing, sturdy shoes, portable radio, first-aid kit, batteries, flashlight, eating utensils and containers for holding water. Refill prescription medicines. When you evacuate, you will want to take these supplies with you, along with a blanket and pillow or sleeping bag. 

Prepare your room or apartment. Pick up all items from the floors and store in drawers and closets.  Close and lock your windows. Bring inside any items you may have on balconies or other open areas. Turn refrigerator and freezer temperature gauges to the lowest number. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly. Unplug stereos, TVs, electronic equipment and lamps.Cover your computer and other electronic equipment with plastic sheeting or large plastic garbage bags.

During Hurricane Landfall  

  • It is essential that all remaining residents stay indoors throughout the entire hurricane. During the storm, for maximum protection, residents should remain in the hallways. If you are not familiar with a hurricane, there is always a lull in the storm when the eye passes through the area. Once the eye passes through, the storm begins again, but from the opposite direction. STAY INDOORS.  
  • Residents should follow the instructions of University officials including SBU Police, Student/Residential Life and from the Fire Department.  
  • In the event of power failure during the height of a hurricane, there will be no elevator service. Do not attempt to travel between floors using elevators. Do not use candles during power outages due to the increased fire hazard.  
  • Do not attempt to open windows or doors to see what is happening outside.
  • Report all accidents, injuries, broken windows or excessive water to University Police 631-632-3333.  
  • Telephone calls should be made only in case of emergency since non-emergency calls can overload the phone systems.  


Terms To Know

Tornado Watch: Conditions are favorable over a large area for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes to develop

Tornado Warning: A tornado has been detected or seen, is on the ground and moving, and is expected to move through your area soon. Take cover immediately!

During The Tornado

  • If outdoors: Seek shelter in a substantial building immediately. If there is o shelter nearby, lie flat in a ditch or low spot with your hands shielding your head. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead, leave it immediately.
  • If in a school, hospital, or shopping center: Go to a pre-designated shelter area. Stay away from large open areas and windows. Do not go outside to your car.
  • If in a high-rise building: Go to an interior small room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. Do not use the elevators. Use the stairs.
  • Take shelter in a substantial structure. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in a ditch or low spot with your hands shielding your head.

During a tornado warning, follow the procedure listed below.

Inside buildings:

  • Stay away from all windows and doors;
  • Move to an interior corridor away from windows;
  • Stay away from lobbies, walkways, atriums and other large glassed-in areas, and large open areas with a long roof span;
  • If available, take cell phone and flashlight;
  • Crouch down along the wall and protect your head with your hands from possible debris; and
  • Remain in sheltered area until given the all clear.  Radio and TV stations, NOAA Public Alert Radios will be used to signal that an all clear has been given.

Outside of buildings:

  • When instructed or conditions warrant, seek shelter in the nearest building;
  • Stay away from all windows and doors;
  • Move to an interior corridor away from windows;
  • Stay away from lobbies, walkways, atriums and other large glassed-in areas, and large open areas with a long roof span;
  • If there is no shelter available, lie in a ditch or other earthen depression; and
  • Never attempt to outrun a tornado.
  • Once an all-clear has been given, follow the procedure below:
  • If the building was not affected by incident, return to your previous location; and
  • If your building was affected by the incident, attempt to safely exit the building.  If unable to do so, seek help by calling University Police Department 631-632-3333. 

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