10/29/2012

12:50 P.M. OCT. 29 UPDATE: F&M closed Monday and Tuesday for non-essential staff during Hurricane Sandy

Franklin & Marshall College has extended its closure to Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 29-30, because of severe weather expected from Hurricane Sandy. The College is closed except for critical and essential staff. 
 
All classes and scheduled activities have been cancelled and all administrative buildings will be closed Monday and Tuesday in an effort to ensure the safety and security of individuals on campus. Faculty, staff and students who do not have critical functions on campus are strongly encouraged to avoid traveling to the area. Students are being instructed to regularly check email and other modes of communication for notices from their instructors about preparation for the resumption of classes.
 
According to the National Hurricane Center, Lancaster County remains under a High Wind Warning and flood watch, with conditions expected to worsen throughout the day and evening Monday and continuing through Tuesday afternoon. The latest forecast predicts the storm will reach its peak Monday night, but heavy rain and wind are expected to continue Tuesday. Forecasts predict sustained tropical-storm force winds and significant inland flooding, which could make many roads impassable. The "high wind warning" is in effect from 8 a.m. Monday through noon Tuesday, with gusts up to 70 mph expected. The flood watch continues through Tuesday and could be revised to a flood warning depending on river, creek and stream levels.
 
College officials continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Sandy and to take precautionary measures that include stocking dining hall food supplies, ensuring auxiliary power generators and pumps are operational, and developing contingency plans in the event of a power outage or emergency situation.
 
The main dining hall will remain open to provide meal service for all students with an F&M ID from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, regardless of whether students have a meal contract. All other dining facilities are closed. 
 
All residential facilities on the core campus have auxiliary power in the event of a power failure, though this power should be conserved for heating and lighting. While Appel Health Services is not open for regular hours, students who require emergency medical services Monday and Tuesday are being instructed to call the Department of Public Safety at 717-291-3939.
 
Members of the College community are asked not to call the Department of Public Safety for information about the storm, as it's important to use emergency phone lines only for emergencies. Members of the staff of the Dean of the College will be assigned to be a ready resource for students in the College Houses throughout the storm.
 
The F&M home page, www.fandm.edu, will continue to be the primary source for general information during the storm, and campus opening and closing information also will be available on the College's Emergency Weather Line at 717-291-4003. In the unlikely event that extreme or extended power outages make it impossible for the College to update the home page, the College will continue to provide basic information via F&M's Facebook page and Twitter feed.
 
Campus community members also can receive text messages from the F&M Emergency Alert system. To sign up, visit http://www.fandm.edu/emergencyalert.
 
Closures and cancellations
 
Members of campus should be advised of the following continued campus closures for Monday and Tuesday:
  • All dining facilities with the exception of D-Hall are closed, including Steinman College Center, Zebi and Pandini's (any student may eat in D-Hall from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a College ID Monday and Tuesday)
  • All classes and labs have been cancelled for Monday, Oct. 29 and Tuesday, Oct. 30.
  • All campus libraries will be closed during this time.
  • All administrative buildings are closed, including athletics facilities (Mayser Gymnasium, the Alumni Sports & Fitness Center and the facilities at College Square).
  • All events, including athletic team practices, are canceled through Tuesday, Oct. 30.
Critical and essential employees will receive guidance from their supervisors about reporting to work. For the purposes of this storm, Human Resources has designated essential personnel as supporting the following areas: Facilities and Operations and Public Safety.
 
Individual precautions urged
 
F&M is engaged in extensive contingency planning, but the College also is strongly urging all members of the community to take individual precautions during the storm.
 
Faculty in science departments have been encouraged to assess which systems should be intentionally powered down to prevent damage in the event of a power failure. To preserve power for critical systems, many technology services may not be available, including research computing.
 
All members of the community are encouraged to stay away from windows, avoid walking around campus unnecessarily, charge electronics, and unplug electronic devices, including computers and televisions to guard against any power outages that could damage that equipment.
 
Faculty, students and staff who have unsecured bikes on campus also should make efforts to lock their bikes in a bike rack, and if possible, in an area with a shelter or overhang.
 
All core campus residential buildings have auxiliary power, but other residential buildings do not. In the event of a loss of power, students should follow this guidance:
  • Use caution within your residence and on the stairs, as lighting will be minimal.
  • Do not open your refrigerator or freezer; this will keep items cold and frozen.
  • Do not use candles or any other open flame as a light or heat source.
  • Carefully unplug carbon monoxide detectors in your residence and remove the battery if they start beeping (remove the panel located on the back of the unit to access the battery).
  • If power fails and then is restored, please allow about two hours for the hot water, cooling and any elevators to be operational. These systems take some time to restart.
  • FOBs will not work in the event of a power outage for buildings without auxiliary power. In the event this occurs, the College will assess the need to arrange for staff to be stationed around campus for assistance. Locations will be specified in updates to emergency announcements posted on the home page.
F&M maintains an Emergency Preparation Guidelines website. The University's Office of Human Resources also maintains a weather emergencies page for employees.
 
More information about Hurricane Sandy is available on the National Hurricane Center website.
 
 
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