Stay Prepared as Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall

The university is monitoring the hurricane’s path and how the storm will affect Washington, D.C.

hurricane florence
Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall in North and South Carolina late Thursday and into Friday. (Photo: NASA)
September 12, 2018

Hurricane Florence is making its way to the Carolinas, bringing heavy rain and wind that will significantly impact the region. While Washington, D.C., is not directly in the path of the storm, the George Washington University community should be prepared to respond to severe weather.

"We are monitoring the National Weather Service, NOAA, FEMA and local and state-level declarations of emergency as Hurricane Florence approaches the Mid-Atlantic coast," said Darrell Darnell, senior associate vice president for safety and security. "We will continue to update the university community as we gain more information over the coming days."

Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall in North and South Carolina late Thursday and into Friday. Washington, D.C., is expected to see heavy rain, which could result in flooding after a summer of higher-than-average rainfall. City officials declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, following Maryland and Virginia.

The university plans to continue normal operations during the storm, and the Washington, D.C. and federal governments are expected to remain open.

Members of the GW community should be prepared for all emergency situations and have in place an emergency plan that includes having all medications filled, updated emergency contact information including GWAlert information, and become familiar with the location of emergency exits and first-aid equipment such as AEDs, Mr. Darnell said.

Students living in residence halls should consider purchasing food and water supplies if they choose not to go out during severe weather, Mr. Darnell said. The university always encourages students to prepare an emergency kit with essentials items such as water, snacks, a flashlight, extra batteries, first-aid supplies and prescription medications.

Campus Advisories will be the primary source of information for the university community on hurricane-related preparations, precautions and possible changes to access for university facilities. Members of the GW community are encouraged to check Campus Advisories for any updates.

In the event that there is a change to the university’s operating status, information will also be communicated through text and email alerts via GW Alerts, on GW’s homepage, on the university’s Twitter and Facebook accounts and the GW Information Line at 202-994-5050.

The Virginia Science and Technology Campus will provide updates at 571-553-8333 and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences will provide updates at 202-994-3501.

The Residential Engagement and Housing staff are working on a series of communications to all resident students over the next few days, said Cissy Petty, associate vice provost and dean of the student experience. Area coordinators, resident directors and all resident assistants will all be on hand working with the GW Division of Operations should flooding or loss of power occur.

The university is also making plans to provide water and food for students living on GW’s campuses if necessary. Students living in residence halls should also remember to always close their windows before leaving their rooms for an extended period of time. Faculty and staff should always close their windows before leaving work.

Students should secure any bicycles kept outside or move them temporarily inside, and carry their GWorld cards with them at all times.

Members of the GW community should also become familiar with important weather terms to remember. “Weather watch” means conditions are favorable or expected, while  “weather warning” means conditions are occurring or imminent. Individuals should follow emergency management instructions if they receive either of these weather alerts.

Student Life


Campus Life 101: Safety

August 26, 2018

Darrell Darnell, senior associate vice president for safety and security, offers advice on how to stay safe around campus and in the D.C. area.