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Hurricanes are large and very dangerous storms that can cause widespread injuries and damage due to high winds, inland flooding, coastal storm surge and storm tide flooding, and tornadoes.
If hurricane conditions are expected in the TC campus area, information is disseminated to the College community via TC Alert, the TC Web site and Columbia University web site. You should monitor TC Alert and the appropriate Web Site, and media sources during the approach of a hurricane.
Suspensions of TC activities or closure of the College is provided to the College community via TC Alert, the TC web site home page and the news media networks including; CBS 2, NBC 4, WNEW 5, ABC 7 WOR 9 and the Weather Channel as well 880 WCBS and 1010 WINS news radio.
During the approach of a hurricane:
- Modern weather forecasting can provide significant warning time as hurricanes approach, but these storms can deviate from their predicted track. Persons in areas threatened by a hurricane should monitor information sources for the latest forecasts, watches, and warnings.
- Shutter or board the windows of your home. Secure the area. Property and equipment not properly anchored should be moved inside a building or tied down.
- Check your home Disaster Supply Kit and evacuation "Go" Bag. If you do not have a ready supply kit, stock up on food and water in case you must shelter in your home or evacuate.
- Fuel up your vehicles in case an evacuation is ordered. Turn off the utilities of your home at the main valve or switches if instructed to do so by authorities.
- Check your local Emergency Management web site (NYCOEM) or office to learn the hurricane emergency evacuation routes and alternate routes from your neighborhood.
If you are instructed to evacuate due to a hurricane:
- Be prepared to evacuate even before the order to evacuate is announced. If you feel that you are in a dangerous location (such as on the coast or in an area prone to flooding) or live in a structure that cannot sustain the expected high winds (such as a mobile home), make arrangements and evacuate before the evacuation order. Let an out of area contact know of your plans.
- When instructed to evacuate, do so at once! Remember that the goal is to be out of the danger area and in a safe location before the arrival of the storm force winds and flooding. Bring your Disaster Supply Kit or "Go" bag with you.
- Follow the announced evacuation routes. If you do not have access to a motor vehicle, go to an announced transportation staging site.
- Keep away from coastal areas or inland areas prone to flooding.
- Make arrangements for your pets. Remember that many emergency shelters will not allow pets.
- See TC OPS web site specific evacuation information in the "Campus Evacuation and Relocation " document.
If you are not required to evacuate and you are sheltering in place during a hurricane:
- Take refuge on the ground floor in a windowless central room, closet, or hallway.
- Get under a table or other strong object. Stay away from windows or glass doors.
- Close all inside doors. Brace all outside doors.
- Remember that there is a calm period during the passage of the hurricane "eye", but that storm conditions will return after the eye passes.
After the hurricane passes:
- Monitor the media for instructions and official information.
- Inspect your home for damage. Turn off the utilities in your home (natural gas, electricity, and water) if you did not do so prior to the storm and there is evidence of utility damage caused by the storm.
- Report downed power lines, gas leaks, and other utility problems in your neighborhood to the authorities.
- Do not drink tap water until the authorities say it is safe.
- Do not drive unless it is necessary (roadways must be kept clear for emergency responders).
- Stay away from waterways and low lying areas until occurring or potential flooding has passed.
Public Safety Alerts
Emergency Phone Numbers
- Campus phone X3333
Non campus or from cell phone 212-678-3333
Non-emergency College Services
- TC PS Non emergency 3220
- TC PS Administrative Office 3111
- TC Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) 8164/6640
- TC Facilities 3010
- TC Residential services 3235
- TC Student Development and Activities 3690
- TC Risk Management 3482