September 6, 2017
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator
VSU Continues to Monitor Hurricane Irma Situation
VALDOSTA — According to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, Hurricane Irma is not expected to impact the Valdosta State University community until Sunday morning. However, the storm path has continued to shift, and it is too early to determine what the exact impact on Lowndes County will be.
With Hurricane Irma’s path shifting to the east overnight, Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency officials stated today that a continued shift in this direction will put Valdosta and Lowndes County on the west side of the storm, which means less wind but, potentially, more rain.
VSU Public Safety continues to closely monitor the situation, alongside the Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency and other area first responders. Any announcements about potential closures or event cancellations will be announced Thursday afternoon, once university officials have the latest storm path and impact updates. This information will be posted at www.valdosta.edu/news, on Facebook (VStateNews) and Twitter (@VStateNews); shared with area news media; and sent directly to students, faculty, and staff through the Campus Alert System via text message, voice call, and email.
In the meantime, please be aware of the following:
• At this time, it is business as usual at VSU today through Sept. 9. This includes all traditional classes, online classes, student activities, special events, and athletics, including the Okefenokee Football Classic in Waycross on Saturday. Again, any announcements about potential closures or event cancellations on Sept. 10 and/or thereafter will be forthcoming as more information about the storm becomes available. If the campus should close, housing and dining services will still be available for those that choose to stay on campus. Additional guidance will be provided to on-campus residents by the housing staff in each residence hall.
• We advise you to consult with your family on what is the next best course of action. We do not advise anyone to travel towards the storm, and we encourage anyone who does leave to be prepared for increased traffic and limited resources along their route. Students who feel like they need to leave campus should notify their professors immediately. Faculty members are asked to be flexible during this time and to work with each student on the best accommodation necessary.
• If you live on campus, please visit https://valdosta.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6ExrPoB5cheyQU5 and let us know if or when you plan to leave campus. Housing staff will remain in the halls during the storm to assist on-campus students. Follow all housing staff guidelines during this time. If you have a vehicle on campus, please move it to a parking deck or away from any trees or potential falling objects on or before Friday evening.
• Valdosta and Lowndes County will likely start seeing an influx of evacuees from Florida on Thursday and Friday. We encourage our university community to go ahead and fill their gas tanks and stock up on water, nonperishable food items, medications, etc. With more people coming into the area, some of these items may be out of stock or difficult to gain access to for a few days.
The safety and security of our Blazer Nation family is always our No. 1 concern.
VSU is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service-certified StormReady Campus. This means that VSU has the communication and safety tools necessary to help save lives during hazardous weather conditions. Nationally, only 5.6 percent of four-year degree-granting institutions of higher education hold this designation.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, a follow-up announcement will be released Thursday afternoon.