What is a Hurricane?

Hurricanes are tropical cyclones in which wind speeds reach a constant of at least 74 miles per hour. Hurricanes may span areas several hundred miles in diameter, generate torrential rains which may cause flash floods, spawn tornadoes, and create storm surges of up to 20 feet above normal see level. Although “hurricane season” runs from June 1st to November 30th, most hurricanes strike in August, September and October.

General Hurricane Terms

  • Tropical Disturbance – An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms without a defined circulation.
  • Tropical Storm – An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mpg.
  • Hurricane Watch – Indicates that a hurricane condition is a strong possibility and may threaten the area within 36 hours.
  • Hurricane Warning – Indicates that a hurricane is expected in 24 hours or less. All students must comply with the University’s Hurricane Evacuation Procedures.

FIU Hurricane Procedures

In the event a hurricane warning is declared by the University, all resident students will be directed to evacuate the residence halls. In the event of a hurricane emergency, the Bay Vista Housing complex will be closed and all remaining students who require shelter will be evacuated to the University Park campus. All such students must abide by shelter policies and remain until the University withdraws the emergency order. Failure to comply with University officials during an emergency event will result in disciplinary action.

Helpful Information Resources

The “FIU-HELP” phone-line (305) 348-4357(help) will be activated in the event of a major emergency. The information is updated throughout the various stages of an emergency as new information becomes available.http://www.fiu911.org provides updates regarding FIU’s response to a hurricane threat. You can get further information from the following links: www.fiu.edu, www.weather.com and http://www.redcross.org/local/florida/south-florida.


Tips to remember before you evacuate or make your travel plans (opposite direction of where storm is projected):

  1. Contact your family and inform them of your evacuation/travel plans. Contact them once you arrive at your destination to let them know that you are safe!
  2. Contact the NSE office (both home & host schools) as to your plans or let us know when you are safe at your destination.
  3. If a general evacuation is called by city officials, you will not be able to re-enter the city until they open the roads. Listen to the radio and watch the news for updates.
  4. Don’t forget to take the following with you: immigration documents, legal documents, prescribed medication, identification, books and any VALUABLE items!
  5. Take enough non-perishable food and water for at least 3 days (per person).
  6. Travel with a friend. Buddy-up with a room-mate. It will make the whole experience less stressful and a shared hotel room is cheaper.
  7. If you have a cell phone, take it with you. Don’t forget your phone charger!