Loyola University Maryland

Emergency Preparedness

Hurricanes

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Hurricane Response

Over the last decade, hurricane threats have become increasingly more common in Maryland. Hurricanes and tropical storms frequently cause flooding, wind damage and may spawn tornadoes. Widespread power outages are common and can last for days to weeks.  Depending on the severity of the storm and the location of landfall, people who do not seek shelter are likely to be injured.  Our goal is to help prepare the University for a hurricane or tropical storm.

Important Definitions

Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U. S. 1- minute average) is 38 mph (33 knots) or less.

Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U. S. 1- minute average) ranges from 39 mph (34 knots) to 73 mph (63 knots).

Hurricane: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U. S. 1- minute average) is 74 mph (64 knots) or more.

Hurricane Season: May 15 through November 30

Hurricane Classification Chart:

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

Scale Number (Category)  Sustained Winds (mph)
Damage
 
1 74 – 95
Minimal: minor damage to exterior of homes, toppled tree branches, uprooting of smaller trees, extensive damage to power lines, power outages
2 96 – 110
Moderate: major damage to exterior of homes, uprooting of small trees, roads blocked, power outages for long periods of time – days to weeks
3 111 – 130 
Extensive: extensive damage to exterior of homes, many trees uprooted, roads blocked, extremely limited availability of water and electricity
4 131 – 155
Extreme: loss of roof structure and/or some exterior walls, most trees uprooted, most power lines down, power outages lasting weeks – months 
5 More than 155
Catastrophic:  homes/buildings destroyed, fallen trees and power lines isolate areas, power outages lasting for weeks – months

Hurricane Alerts

The National Weather Service issues two types of hurricane alerts, they are:

Hurricane Watch – An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified coastal area. A hurricane watch is normally issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane Warning – An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane warning is normally issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

If the NWS issues a hurricane watch or warning for the area, an E2 Campus/LENS Alert and a campus email will be issued providing information about the approaching storm. 

Hurricane Shelters

Campus locations that may be setup and used as shelters during hurricanes include:

  • Reitz Arena
  • McGuire Hall 
When emergency shelter is provided, students should bring the following items to their temporary assigned living area:
  • Bedding and pillow
  • One small bag with clothing, etc.
  • Needed medications, glasses, etc.
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Small toiletry bag

During a Storm Threat

  • All members of the campus community are encouraged to prepare and have their personal emergency kit with them. (see personal emergency kit appendix within this plan).
  • Stay tuned to radio and TV for official weather information.
  • Follow instructions and advice given by emergency officials.
  • Bring in or tie down lawn furniture and other loose items outdoors.
  • It is essential that all remaining residents stay indoors throughout the entire hurricane. For maximum protection, residents should consider remaining in the hallways. 
  • In the event of power failure during the height of a hurricane, there will be no elevator service. Do not attempt to travel between floors using elevators. 
  • Close all interior doors. Secure and brace external doors.
  • Do not attempt to evacuate during the height of a hurricane. You are safer to remain in your residence than out on the road where flying debris can be hazardous.
  • Turn refrigerator to maximum cold setting.
  • Turn off and isolate computer equipment.
  • Fill bathtub and large containers with water. If the water supply is cut off, the water in the tub may be used for flushing toilets or for washing. Do not drink this water. Fill smaller containers with water for drinking purposes.
  • Do not use candles during power outages due to the increased fire hazard.
  • First Aid and/or food service will be made available whenever the storm passes or when power is restored. 
  • Report all accidents, injuries, broken windows or excessive water to Campus Police at 410-617-5010.
  • Telephone calls should be made only in case of emergency since non-emergency calls can overload the phone systems.
The University will continue to provide updates as needed through its website, as well as the University’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. These social media channels should remain accessible in the event that the storm or a power outage affects the University’s Web presence or other systems. 

Remember: Hurricanes can spawn tornadoes, severe thunderstorms with hail and lightning, as well as flooding and flash flooding. Stay inside during a hurricane!