FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2018
UNC System Prepares for Arrival of Hurricane Florence
System Coordinating Emergency Preparation with its Institutions following ‘Hurricane Zephyr’ training exercise
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The University of North Carolina System continues to be fully engaged in preparations for Hurricane Florence at all 17 institutions across the state, and remains focused on implementing the most effective emergency management plans in order to keep students and university employees safe.
“Our top priority is ensuring the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” said UNC System President Margaret Spellings. “From the moment Hurricane Florence first posed a threat to the North Carolina coast, System personnel have been coordinating with staff from each institution to prepare for the storm.”
While continuing to monitor the projected path of the storm, System officials are working with state, federal, and local officials to coordinate preparation and response at each institution in the storm’s path.
The System recently conducted a full-scale emergency management exercise named Operation Zephyr, which tested the impact to operations of a catastrophic hurricane strike, under the guise of a mock storm dubbed ‘Hurricane Zephyr’.
The multi-campus training exercise utilized student volunteers, who agreed to be relocated to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for the duration of the exercise. Partner participants in the exercise included FEMA, the American Red Cross, N.C. Emergency Operations personnel, city and local officials and members of the media. The purpose of the exercise was to assess pre-hurricane preparedness as well as post-hurricane recovery capabilities. The exercise series was a component of the 2017 National Exercise Program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Exercise Division.
The UNC System will continue to receive updates regarding conditions before, during, and after the arrival of Hurricane Florence and will relay this information on social media when necessary.