The potential for hurricanes is a seasonal threat to Miami Dade College facilities, whether it impacts on or off campus. Southeast Florida is subject to hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1st through November 30th each year.
Understanding the difference between National Weather Service watches and warnings is critical to being prepared for any dangerous weather hazard, including hurricanes.
Tropical Storm Watch
Tropical Storm conditions are possible within the specified area.
Tropical Storm Warning
Tropical Storm conditions are expected within the specified area.
An announcement that hurricane conditions are possible within the specified area. Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, watches are issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
During a watch, prepare your work area and home; review your plan for evacuation in case a Hurricane or Tropical Storm Warning is issued. Listen closely to instructions from local officials.
An announcement that hurricane conditions are expected within the specified area. Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
During a warning, complete storm preparations and immediately leave the threatened area if directed by local officials.
Extreme Wind Warning
Extreme sustained winds of a major hurricane (115 mph or greater), usually associated with the eyewall, are expected to begin within an hour.
The BEST TIME TO PREPARE for a hurricane is before one is threatening South Florida. Get ready for hurricanes by following three simple steps: (1) Get a Kit (2) Have a Plan (3) Be informed.
Get a Kit
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days (drinking & hygiene).
- Food, at least a three day supply per person of non-perishable food items (plus a manual can opener).
- Spare clothes, at least 1 change of clothes and shoes per person.
- Flashlights / spare batteries.
- First aid kit.
- Battery powered or hand-cranked radio / weather radio (and spare batteries).
- Special items for children or those with special needs.
- Toilet Paper / Sanitary Wipes / Sanitizer.
- Small amount of cash in small denominations.
- At least 1 blanket per person.
- Work gloves.
Have a Plan
When should you stay or when should you go?
- Depends on storm intensity & your evacuation zone.
- Monitor TV and Radio for information or special instructions.
- Check with local authorities or Miami Dade College officials.
- If told to evacuate; you should do so immediately.
Recommended Individual Actions:
- Make sure you read and follow all official Miami Dade College Storm Alerts.
- Make sure your emergency contact is up-to-date.
- Follow directions from College officials.
- In the event MDC closes; click here to “Prepare your office area for closure”.
- Contact your family members to let them know what is happening.
- Fasten storm shutters or board up windows with good lumber.
- Keep car tank filled with gasoline.
- Keep pets inside or otherwise protected.
- Store or secure loose outside objects.
- Tree branches tied or cut.
- Bring in everything that could blow away - garbage cans, garden tools, furniture, and plants.
- Secure garage doors. Awnings that can be moved should be raised and tied securely or taken down.
- Do not drain your swimming pool. Turn off all electrical power to the pool and remove all loose items from the area.
Recommended Individual Actions:
- Stay home if your house is safe from high water and flash flooding.
- Remain indoors.
- Do not open exterior doors or windows.
- Refrain from using alcohol or other impairing substances.
- Follow directions from local authorities.
- Stay away from low-lying beaches or other locations, which may be swept by high tides or storm waves.
- Have a flashlight in good working condition. If it is necessary to use candles or other emergency lighting and cooking facilities, be careful of fire. Have a bucket of sand or good fire extinguisher available to put out oil fire.
- Keep a radio on. Battery-powered radio is a must in case of power failure.
Recommended Individual Actions:
- Remain inside until local authorities say it’s safe to venture outside. If you must go outside, be cautious of fallen objects, downed power lines and other hazards.
- Contact family members by any available means, and advise you are okay.
- Await further instructions from local authorities or College officials.
- Official MDC emergency information may also be accessed by calling the Student Hotline, 305-237-7500, or Employee Hotline, 305-237-7505.
Know Your Zone
In 2013, Miami-Dade County revised all Storm Surge Planning (evacuation) Zones based on new modeling data. As a result, a greater portion of the County falls within planning zones.
It is important for the entire College community to know if their home is within a planning zone and if so, to plan accordingly. Determine if your home is in a storm surge planning zone by visiting the Miamidade.gov website and entering your address, or call the Miami-Dade County Answer Center at 3-1-1.
The Storm Surge Planning Zones are used to identify risk of storm surge and is based on all directions of storms. As a storm is approaching, Miami-Dade County Emergency Management will identify which areas should evacuate for that particular storm. Evacuation Zones will be all of or a portion of the Storm Surge Planning Zones. Residents should monitor the media and listen for which areas are being told to evacuate.
The description of each Storm Surge Planning Zone is:
- Zone A is at greatest risk for storm surge for Category 1 and higher storms.
- Zone B is at greatest risk for storm surge for Category 2 and higher storms.
- Zone C is at greatest risk for storm surge for Category 3 and higher storms.
- Zone D is at greatest risk for storm surge for Category 4 and higher storms.
- Zone E is at greatest risk for storm surge from Category 5 storms.
Miami Dade College Campus Storm Surge Planning Zones:
- Wolfson Campus located in Zone B / Orange.
- Medical Campus located in Zone B / Orange.
- Homestead Campus located in Zone C / Yellow.
- Kendall Campus located in Zone D / Green.
- InterAmerican Campus located in Zone E / Blue.
- North Campus is Not within a Storm Surge Planning Zone.
- Hialeah Campus is Not within a Storm Surge Planning Zone.
- MDC West is Not within a Storm Surge Planning Zone.
The national Hurricane Center (NHC) also distributed informational documents for media and emergency managers on the potential storm surge flooding maps which are currently in development for potential use during the 2014 hurricane season.
Additional Hurricane Resoures