The University of Texas-Pan American is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Alex as it continues its path across the Gulf of Mexico. (We are currently under a Hurricane Watch.) With the possibility of heavy rains and other weather conditions from the storm, UTPA administrators are taking precautionary measures for its campus and community of students, faculty and staff.
Our Crisis Management Team - a group of key individuals from across the college community charged with securing your safety in the event of an emergency - has met to discuss and review UTPA's Hurricane Preparedness Plan.
We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the procedures in place. The plan outlines the responsibilities and courses of action the University community will need to follow should a hurricane threaten the lower Texas Gulf Coast. To view the plan, visit http://www.utpa.edu/hurricane/plan. At this website you will find important details to help you prepare your University work area as well as information on how to protect you and your family, your home and your personal belongings.
If you feel it is unsafe to travel to campus, please stay at home, even if the campus has not been closed. You must make these decisions using your best judgment for your safety. For those of you on campus, if you feel you must take leave because of safety issues, discuss this with your supervisor or professor, secure your work space and make sure that your responsibilities for the university are completed.
If classes need to be cancelled or the campus needs to be shut down, you will receive an official notification from the President's Office or the Office of University Relations via e-mail, Bronc Notes and through the following Web sites - UTPA Police (www.utpa.edu/police ), the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (http://ehs.utpa.edu) and UTPA's main Web site (www.utpa.edu).
For those who do not have access to the Internet, the Safe Hurricane Preparedness Hotline (956/292-7233) will be available to provide you with the latest information. You should also stay tuned to local television and/or radio news stations for updates.
Please note, if the campus is shut down, no one will be allowed on campus unless authorized by their respective division vice president. A list of names will be submitted in advance of those individuals who will be permitted to enter the grounds. Once the campus is inspected and declared safe, you will be advised when to return to campus via e-mail and through the above Web sites and local media.
UTPA is ready to take action should a hurricane or other natural disaster occur. Our primary goal is to ensure the safety of all our students, faculty and staff. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Dr. Richard Costello, director of Environmental Health and Safety, at 956/381-3690.