Updated 8/30/2023 6 p.m.
As many of us clean up our homes and offer help to others or seek support during continued power outages, the College continues its own efforts to prepare campus for the return of students, faculty and staff this week.
The schedule for reopening the College is as follows:
Thursday, Aug. 31: The College will reopen for staff and faculty only beginning at 8 a.m. Departments should resume normal operations. Faculty and staff whose travel plans prevent them from reporting to work Thursday should speak with their supervisors. (Additional guidance will be provided to supervisors via email.) There will be no food service on campus. Please have your vehicle hang tag and ID ready to present to Campus Safety at the front gate.
Upham, Franklin Templeton, Forrer and the Facilities Management buildings are without power at this time. Supervisors will be notified of power restoration. Please tread carefully across campus and pay close attention to signage and park in safe areas, which may require a longer walk to your office space than usual.
If faculty and staff without power or access to water would like to shower, the McArthur Gym training rooms will be open. If they need to charge up personal devices, office areas will be open. Campus Safety asks faculty and staff to report any damage in their work areas to [email protected].
Friday, Sept. 1: The College will officially reopen. Students with room keys may begin to move back into their residence halls at 9 a.m., and food service will open for breakfast. Students whose travel may be delayed should email [email protected], as well as their professors.
Monday, Sept. 4: Fall Semester classes will begin.
Any changes will be communicated via the College’s emergency notification system and posted on eckerd.edu/tropical . The College’s Emergency Management Executive Team continues to meet regularly.
Updated 8/29/2023 5 p.m.
Hurricane Idalia is expected to make landfall in the Big Bend area of Florida Wednesday. Wednesday evening, staff, faculty, and students will receive a check-in message from the emergency notification system. Please answer promptly.
After the storm and surge passes, supervisors—including collegial chairs—are asked to activate their phone trees, check on the status of faculty and staff members and report findings to their Vice President. Vice Presidents will share concerns with Interim Emergency Operations Manager Tonya Womack.
Campus remains closed until our recovery team is able to safely assess campus. No one is allowed to return to campus until an “all clear” message is issued. We understand that students are planning their return to campus, and we hope to provide guidance on this as soon as possible. Students and family members with remaining questions and concerns about student travel plans may write to [email protected].
Any changes will be communicated via the College’s emergency notification system and posted on eckerd.edu/tropical.
Updated 8/28/2023 4:30 p.m.
Thank you to the Eckerd Community for all the efforts in helping us to secure campus ahead of the possible impacts of Tropical Storm Idalia, which we expect to make landfall as a major hurricane. As a reminder, Autumn Term classes for Tuesday have been canceled and campus will remain closed until the College can assess any damage and provide a timeline for safe return.
Our area is now under a Hurricane Warning and Storm Surge Warning until further notice. Pinellas County and Hillsborough counties have issued a mandatory evacuation notice for Zone A, effective at 7 p.m. Please follow county orders, and if evacuation is part of your plan, go as soon as possible. Visit the Know Your Zone map to determine your evacuation zone.
The location of landfall will determine the worst impacts for our area. All of the Tampa Bay surrounding counties need to be prepared for the worst potential impacts. The current impacts expected for our region are:
For those who haven’t yet filled out the appropriate Evacuation Location Form—student or employee—please do so.
If you are sheltering in areas in the path of Tropical Storm Idalia, remember to stay indoors away from windows during the storm. After the storm, staff, faculty, and students will receive a check-in message from the emergency notification system. Please answer promptly.
Any operational changes will be communicated via emergency notification system and posted on eckerd.edu/tropical. The College’s Emergency Management Executive Team continues to meet regularly.
Updated 8/27/2023 9 p.m.
In view of the current track of Tropical Storm Idalia and in the interest of the safety of our community, we are enacting our plan for campus closure. Students will meet with resident advisors to discuss travel plans. All students should take their course materials with them and must be out of their residence halls by 5 p.m. Monday. Campus will officially close at 7 p.m. Monday. Please fill out the appropriate Evacuation Location Form— student or employee. Students and family members with remaining questions and concerns about student travel plans may speak with representatives from Student Affairs, tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 727.864.8421, or write to [email protected].
Autumn Term students are not required to attend class tomorrow to allow them time to prepare for evacuation. However, each Autumn Term professor will be available during the first 30 minutes of class time tomorrow for consultation if students wish. Each professor will be in touch with their class to provide guidance on completing course work.
The College is inside of the 3-day cone but meteorologists caution that the storm remains unpredictable. The current track projects landfall somewhere between the Florida Panhandle and the Tampa Bay area. At this point, we expect to feel the most severe impacts, including heavy rain and storm surge, Tuesday and Wednesday. Campus will remain closed until we receive an “all clear” message from our recovery team.
Students should refer to their hurricane guide for more information about evacuation. Anyone planning to drive out-of-state may see heavy traffic and delays on Interstates 75 and 95. Please refer to Florida 511 and the Waze app for detailed and up-to-date traffic information.
Staff should report for work as scheduled on Monday to enact their unit plans. Faculty and staff members and students living off campus should check their evacuation zones and stay abreast of orders and information from Pinellas County Emergency Management. They should continue to prepare their homes, offices and other work areas for the closure. All employees should contact their supervisor with questions; employees also should consult with their supervisor about whether they will be required to work remotely beginning Tuesday, Aug. 29.
Students who will be returning, transferring in or a new student for the fall semester should continue to check for updates on eckerd.edu/tropical. We will continue to communicate via the emergency notification system and post updates on eckerd.edu/tropical.
Updated 8/27/2023 4:30pm
The National Weather Service reports that Tropical Storm Idalia has formed in the Caribbean Sea, southwest of the Yucatan Peninsula. Eckerd College’s Emergency Management Executive Team is continuing to monitor this system closely as it is projected to move northeast into the Gulf of Mexico.
The timing, path and intensity of this storm will remain unclear until it enters the gulf. We are continuing to monitor TS Idalia’s characteristics including the storm’s eye location, track, its wind intensity and the speed of its approach. As more information becomes available, we will continue to communicate with you about College operations.
Any changes will be communicated via text message, email and posted on eckerd.edu/tropical. The College’s Emergency Management Executive Team continues to meet regularly.
Posted 8/25/2023 3 p.m.
The Emergency Management Executive Team (EMET) is closely monitoring Invest 93L developing over the northwest Caribbean Sea and moving into the Gulf of Mexico. College operations remain normal.
We will send updates after more information is released by the National Weather Service. Stay informed by checking eckerd.edu/tropical.Thursday, Aug. 31:Friday, Sept. 1:Returning studentsStudents who were on campus during Autumn TermNew studentsMonday, Sept. 4: