Environmental Health & Safety

Emergency Management - In an Emergency

Become Better Prepared

Response Actions

Campus Evacuation

A wide-spread emergency may require an evacuation of the entire campus. Examples of such emergencies include hurricanes and large-scale public health emergencies, such as a pandemic flu event. Remember the below terminology in order to understand a campus evacuation:

Classes Cancelled: Period of time when classes will not take place at UNCW, therefore grading and attendance policies are revoked.

Voluntary Evacuation: An evacuation order given to UNCW students prior to a large-scale emergency. Classes are officially canceled and the grading and attendance policies are revoked. Students are encouraged to leave campus for a safer location but are not required to do so. Voluntary evacuations do not affect UNCW employees.

Mandatory Evacuation: An evacuation order in which students are required to evacuate the residence halls and leave campus for a safer location. The campus will soon close following a mandatory evacuation and all residence halls will be locked.

University Closed: All business operations will cease at UNCW. No UNCW faculty, staff, or students will be allowed on campus unless designated as emergency personnel. Entrances will be blocked and all services stopped until the university is once again opened. UNCW reserves the right to partially open the university for business operations and continue the cancellation of classes if necessary. This will be specified in public announcements.

University Opened: Accesses to campus will open to traffic and UNCW students, faculty, and staff will be allowed on campus. Business operations and education processes will resume where possible. However, classes may or may not resume at this time and residence halls may or may not remain closed. UNCW reserves the right to partially open the university for business operations and continue the cancellation of classes if necessary. This will be specified in public announcements.

All of the above steps will be announced using emergency notification methods.

  • For UNCW Employees

Please keep in mind that normal working hours will continue unless otherwise stated in emergency messages. Class cancellations pertain only to students. Employees should be aware of when the campus closes. Additionally, campus may remain open but employees relieved of their work schedule if the emergency may cause unsafe conditions for employees. In this case, administrative leave will be granted. Employees also have the option to leave at their choosing before a work cancellation is issued. In this case, you must utilize the adverse weather policy and take leave appropriately.

  • For UNCW Students

If a voluntary evacuation is issued for the campus, you are free to leave campus and go to a safer location. However, you may also remain on campus for the duration of the emergency if you choose. Voluntary evacuations are put into effect so that you have the opportunity to leave campus if you feel unsafe, or if your parents want you to return home. If you choose to remain on campus, UNCW staff will provide general services, such as food and water, to you during the emergency. Your access to the outdoors may be restricted if you choose to stay if hazardous weather occurs.

If a mandatory evacuation is issued for the residence halls, you will be required to evacuate your residence hall until the campus reopens. Your Residence Assistant (RA) will conduct floor meetings to assist you with the mandatory evacuation process. You MUST check out with your RA before leaving the campus and you must provide them with the location where you will reside off campus as well as contact information. If you do not have a place to evacuate, contact the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) at 910-962-3119 if you need housing.

  • For Parents of UNCW Students

Continue to check the UNCW Alert Web site and/or call the Emergency Information Hotline at 910-962-3991 or toll free 888-657-5751 for information about evacuations and campus closings. Be sure to keep in touch with your son/daughter about his/her plans to evacuate.

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Certain emergencies on campus may require you to take shelter indoors to stay safe. Examples of such emergencies include tornadoes, hazardous materials incidents, and active shooters. If an emergency occurs on campus that requires sheltering-in-place to stay safe, the Seahawk Warning Siren System will sound. If you hear the siren, take the following steps:

Shelter: seek shelter indoors, close windows and doors.

Seek information:

  • Call: 910.962.3991 or 888.957.5751
  • Check: e-mail and other campus communications
  • Visit: www.uncw.edu or www.uncw.edu/alert
  • Watch: any cable TV channel on campus

Wait: for an "all clear" siren or message.

For more information about the siren, visit www.uncw.edu/siren.

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