UNCG and UNC Wilmington collaborated on a full-scale hurricane evacuation and sheltering exercise on the UNCG campus Oct. 16 and 17. The exercise, called “Hurricane Zephyr,” was designed to educate and prepare students, faculty and staff in the event of an evacuation.
The exercise simulated the actual procedures and communications that would take place in the event of a real storm with catastrophic potential. Evaluators from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were on campus to observe the exercise and provide recommendations to enhance emergency plans and coordination among the UNC campuses.
Representatives from the American Red Cross were also involved in the exercise, providing shelter guidance and real-time shelter training to UNCG staff.
“Exercises are an integral part of the emergency planning process,” said Zachary Smith, director UNCG’s Office of Emergency Management. “Hurricane Zephyr provided UNCG and UNCW with an opportunity to test recently revised evacuation and sheltering plans to ensure they are effective and meet the needs of the university community.”
The full-scale exercise covered all aspects of evacuation protocol: from an evacuation order at UNCW to setting up and operating a shelter site in UNCG’s Coleman Practice Gymnasium.
The drill involved 30 faculty, staff and administrators from UNCG, representing 10 different university departments. A larger exercise is planned for the winter.
Story by Eden Bloss, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications