As the leading edge of Hurricane Florence moved over the North Carolina coast on Thursday, Northeastern’s Charlotte campus was mobilizing a robust network of people to monitor weather patterns, assess risks, and provide support services to students and their families.
While the inland city rarely faces challenges from hurricanes, campus officials employ a series of emergency protocols to handle any weather-related events, said Cheryl Richards, chief executive officer and regional dean of Northeastern’s Charlotte campus. She and other campus leaders are working with Northeastern University’s Emergency Services and local authorities to assess how the hurricane could affect students and campus infrastructure.
The Charlotte campus serves many students, Richards said, including those who study on campus and take classes online. “We consider our students anyone across nine states in the Southeast, many of whom may live in the coastal areas of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and West Virginia—all of which are affected by the path of Hurricane Florence.”
Todd Kaplan, Northeastern’s emergency operations manager, said that the Northeastern University Police Department and the Facilities Division are coordinating with weather forecasters and emergency managers to provide timely updates and keep tabs on students and their family members who are in the path of the storm.
“What we always try to do is make sure that everybody is informed, aware of everything that’s going on, so they can make the right decisions,” Kaplan said.
Students who are affected by Hurricane Florence, including those at Northeastern’s campuses in Boston, Charlotte, Seattle, Toronto, and Silicon Valley, are encouraged to use Northeastern’s We Care program, which provides support to students during challenging times.