Helpful websites to keep you informed:
UM Emergency Preparedness Resource
Miller School Hurricane Resource
Miami-Dade Office of Emergency Management
National Hurricane Center
UHealth / Miller School of Medicine Emergency Manager E-Mail
Preparation and Response for All Units
Hurricane season is here, and now is the time to prepare for potential emergencies, especially those related to weather. All employees should make sure their contact and emergency information is correct and up-to-date in Workday. When a situation warrants, emergency information may be sent via emails, text messages, voice messages, and social media through the Emergency Notification Network. Please take time now to confirm and update your personal and emergency contact information. Use the Change Contact Information and Change Emergency Contacts tip sheets for Workday and provide as much information as possible so that you can be contacted, if necessary, before and/or after an emergency. Make sure cell numbers are correctly designated as “mobile” in the device field.
Supervisors and unit emergency planners should confirm through the UReady system that their unit’s continuity plan is marked as “complete,” and that all relevant emergency plans and policies are readily accessible. Each unit’s Human Resources Partner should download the emergency contacts report in Workday for all staff members in their area, and keep printed copies in multiple locations. In addition, unit leaders should confirm that all personnel who have any role in emergency/disaster mitigation, planning, response, or recovery have completed the appropriate level of National Incident Management System training.
Supervisors should also list emergency responsibilities assigned to each employee. For insurance purposes, all capital equipment should be photographed, compiled in a document, and uploaded in the UReady system in accordance with the Photo Documentation Process established by Risk Management. Ensure all employees have the Miller School/UHealth Emergency Information Hotline number (800-227-0354), and hold a mandatory staff meeting to distribute and discuss the unit response and continuity plans.
Regularly monitor local weather conditions through WeatherSTEM weather stations on the Coral Gables, Miller, and Rosenstiel campuses. Also, supervisors should appoint at least two alternates to the supervisor in case of absence. If a hurricane or tropical storm threatens South Florida, hold additional staff meetings to review specific actions being implemented by your unit.
Remember: No UHealth facility is a shelter. Essential employees who will need to remain on campus during a storm are required to receive advance approval through their supervisor and Public Safety. Contact Medical Emergency Management at firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-243-9466 for the request form.
Ensure all data is on a network drive or university-approved cloud-based storage solution (Box, OneDrive, Google Drive). Gather all necessary emergency supplies, including plastic tarps and tape for covering office equipment. Materials can be purchased from Physical Plant Materials Management by calling 305-243-6019, while supplies last. Employees are responsible for preparing their own workspace and labs, unplugging and covering computers, and moving personal items away from windows and off walls.
After a storm, all employees should contact their supervisors as soon as possible to inform them of the status of their family and homes. Follow all instructions given by the local authorities via radio and/or television. Do not attempt to return to the campus until the “all clear” is sent via the Emergency Notification Network unless you have been pre-designated as essential by your supervisor. Essential personnel should get their work schedules and locations directly from their supervisors. If the situation warrants, students, faculty, or staff who are forced to evacuate or temporarily relocate to another area will be asked to provide the University with their status, new location, and contact information.
Remember that a hurricane is just one potential disaster for which we should all be prepared. With a comprehensive plan in place, your unit will be ready to handle any emergency.
For more information or assistance with hurricane preparedness or all hazards emergency and continuity planning, contact the Medical Campus Emergency Manager.
Additional Preparations for Research Personnel
In the event of a hurricane, safeguarding your life’s work, personnel, and laboratories is vital for your continued research. Aside from securing your workspace, critical steps should be taken to minimize disruption and downtime after a storm. This includes preparing lab equipment, storing samples, securing your data, and updating your emergency phone tree.
Critical equipment, such as freezers and incubators, must be labeled with contact information and registered through the Department of Public Safety’s Critical Equipment Registration and Alarm Monitoring website. Inventory the contents of each freezer and cold room. For insurance purposes and FEMA reporting, take digital photos of your equipment. It is important to label and secure all hazardous agents in cabinets and retain relevant EHS forms. Fume hoods are not secure areas during a storm and must be emptied.
Be cautious when starting equipment that operates in multi-day cycles, as both line and emergency power could be lost mid-cycle. Non-essential equipment should be unplugged from both emergency and non-emergency power outlets to prevent possible damage to the equipment and reduce the strain on electrical circuits. Plugging equipment into emergency power outlets with extension cords will overload the circuit and shut down all emergency power for the building.
Consider sending critical samples out of the area through pre-existing arrangements with bio-repositories and non-local collaborators/colleagues. If you do not currently have any arrangements, you may establish them through a University-approved vendor.
If your work includes animal models, the Division of Veterinary Resources requests that you work with them to identify irreplaceable lines. In the research community, only preapproved essential personnel may remain on campus during a storm. The Miller Office of Research, Research Education and Innovative Medicine can assist lab managers in identifying and procuring hurricane preparedness kits.
Principal investigators and laboratory managers should meet with their staff prior to an event and discuss preparations. Detailed checklists for pre- and post-disaster preparedness are available online.
Our Clinics and Hospitals
Our patient care mission makes UHealth – the University of Miami Health System unique among the University’s programs and calls for special concerns in the event of an approaching hurricane. Storm Alerts issued from the Miller School and its hospitals and clinics may differ from statements released by the Coral Gables and Rosenstiel campuses.
For Miller School and UHealth faculty and staff, announcements from Miller School leadership and updates from the Miller School of Medicine/ UHealth Emergency Information (1-800-227-0354) are the most reliable sources for information on developments on the medical campus during an emergency.
Emergency unit plans for clinical departments should include a list of essential employees who have been identified in Workday and will remain on site to address patient needs as a hurricane approaches. If Miller School leaders announce that clinics will be closed due to conditions that make it unsafe to travel or dangerous for essential employees to remain on campus, every effort must be made to contact patients and reschedule appointments.
UHealth Tower and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
During a hurricane or tropical storm warning, UHealth Tower and Sylvester will continue to operate under their established response plan. Department directors will brief hospital employees on their department’s proper procedures and their specific responsibilities in the event of a hurricane.
Emergency Planning and Supplies
Below are some quick guidelines and important items to keep on hand to ensure safety during any emergency, including a hurricane. Materials for office equipment protection can be purchased through Physical Plant Materials Management, 305-243-6019, while supplies last.
For the Office
- Managers hold a meeting to review and distribute unit emergency and UReady continuity plans
- Managers to meet with all staff to determine roles and responsibilities before, during and after a storm
- Managers to discuss with employees their personal plans
- Take inventory of emergency supplies (see “Keep on Hand” checklist below)
- Take down items from walls and put in a safe place (e.g. diplomas, personal photographs, certificates, etc.)
- Clear desktops
- Ensure all data is on a network drive or cloud storage solution (Box / Microsoft OneDrive / Google Drive).
- Unplug electrical equipment
- Move equipment away from windows
- Cover files, equipment, and furniture with plastic tarp and masking tape
- Secure all doors and windows
- Take home personal belongings
For the Home
- Ensure your family has a Personal Preparedness Plan
- Avoid low-lying areas
- Secure loose outdoor items
- Secure garage doors, awnings, and windows with shutters or boards
- Turn off pool equipment; do not drain your pool
- Stock non-perishable foods and bottled water
- Fill your car’s gas tank
Keep on Hand
- Protect / secure important personal documents (home insurance, mortgage, deeds, birth certificates, etc.) in a safe dry place
- First-aid kit
- Necessary prescription drugs
- Battery-powered radio
- Manual can opener
- Masking and duct tape
- Pet-care items
- Important personal documents (store in waterproof container)
- Materials can be purchased from Physical Plant Materials Management by calling 305-243-6019, while supplies last.
For more information, visit http://www.miami.edu/hurricane-prepare
Numbers to Know
UHealth / Miller School of Medicine
UHealth Emergency Information Hotline
Department of Public Safety
(Non-Emergency): 305-243-SAFE or 305-243-7233
Miami-Dade County Call Center
305-468-5900 or 311 (in county)
Broward County Call Center
954-831-4000 or 311 (in county)
Material Safety Data Sheet Hotline
Poison Information Center