Florida SouthWestern State College LightHouse Commons Hurricane Preparedness Guide



The LightHouse Commons Hurricane Preparedness Guide for Students contains useful guidance for members of LightHouse Commons and Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) community.

Housing & Residence Life staff is always available to assist residents and their families with their evacuation plans.


Though Hurricane Season is designated as June 1st-November 30th students and their families should always be exploring ideas about where students will go if an evacuation order is issued by FSW. Lee County Emergency Management advises residents to consider public shelters as a last resort; residents are encouraged to make their own plans for safe lodging.


Students may want to include in their plans, locations within driving distance of Lee County as well as travel to their permanent homes further away. To help students and their families budget their potential evacuation travels, we encourage families to consider purchasing advance refundable plane tickets that may be used during hurricane season.


The Office of Housing & Residence Life will provide assistance to students and families who would like to discuss evacuation options. Students who need assistance should contact the Office of Housing & Residence Life (239) 432-7324 send an email to .

In the Event of a Hurricane+

Florida SouthWestern State College activates its plan when a hurricane is projected by the National Weather Service to impact our area. The plan is designed to promote the safety of the FSW community, protect the College’s facilities, and to provide for continuity of the College’s operations. When the College is facing the potential impact of a storm, you as a student will have important decisions to make, and the College needs your assistance, too, to protect it from potential storm damage. This guide has been prepared to provide students and their families with information so they will be better equipped to plan and respond to a potential evacuation of FSW and LightHouse Commons.

Evacuation Information: Before, During and After the Storm+

When FSW is prepping for an evacuation, closure and re-opening, communications will be sent to all members of the FSW community via their FSW email accounts. Updates will also be posted on the College’s website www.fsw.edu, FSW App, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts. Students and their families can also receive up to date information on College operations through the College’s switchboard at (239) 432-7322 or (239) 432-7324. You will also find updates through our local Lee and surrounding county media outlets. Though you may be away from the College during an evacuation it is always important to remember to continue to stay connected with us!


LightHouse Commons residents will meet with their RA prior to any evacuations to review our evacuation procedures.


Communication


  • It is never too early to start making your evacuation plans! When a storm is approaching Lee County and the surrounding areas, regardless of strength, make sure to talk with your family and loved ones to make specific plans about where you will go in the case of a College wide evacuation.


  • After you evacuate it is imperative that you stay in constant communication with your family and loved ones throughout the storm.

  • Before you evacuate campus and please make sure that you review and update your “Evacuation Plan Information” if your information has changed since move-in. Should you need to update this information please email us at housing@fsw.edu so the Office of Housing & Residence Life will know where to reach you (if necessary).

  • After you evacuate the campus please be sure to continuously monitor the College’s website, www.fsw.edu, or call (239) 432-7322 or (239) 432-7324 for updates.

  • If the College’s main website goes down please be sure to continue to monitor other avenues such as the College’s Facebook pages, the FSW app, Twitter accounts, and local media outlets.

  • It is critical to remember to not return to campus until the College has issued the “All Clear” and Re-Opening/Return instructions.


FSW Emergency Notification System


FSW will use its emergency notification system to send messages to students via text, email, and/or voice when there is approaching threat to campus or when all other communication methods are down.


FSW Operations in Relation to the National Hurricane Center’s Projected Path of the Storm


The National Hurricane Center (NHC) uses models to project the path of the center of both tropical storms and hurricanes. Based on these models, the NHC are able to display a projected path of a storm. The NHC asks that residents of areas covered by the projected path be on alert and to make preparations for an approaching storm.


The projected path and its “cone” shows the projected areas through which the Eye of the Storm may track. The line at the center of the “cone” shows the projected path of the eye of the storm but, in fact, the eye of the storm may track anywhere inside that cone, even along the cone’s perimeter. The NHC cautions against thinking of the probability of different tracks within the “cone”; rather, viewing the “cone” as an area of uncertainty and not a probability, the NHC recommends preparedness by residents living in the areas represented anywhere inside the projected “cone” (See example below from Hurricane Charlie).


FSW Evacuation Countdown +

When viewing the NHC’s Five Day (120 hour out) projected path “cone” as a five-day countdown, Day 5 refers to the farthest reach of the cone. At five days out, the NHC generally projects that the storm will make landfall within a radius of approximately 260 miles of accuracy.


The Five Day Projected Path Cone and the emergency procedures of FSW


Day 5 (120 hours):

If FSW lies within the NHC’s Five-Day (120 hour) Projected path, on Day 5 the College will begin to take the following actions:

College Operations:

  • Emergency Management Team (EMT) reviews Catastrophic Disaster Plan. Monitors threat. Administrative Services and Information Technology implement department emergency procedures.

  • President/Designee to make media notifications and emergency alerts to students, faculty and staff.

  • Office of Housing & Residence Life to make preliminary notification to residents. Identify students not having regional accommodations. Develop a list and number of students needing assistance in locating area shelters.


What Should I Be Doing As A Resident?:

Day 5 is also a great opportunity for students to begin having conversations with their families and loved ones to review their hurricane plans and to discuss where the students might go in the event the storm continues to approach our area and students are ordered to evacuate LightHouse Commons. Students, after evacuating the campus, who decide to remain in homes, apartments, hotels, and shelters outside evacuation areas should make sure to review and stock supplies in their hurricane kits. Hurricanes and Tropical Storms can impact a large widespread area so it is always important to be prepared!

As a reminder, students should review and update their evacuation plans submitted to the Office of Housing & Residence Life at move-in. Should you need to update this information you can submit any changes to us via email at housing@fsw.edu.


Day 4 (96 Hours):

College Operations:

  • EMT – Monitors threat. Review procedures and determine if alternate or replacement personnel are needed. Identify those relocating to specific campus and where.

  • EMT - Close monitoring of storm for arrival time and location.

  • President/Designee to make media notifications and emergency alerts to students, faculty and staff.

  • Office of Housing & Residence Life - Will monitor shelter openings. Organize transportation plans to Shelters (special bus routes or other transportation).


What Should I Be Doing As A Resident?:

Within 4 days out of an impending storm students should continue to stay in communication with their families and loved ones in regards to their evacuation plans and potential College closure information.


Day 3 (72 Hours):

College Operations:

  • EMT – Monitors threat. Review procedures and progress. Issues College Alert.

  • EMT - Close monitoring of storm for arrival time and location.

  • President/Designee to make media notifications and emergency alerts to students, faculty and staff. Decision on closing the college.


What Should I Be Doing As A Resident?:

Within 3 days of an impending storm the College could potentially close to all students. If this is the case residents of LightHouse Commons will be required to depart the residence hall no later than their last class of the day or at the time the College has been designated to close. Once the College has been deemed closed , residents will not be permitted to stay in LightHouse Commons.


Day 2 (48 hours):

College Operations:

  • EMT – Monitors threat. Review procedures and progress. Emergency Shut-down procedures.

  • EMT - Close monitoring of storm for arrival time and location.

  • President/Designee to make media notifications and emergency alerts to students, faculty and staff about evacuations.

  • Office of Housing & Residence Life – residents without regional resources will be provided assistance in transportation to an area shelter.


What Should I Be Doing As A Resident While The College Is Closed?:

Within 2 days of an impending storm the College will be closed to all students and will not be reopened until after the storm has passed and the campus is deemed safe by the EMT. Residents of LightHouse Commons will not be permitted to return to campus until the EMT provides the “All Clear” to return to the residence hall. Students should continue to monitor the College’s webpage, Facebook Pages, Twitter Accounts, and local media information.


Day 1 (24 hours):

College Operations:

  • Determine essential personnel to remain on campus if conditions permit. Preparation should be completed no later than 12 hours before hurricane strike.


What Should I Be Doing As A Resident While The College Is Closed?:

Within 1 day of an impending storm the College will continue to be closed for all students and will not be re-open until after the storm has passed and the campus is deemed safe by the EMT. Residents of LightHouse Commons will not be permitted to return to campus until the EMT provides the “All Clear” to return to housing. Students should continue to monitor the College’s webpage, Facebook Pages, Twitter Accounts, and local media information.

Preparing for an Evacuation as a resident of LightHouse Commons+

  • Before you evacuate campus make sure to completely empty and unplug your refrigerators, and wrap towels around the base to absorb water after they defrost.

  • Take your most important belongings, valuable possessions and personal documents with you.

  • Take all course materials

  • FSW is not responsible for any personal effects, including vehicles that are left behind during an evacuation. Know what your family’s homeowner’s insurance policy covers in your residence hall room. In general, homeowner’s insurance will not cover flood damage. To protect from flood damage, consider getting flood insurance. Another option in protecting your belongings is renter’s insurance. This insurance may or may not cover possessions in your residence hall room. If you think your belongings may be covered we encourage you to reach out to our insurance company to ensure you understand your policy clearly.

  • Unplug all power cords before evacuating. Remove your trash and dispose in the trash rooms located on the ends of each floor.

  • Lock your door.

  • Remember to move and cover all electronic items and keep items that may be damaged by water away from windows and off of the floors.

Vehicle Preparation

  • As a storm approaches, fill your gas tank and prepare your vehicle for travel. Gas supplies may be hard to find during an evacuation. Also, prices of gas may increase as demand increases as the storm and evacuations become more imminent.

  • If at all possible take your vehicle with you in an evacuation. If this is not possible please move all vehicles to the back parking lot of LightHouse Commons. Please note that the risk of flood water reaching your car in any lot on campus is a possibility. Review your auto insurance to understand policy coverage due to possible storm/flood damage.

FSW will not be responsible for any damages to vehicles left on College property during the event of an evacuation.

Emergency Evacuations Transportation Policy:+

Residents of LHC may be transported, under certain circumstances, if assistance is needed during emergency evacuations (i.e. Hurricane/Tropical Storms, building fire, etc.).

  1. Hurricane/Tropical Storm Evacuation

    1. Students should develop their own personal evacuation in advance of a storm. Should students have no plan in place then the Office of Housing & Residence Life will assist in coordinating the evacuation of those residents who are not able to evacuate on their own.

      1. Should a resident not be able to evacuate on their own the Office of Housing & Residence Life will coordinate with a local shuttle service or bus company (dependent upon numbers of students needing to be transported0 to transport students to a local area shelter.

        1. After the evacuation order has been lifted the Office of Housing & Residence Life will coordinate with shuttle or bus company to return residents of LHC back to the Thomas Edison campus.

Students will not be transported, under any circumstances, to medical appointments, hospital visits (non-emergency), or for ordered evacuations by FSW staff or faculty.

Lee County Evacuation Shelters+

A shelter is a safe place to be during an evacuation. However, it offers only the basic life-sustaining necessities, such as shelter from the weather; water and food; and sanitary services. The shelter will likely not have electricity for the majority of your stay in the event of a storm. It will be noisy, crowded and somewhat uncomfortable.

In the event of an evacuation, and you decide to go to an area shelter, please be sure the shelter is open before leaving campus. The following link will provide you all Lee County Shelters with notations if they are open at the time of the storm: http://www.leegov.com/publicsafety/emergencymanagement/shelters/publicshelters

All listed shelters will not be open for every storm. Local radio and television stations will announce which shelters are open. We cannot predict how long you may have to remain at the shelter, since we cannot predict how damaging the effects of each storm will be. Food will be provided, but you should bring some food items with you for between meals, or in case you do not like what is being served. If you have diet restrictions or require specialty foods, you must bring those.

As a reminder, you must bring your own personal hygiene items, sleeping bags/cots, blankets, towels and comfort items to the shelter.

Below is a list of local shelters in the Lee County Area:


Alico Arena
12181 FGCU Lake Parkway East
Fort Myers, FL 33965

Harns Marsh Elementary

1800 Unice Avenue North

Lehigh Acres, FL 33971

North Fort Myers Recreation Center

2000 N. Recreation Park Way

North Fort Myers, FL 33903

Alva Elem/Middle School

17500 Church Ave.

Alva, FL 33920

Harns Marsh Middle School

1820 Unice Avenue N.

Lehigh Acres, FL 33971

Oak Hammock Middle School

5321 Tice Street

Fort Myers, FL 33905

Bonita Springs YMCA

27200 Kent Road

Bonita Springs, FL 34135

Island Coast High School

2125 DeNavarra Pkwy.

Cape Coral, FL 33909

Riverdale High School

2600 Buckingham Road

Fort Myers, FL 33905

Colonial Elementary

3800 Schoolhouse Road East

Fort Myers, FL 33916

J.Colin English Elementary

120 Pine Island Road

North Fort Myers, FL 33903

Royal Palm Exceptional Center

3050 Indian Street

Fort Myers, FL 33916

Diplomat Elementary

1115 NE 16th Terrace

Cape Coral, FL 33909

James Stephens Intern'l Academy

(formerly Lee Middle School)

1333 Marsh Avenue

Fort Myers, FL 33936

South Fort Myers High School

14020 Plantation Road

Fort Myers, FL 33912

PET FRIENDLY SHELTER

Diplomat Middle School

1039 NE 16th Terrace

Cape Coral, FL 33909

Lehigh Senior High School

801 Gunnery Road North

Lehigh Acres, FL 33936

Three Oaks Elementary

19600 Cypress View Drive

Fort Myers, FL 33912

East Lee County High School

715 Thomas Sherwin Ave.

Lehigh Acres, FL 33974

Littleton Elementary School

700 Hutto Road

North Fort Myers, FL 33903

Three Oaks Middle School

18500 Three Oaks Parkway

Fort Myers, FL 33912

Estero Community Center

9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd.

Estero, FL 33928

Mariner Middle School

425 Chiquita Blvd.

Cape Coral, FL 33993

Varsity Lakes Middle School

801 Gunnery Road North

Lehigh Acres, FL 33971

Estero High School

21900 River Ranch Road

Estero, FL 33928

Mirror Lakes Elementary

525 Charwood Avenue South

Lehigh Acres, FL 33936

Veterans Park Academy

49 Homestead Road South

Lehigh Acres, FL 33936

Germain Arena

11000 Everblades Parkway

Estero, FL 33928

N. Fort Myers Academy of the Arts

1856 Arts Way

North Fort Myers, FL 33917


What to Bring to an Evacuation Shelter

  • Medications

  • Pillow, Blanket, air mattress and/or cot

  • Special Dietary Needs

  • Difficult to replace documents such as your passport, birth certificate, social security card, etc.

  • Cash

  • Identification

  • Clothing for five to seven days, socks, sturdy shoes

  • Personal hygiene items

  • Bottle water, snacks, and nutritious food

  • Quiet games, reading material, MP3 player and headphones, and batteries

  • Lightweight folding chair

  • Flashlight and extra batteries

  • Keys to your car and residence/residence hall room

  • A container or suite case with locks securing your belongings may be helpful


DO NOT BRING alcohol, firearms, or tobacco to any shelter.

Returning to Campus After Storm Has Passed+

  • Please do not return to campus until the “All Clear” Announcement has been made. This information will be conveyed to students, faculty, staff, and parents in the following ways:

  • Check the College’s Website, or call 239-432-7322 or 239-432-7324 for instructions regarding the re-opening of campus.

  • Residents of LightHouse Commons will also receive an email via their FSW accounts notifying them of any instructions as it pertains to the re-opening of campus and LightHouse Commons.

  • If you cannot return once the campus is officially re-opened, please let the Office of Housing & Residence Life know your plans by emailing and to email any of your professors. Students, though returning late, will still be responsible for their course work for any missed classes.

Need Help? Or Have Questions?

The Office of Housing & Residence Life staff will be happy to provide any assistance or information. Please call (239) 432-7324 or email us at .