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Hurricane Sandy Preparedness Information

Brown University Emergency Announcements about the storm's approach, planning and response are available at

The University Hurricane Plan is available on the website of Environmental Health and Safety.

Communications to students:

Email from: Margaret Klawunn
Sent: Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Dear Brown students:

While our campus was spared the brunt of Hurricane Sandy, we realize that many of you have family living in areas that sustained heavy storm damage. We want to remind you of the resources on campus that can help you personally, and to inform you of the relief agencies and information that may be helpful to your families.


  • Office of the Dean of the College - An academic dean is available 10 am to 4 pm weekdays on the second floor of University Hall and afternoons in 313 J. Walter Wilson.  Deans can provide faculty notes and discuss academic accommodations with you and your course instructors.  For after hours assistance, please email Dean McSharry will be happy to assist you.
  • Office of Student Life - Student Life deans are available to undergraduate, graduate and medical students 8:30am to 5 pm weekdays. Call (401) 863-3145 or visit the office on the 4th floor of Graduate Center Tower E (42 Charlesfield Street).  Deans can provide crisis support, and assistance with managing the stress of dealing with a family emergency and classes. In the evening and on weekends, there is always an administrator on call for crisis situations; call (401) 863-3322 and Public Safety will have an administrator call you.
  • Psychological Services - Free, confidential counseling appointments for Brown students are available weekdays 8:30 am to 5 pm. Call (401) 863-3476 or visit the office in J. Walter Wilson, room 516. In urgent situations, let the staff know that you need more immediate attention. A staff member is also on call outside regular office hours; call (401) 863-3476.
If you have concerns or questions beyond the information we provided here, please do not hesitate to contact a dean in the College or in Student Life to discuss any difficulties. 

Our thoughts are with all students and families affected by the storm.

Margaret Klawunn
Vice President for Campus Life & Student Services

Brown Alert: October 30, 2012

Members of the Brown Community,

Thank you for your cooperation as the University has worked to prepare for Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.  We are fortunate that the University fared well during the storm, with some downed trees and only minor damage to a small number of facilities. Many thanks are due to the countless essential personnel who contributed significantly to ensure the health and well-being of members of our community during this period.  The University will resume normal operations as of 12:01 am on Wednesday, October 31.

Facilities and grounds crew worked around the clock to prepare for the storm, securing construction sites and outdoor equipment, ensuring that the available heating fuel supply was adequate, and installing 250 sand bags to prevent flooding—all of which have been removed.  They have cut up and removed a fallen tree and fallen branches, and removed nearly two tons of debris from campus, clearing sidewalks and common areas.

We are grateful to the employees in public safety, health, residential life and dining services who have provided seamless and professional services to our students, and we appreciate the efforts of employees who have ensured that research facilities have been continuously maintained.

Many members of our community may continue to be without power or telephone service, and are confronting other effects of the hurricane.  For more information about the range of support services available to employees, from emergency grants and loans to backup care, please contact a human resources specialist at 863-3175. For those who have lost power and would benefit from a hot shower, please feel free to use the facilities available in the Nelson Fitness Center.   Simply tell the desk attendant that you are a Brown faculty, staff, or family member and that you wish to use the locker room. The attendant will direct you to the proper location.  The following may also be helpful:

•  Information regarding food safety in a power outage can be found on the Environmental Health & Safety Brown ready website.
•  The latest information from the State of Rhode Island regarding power outages, road closures, and other impacts from the storm can be found at the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency website.

•  Information about volunteer opportunities to assist with clean-up can be obtained from Serve Rhode Island.

Brown is a residential academic facility, and making the decision to cancel classes and halt operations is one that we take very seriously, and campus leaders chose to err on the side of caution with the safety of our students and staff of paramount concern. The decision to cancel classes on Monday and Tuesday was guided by information provided by city and state officials, and acknowledging that the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy could be serious to devastating, impacting the ability of employees to get to campus.  Knowing the rescheduling classes is burdensome, in the coming week, the Provost's office will send out information to faculty regarding how the reading period may be used to make up missed classes.

We appreciate the attention that members of the Brown community paid to the Brown Alert system, text messages and emergency updates, and the caution they heeded during the storm.  With skies clear and the brunt of the storm having passed, we encourage students to take advantage of some of the resumed operations, which include the following:

BOOKSTORE- Open until 5 pm today.

DINING - Sharpe Refectory and Verney-Woolley Dining Hall will be open regular hours.

NELSON FITNESS CENTER - Open limited hours (10am-5pm). Check website for updates.

ROCKEFELLER LIBRARY - Open from noon to 5 pm today. Please check library website for updates.

TRANSPORTATION - safeRIDE will resume normal operations at 7:00 pm, normal evening hours.


Brown University Core Crisis Team

Email from: Margaret Klawunn
Sent: Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Dear Brown students:

We will update you early this evening about the plans for University activities tomorrow.  The most severe wind and flooding is expected this afternoon and tonight.  Classes were cancelled today for your safety -- please keep your time outdoors to a minimum as we move into the more damaging stage of this hurricane. 

For students on campus, the Sharpe Refectory and Verney-Woolley Dining Halls are open.  Emergency response services, such as Brown's Department of Public Safety and Emergency Medical Services, are fully operational for all students if needed. Should you need help, please call 401-863-4111.  We also have on-call staff available in other student service units (Office of Student Life, Psychological Services, and University Health Service).  

You can continue to check the Brown homepage and the Emergency Announcements website ( for updates.  Stay inside, stay warm, dry, and safe. 

Thank you for your cooperation.


Margaret Klawunn
Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services

Brown Alert: October 28, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Dear Brown Students, Faculty and Staff,

Brown University has canceled classes and is closing Administrative offices on Monday, October 29, 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy.

Brown University is a residential academic community supported by a variety of essential operations.  Staff employees in positions previously designated as essential should report to campus or work remotely (with supervisory approval) unless specifically directed by their department not to report.  For more information concerning Brown's  Essential Position Policy, please see Human Resources Policy 20.052. (

SafeRide, operated by University Shuttle, has the responsibility to cease operations when conditions are deemed unsafe and this decision will be made and communicated separately from any decision to close or delay opening of the University. Users of the service should monitor communications (generally made via email and on the SafeRide website) regarding service status carefully and plan travel accordingly.

We expect to be back to normal operations on Tuesday, October 30, 2012.  Any change will be communicated by e-mail, on the home page (, or via the BrownAlert emergency notification system.

Please stay indoors during periods of high winds and stay away from the Coastal areas where dangerous conditions are expected.  Forecasts anticipate very rough and dangerous surf and beach erosion, and the high risk of dangerous rip currents throughout the Southern New England coast through much of the week. Pay close attention to news and forecasts until the storm system leaves our area.

If you have not already done so, make certain your emergency contact information - personal cell phone and home or off-campus housing telephone numbers - is up to date so that we can contact you as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency. Phone numbers can be added, updated or changed by going to the MyAccount page

The safety and security of Brown students, faculty and staff is a University priority. Please pay attention to University updates, and take prudent steps to ensure your safety.


Stephen Morin
Director of Environmental Health & Safety

Email from: Margaret Klawunn
Sent: Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Dear students,

I am writing to provide information regarding Hurricane Sandy, which is currently projected to affect Rhode Island between Sunday night, October 28 and Wednesday, October 31. We have been monitoring the storm’s development closely over the past few days, and will continue to do so. Although it is still too early to have any degree of certainty about the hurricane’s track and intensity when it reaches New England, this is a significant hurricane and we can anticipate storm impact, including heavy rainfall, high winds, and flooding in our area.

The University has a well-established Hurricane Plan that we encourage all members of the community to review at: The Core Crisis team convened today to review the plan, the latest forecasts, and preparedness efforts underway in Facilities Management, Dining Services, Residential Life, and other departments. In addition to reviewing the Hurricane Plan, which includes information about Family Preparedness that is especially useful for students living off-campus to review regarding steps you should take now to ensure your own personal home preparedness, we encourage all community members to take the following steps:

·         Pay close attention to news and forecasts regarding Hurricane Sandy over the next several days, especially if you have travel plans. Information the University community needs to be aware of will be communicated via e-mail, on the home page (, and, in the unlikely event of urgent emergency information, via the BrownAlert emergency notification system ( In making plans for the weekend, be prepared to be flexible and, in particular, able to seek shelter indoors during periods of heavy rain and high winds.

·         If you have not already done so, make certain your emergency contact information - personal cell phone and home or off-campus housing telephone numbers - is up to date so that we can contact you as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency. Phone numbers can be added, updated, or changed by going to the MyAccount page

·         If you are planning to travel away from campus later this weekend or early next week, please make sure a family member, roommate, or friend is aware of your itinerary, expected return, and how to reach you.

  • In advance of the storm, please ensure that all windows in your residence hall room or off-campus housing, including storm windows, are completely closed and locked to protect against damage from possible water intrusion. Relocate valuable property away from windows, where possible elevate boxes/equipment that are stored on the floor, and notify Facilities Management at 863-7800 as soon as possible if there are any deficiencies that prevent windows and or exterior doors from properly closing and securing.
  • Forecasts anticipate very rough surf, beach erosion, and the high risk of dangerous rip currents throughout the Southern New England coast beginning this weekend through much of next week. Be very cautious if your plans involve travel to Rhode Island or Southeastern Massachusetts beaches.

I want to remind you of important phone numbers for emergency situations:

  • Department of Public Safety, 863-4111;
  • Brown Emergency Medical Services, 863-4111;
  • Administrator-on-call, 863-3322.

We will provide updates and new information as necessary over the coming days.


Margaret Klawunn
Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services