AMHERST, Mass. – The National Weather Service expects Hurricane Sandy to affect New England early next week. UMass Amherst officials are making preparations in advance of the storm, which is expected to peak on Monday and Tuesday with heavy rain, wind and possible power outages, according to Thomas O’Regan, emergency preparedness and business continuity planning manager with Environmental Health & Safety.
While the exact path of the storm is still uncertain, the university is taking steps to secure buildings, stockpile supplies of food and water, and ready its emergency communications systems. Updates are being sent to all students this afternoon to make them aware of the approaching storm and to advise them to make appropriate preparations.
All employees and students are urged to monitor the weather situation as it develops over the weekend. Currently, all classes are meeting as scheduled and the campus will operate as usual. The university will provide updates on the status of the campus through social media and web-based and other electronic communications. Staff and faculty may also check the campus’ status by calling the Emergency Closing Line at 413/545-3630.
“As last year’s Halloween snowstorm demonstrated, prior planning and preparation can help all of us cope with a severe weather emergency,” said O’Regan. “Community members are advised to use good judgment when travelling and avoid dangerous situations. We are working to protect your safety, but we also need your cooperation as conditions evolve.”