Hurricanes are dangerous and can cause major damage from storm surge, wind damage, rip currents and flooding. They can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. 

UMass monitors active hurricanes that pose a risk to our region. We will communicate risks posed to campus by the UMass Amherst Emergency Alerts, which will include available resources to assist with the guidance below.

  • Pay attention to emergency information and alerts.
    • Have several ways to receive alerts. Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Sign up for UMass Emergency alerts and be aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), which require no sign up.
  • Follow the instructions from local emergency managers, who work closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies and partners. They will provide the latest recommendations based on the threat to your community and appropriate safety measures.
  • Always listen to authorities regarding whether you should evacuate or stay at home.

If you need to evacuate:

  • If you live in a mandatory evacuation zone and local officials tell you to evacuate, do so immediately.
    • Plan your evacuation route in advance of a hurricane and practice with your household and pets. Always have an alternate route prepared as your primary route may be determined to be dangerous by responders. Identify places where you might stay.  
  • If you need to evacuate:
    • Grab your emergency supply kit and only take what you really need with you (cell phone, chargers, medicines, identification like a passport or license, and cash).
    • Unplug your appliances. If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity, and water.
    • NEVER walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.

If you need to stay at home:

  • You may hear an order to stay at home. If driving conditions are dangerous, staying at home might be safer than leaving.
  • Keep your emergency supply kit in a place you can easily access.
  • Listen to the radio or TV and keep your phone handy for updates on the hurricane.
  • Stay inside. Even if it looks calm, don’t go outside. Wait until you hear or see an official message that the hurricane is over. Sometimes, the weather gets calm in the middle of a storm but then quickly gets bad again.
  • Stay away from windows—you could get hurt by pieces of broken glass or flying debris during a storm. Stay in a room with no windows or go inside a closet.
  • Be ready to leave. If emergency authorities order you to leave or if your home is damaged, you may need to go to a shelter or a neighbor’s house.