It is the responsibility of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University to ensure that each member of the campus community and visitors are provided a safe environment for both work and study, to respond appropriately to emergencies and disasters, and to ensure the execution of the University’s mission essential functions during and following any emergency.
The Florida A&M University Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT) oversees the University's emergency planning and response. The team is activated whenever there is a critical incident on campus that could affect the safety, health or well-being of people on campus.
CERT is co-chaired by the Lead Coordinator of Environmental Health & Safety and the Police Chief/Director of Campus Safety.
The Lead Coordinator, Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for interaction with Leon County Emergency Management as well as other outside agencies,(other than law enforcement agencies and State of Florida Emergency Management), when the emergency threat is severe weather, major fires, other natural disasters, and hazardous chemical releases.
The Director of Campus Safety is responsible for necessary interaction with outside law enforcement agencies, especially when the emergency threat involves criminal activity such as civil disorder, riots, bomb threats, hostage situations, etc. The Director of Campus Safety is also responsible for maintaining on-going communication with the State Division of Emergency Management throughout the duration of an emergency and/or CEMP activation. This communication will ensure a means of information coordination for the Office of the Governor to ensure uninterrupted communication within the University and externally to other agencies and to all identified critical customers.
An emergency shall be defined as an event or impending event that presents a severe threat to the safety of university staff, students, and visitors, to the preservation of university facilities, or to the ability to carry out mission essential functions. Such emergencies are categorized as either natural or man-made. Examples of each are listed below, along with definitions of severe weather terminology.
Natural Emergencies - hurricanes, tornadoes, other severe weather, and major fires.
Man-made Emergencies - hazardous chemical releases, civil disorder, shooters, terrorist activity, riots, bomb threats, hostage situations, etc.
Hurricanes - a hurricane is among the most destructive weather phenomena. Florida is particularly vulnerable to these powerful storms due to the storm's great horizontal extent, range, and longevity. A hurricane exceeds all other weather phenomena in loss of life and property. The average life span of a hurricane is six days from the time it forms until it moves over land and dissipates.
Tropical Depression - a low pressure area with some basic characteristics of a hurricane, possessing wind speeds of less than 39 mph.
Tropical Storm - an organized storm with most of the characteristics of a hurricane and wind speeds of 40-74 mph.
Hurricane Watch - weather advisory that a hurricane may threaten an area.
Hurricane Warning - weather advisory of a hurricane expected to strike the area within 24 hours.
Tornadoes - may occur anywhere and at any time of the year. The average length of a tornado path is 16 miles, average width is 400 yards, and forward movement can vary from stationary to 68 mph.
Tornado Watch - A special weather forecast advisory issued whenever there is reliable indication of tornado activity.
Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted, either visually or by radar, and poses an immediate danger to the area.
Tornado Strike - A tornado has touched ground in the area.