Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Emergency Management Information

Helpful Staff Information During Hurricane Season

During the hurricane season A&M-Kingsville carefully monitors all adverse weather in the Gulf of Mexico.

A&M-Kingsville has a Management Team (EMT) that consists of key professionals from throughout the university. These individuals meet regularly to plan operations during a campus crises. This includes planning for hurricanes.

A&M-Kingsville regards each severe weather threat (such as hurricane or tornado) as a potentially hazardous condition. When severe weather threatens, please monitor warnings on the local television, campus email, and radio stations, and take such warnings seriously.

The EMT consists of the following individuals: Co-Chair, Oscar Castillo, associate VP for support services; Co-Chair, Tom Jackson, Jr., vice president for student affairs; Julie Navajar, public affairs; Chris Tweddle, director, Environmental and Health; Dianne Brown, director, Life Services & Wellness; Crispin Trevino, interim director, Campus Housing; Val Ramirez, associate director, Computer Information Services; Sandra Jefferson, director, University Police Department; David Standish, director, Physical Plant; and Frank Ureno, dean of students.

Canceling Courses and University Operations

If a decision is made to cancel classes due to severe weather or other situations, local radio, television stations, and area daily newspapers are notified immediately. All official decisions will be made by the President and communicated to the campus community via email, the hurricane website, the main phone line, and the local media. The university's decision to cancel classes or special events is made independently of decisions made by school districts and surrounding cities and counties.

Unless an announcement specifically says A&M-Kingsville has canceled classes or is closed, employees should assume classes will be held as scheduled and that the university is open for business.

The radio and television stations devote much air time to school and work closings whenever bad weather hits or threatens the area. Be sure to watch and listen to these newscasts for information.

Dealing with Rumors

During a emergency the University will have many rumors circulating throughout campus. These will range from class closures, to buses coming early, to mandatory evacuations. Staff are urged not to panic or participate in the rumor generation; and to verify information. One of the best sources of information will be on this website, which is often one of the more accurate information sources. You may also contact the Public Affairs office at extension 3901.

When Weather Turns Bad

What happens when the weather looks bad, but you still have not heard any reports about campus closings or delaying its schedule? Because of the great number of calls received, the radio and television stations usually broadcast information only about closings or delays. If you do not see or hear a report about A&M-Kingsville, you should assume that the university is operating normally.

A&M-Kingsville, and its location, are different than those campuses located in Corpus Christi. You may hear that NAS-Kingsville, Corpus Christi, Bishop, and many other communities or agencies are closing. There are many factors considered before classes are canceled or the campus is closed. Some campus decisions are driven by local decisions in Kingsville and Kleberg County. Often a decision is never fast enough for those wanting to know. The Management Team asks your patience and support during these rapidly changing times during a emergency. Employees are urged to exercise their best judgment about whether they can safely travel to campus in hazardous weather conditions. Just because campus has not yet closed does not mean you, as a university employee, should not consult with your supervisor. If you need to depart campus to tend to your preparations please consult with your supervisor.

If You Are A Supervisor

During a emergency your staff are looking to you for information, some direction, and leadership. All departments play some role during a campus emergency. As department heads, directors, or supervisors each of you should be working to stay ahead of the emergency team, securing your departments, and keeping your personnel informed. It is imperative that you, as university leaders, remain current with information that is generated through campus emails and this website. Many people are working behind the scenes to keep the campus informed. As mentioned earlier, the information is often never enough or fast enough in coming. Your patience and stability are requested.

Your Personal Plan & Safety

The university is not designated as an shelter. If an evacuation of the campus is ordered, ALL students, faculty and staff must leave the university, except for operations personnel. In the aftermath of a major storm, movement to and from the campus may be restricted. All staff are urged to have a personal plan and to communicate this plan with their family, friends, and supervisors.

Evacuations & What it Means

During a emergency it may become necessary to evacuate. This ensures that the Kingsville community is out of the path of a storm.

If an evacuation is necessary there is typically a recommendation by local officials for the community to "voluntarily evacuate." This means all citizens should begin seeking shelter elsewhere for their own safety. Citizens are not required to leave, but should use their judgment in deciding whether to leave the area for their own safety.

If the storm worsens, or its path remains directed toward the Kingsville area, a "mandatory evacuation" order may be called by local officials. This means all citizens should immediately begin seeking shelter elsewhere and that a potential serious threat to one's safety may be imminent if one does not leave. Citizens are not required to leave, but should leave the area for their own safety. Often during this type of evacuation the local community will provide some minor assistance to those that do not have the means to depart the area on their own. As always, individuals should always have a personal plan should this not be immediately available.

Should Kingsville remain threatened the local officials may order a "forced evacuation." This means local law enforcement or military may travel throughout the local community and insist that all residents depart the area for their own safety and the safety of the community. Citizens are required to comply with this order as noncompliance may result in one's death.

These orders affect A&M-Kingsville in many ways. During an "involuntary evacuation" order A&M-Kingsville will likely advise the campus community to begin seeking shelter elsewhere. Students, staff, and faculty should begin immediately implementing their own personal plan. The campus will likely remain open. During a "mandatory evacuation" A&M-Kingsville will most likely cancel classes and begin closing the residence halls. The campus community will be asked to leave and to follow their personal plan for safety. Students will be strongly encouraged to ride-share so every student has a place to go and a way to get there. Off campus students, as local residents of the city and county, will be encouraged to follow evacuation information provided by the local community. Some assistance will likely be provided by A&M-Kingsville, such as shuttle service, for a very limited amount of time.

Hurricane Preparedness

When a tropical storm or hurricane enters the Gulf of Mexico, the EMT immediately meets and begins to provide regular campus advisories to faculty, staff, and students via the campus email and web system. These short advisories are intended to provide some information to the campus community and to assure the campus community that the EMT is meeting and monitoring the activity in the Gulf.

The hurricane procedures for the campus are based on the severity of the storm and the amount of time before the actual storm may reach Kingsville. For example, if the storm is a category 1 or 2 storm, the campus will likely remain open and effort will be made to keep the campus community informed. At 72 hours, 48 hours, 36 hours, etc. different decisions and activities occur throughout campus. Outdoor supplies may be secured, roofs may be inspected, and hazardous chemicals may be secured in anticipation of a hurricane. Of course things are subject to change depending on the projected path of the storm.

If the storm is a category 3 or above the campus may close if the projected track suggests a significant threat to the Kingsville area. The decision to close campus is typically made by the University President approximately 30-36 hours before expected landfall. Should the campus close it is the expectation that the entire campus community leave campus and seek shelter elsewhere, with family or friends.

This does not mean staff and their families should not take other precautions. Underlying all activity of the EMT during hurricane season is the responsibility of the individual and their family to have a personal plan. If at anytime the individual feels it necessary to leave the Kingsville area for their own safety they should exercise this prerogative. Please talk to your family and your supervisor.

This page was last updated on: June 25, 2013