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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Prepares for Hurricane Irene’s arrival

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

Early move-in students advised to remain home

KINGSTON, R.I. – August 26, 2011 – The University of Rhode Island has informed about 800 students who sought to move in between Monday, Aug. 29 and Friday, Sept. 2 to stay home until further notice.

The precaution is one of many being taken as the University prepares for the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Irene Sunday. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is focusing resources on Rhode Island as one of the states that will be affected by Irene.

Housing and Residential Life staff members have been making phone calls and sending emails telling students who requested early move-in to delay their arrival. To obtain the most current information about the Early Move-In program, please visit the Department of Housing and Residential Life web site at housing.uri.edu. Official move-in days for freshmen are Sept. 3 and 4 and for upperclassmen, Sept. 5 through 6. Classes begin Sept. 7.

A few hundred students are currently on campus. As of August 25, the residences were housing 148 student-athletes who are participating in pre-season training, along with134 resident advisors and 152 students who are University employees. The University is equipped to house and feed these students if the hurricane hits.

Meanwhile, campus facilities and emergency personnel met late Wednesday afternoon to discuss the state of hurricane preparations at all of its campuses.

Campus generators, pumps and chain saws have all been tested, filled with fuel and are operational. Facilities staff members have been mobilized to respond to storm issues. In the event that power is lost, the University is confident that the Kingston campus’ water and telecommunications systems will remain operational with generator support.

Roof projects at Quinn and East halls are being secured. Construction crews on the new pharmacy building and a new residence hall are also preparing those sites to weather the storm. All University personnel are being urged to close and lock their windows and doors before they leave for the weekend. Doors left propped open could lead to serious building damage.

The staff will be doubled in the public safety dispatch center for the weekend.

For official information and links regarding the hurricane and the nature of emergency preparation and recovery efforts, go to the Rhode Island Emergency Management website.

The University will also be posting updates to its home page and Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you have not registered your cell phone to receive text messages about emergencies from the University, go to www.uri.edu/ecampus/. For more campus safety information, see www.uri.edu/publicsafety/police/EmergGuideBookInternet.pdf. For more information on tracking Hurricane Irene, go to the National Hurricane Center.