Florida preparing for campus lockdown Sunday due to Hurricane Dorian

Kissimmee — Johnson University Florida will be on campus lockdown beginning Sunday afternoon through Wednesday night due to a Category 4 hurricane moving towards central Florida.

Michael Chambers, JU Executive Vice President on the Florida campus, said in a statement that normal operation will end 5 p.m. today and should resume next Thursday.  Classes will be canceled Monday through Friday of next week, September 2-6.

On-campus students who cannot go home during this time are staying in the Chapman Building, which is Red-Cross certified to withstand a category 5 Hurricane.

Approximately 40 students will be staying on campus. 

“Campus residents who are forced to shelter on campus during Hurricane Dorian will be concentrated in Chapman Center beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday,” Chambers said in the statement. “An Emergency Operations Center has been set up in that building to manage emergency services throughout the storm.”

All on-campus residents staying in the Chapman Center will receive meals, student services, maintenance and custodial services, first aid, communications, and other aspects of emergency operations. 

 A dedicated telephone landline is connected to the EOC, for emergency use only. The number is (407) 962-0007. 

All students will be kept informed of lockdown extensions or changes throughout the week through their student emails, the Johnson website and Facebook page. Students have already been informed of this information.

Student Community and Resident Director Micaela Cox spoke at a meeting for on-campus students Thursday. Students were informed of how to prepare their campus apartments for a hurricane.

“At the end of the day safety is our number one priority; no questions asked,” Cox said.

While students will be using the Chapman Center this week, it is also a state public crisis center but is currently not open to the public. 

The JUFL campus has been locked down before due to other high category hurricanes.

Student Alyssa Price was on campus lockdown during Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Although this lockdown will be longer than the previous one, she expressed feeling safe during that time. 

“Matthew was intense,” Price said. “Johnson was really good about keeping us up to date. They always make sure we hope for the best but plan for the worst.”

The disruption caused by Hurricane Dorian comes just one week into the beginning of the JU fall semester.

“JUFL Faculty, Staff, and Students are enjoying a wonderful start to the 2019 fall term and are anxious to resume normal campus operations and classes following this event,” Chambers said in his statement. “Meanwhile our prayers and best wishes are not only for the friends, families, and homes of JUFL students and employees, but also for the university’s many friends, donors, supporting churches, and neighbors in our local community and throughout Florida in the path of the hurricane.”

To stay informed of lockdown updates, check Johnson University Florida’s Facebook page.

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