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Tuesday, October 3, 2023


UH asks for latest contact info

The UH Emergency Management Team has asked that students, faculty and staff update their contact information in order to keep the campus community updated on situations relating to safety that range from natural disasters to security alerts, which are reasons for closures.

"Although our University was fortunate to escape any serious damage during Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and last season was uneventful, we know that our region is always at risk, and it’s unwise to become complacent," Associate Vice President of UH Plant Operations Dave Irvin said on the Emergency Management Web site.

To date, the University has not suffered any large-scale damage from hurricanes, although it has previously been affected by flooding during Tropical Storm Allison in July 2001 and freezing weather in January, which forced the campus to close.

The UH Department of Public Safety began monitoring weather conditions on a 24-hour basis since the beginning of the hurricane season in June and will end in October.

"We assist by ensuring the buildings and campus are evacuated during an emergency through two ‘ride-out’ teams that work 12-hour shifts," Capt. Brad Wigtil said. "We work through emergency recovery mode afterward and help make sure facilities are okay and assess (the) damage, and reopen the campus when the (UH) president approves it."

The "ride-out" teams consist of essential personnel that stay on campus during an emergency and later assess the damage.

The Public Safety Department keeps track of weather changes through weather services and is dependent on local conditions, which can be viewed at

In case of a natural disaster, the University has instituted precautions, which include evacuation procedures and safety alerts through e-mail and text messages to inform the campus community of an emergency.

In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings in April, safety alerts have become a priority to universities nationwide.

The DPS utilizes video cameras to monitor the campus during emergencies, which are used to identify possible hazards, such as road debris that can block access or security risks on campus.

Students, faculty and staff are advised to be aware of at least two escape routes in case of an emergency exit.

UH has been promoting the contact information by offering Apple iPods as prizes to participants who update e-mail addresses, phone and cell numbers. The first drawings were held in early May and will continue each month through the summer and fall semesters.

During times of crisis, students can contact UH On Call at (713) 743-2255 for an updated report on the situation and will be contacted when the emergency stats has changed through phone, e-mail or the UH Web site.

KUHT-TV and KUHF-FM radio also carry broadcasts of the most current information available.

"We have continued to evaluate and improve our crisis communication resources and our emergency procedures," Irvin said. "We hope we won’t need them… but it’s reassuring to know that we’re prepared if we do."

For more information on emergency procedures, visit

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