Staff and faculty at Fork Union Military Academy continue to watch the forecasts and prepare for the variety of scenarios that Hurricane Irma can bring to our area.
Over the past century, Fork Union Military Academy has dealt with many such storms and our staff and faculty are well-drilled in dealing with the worst that Mother Nature can dish out. Fork Union itself is not located within a hurricane or evacuation zone and is not in a flood plain or low-lying area. The primary problems experienced on campus with such storms are loss of power and fallen trees due to high winds and heavy rains.
Not in the Storm's Direct Path
As it stands now, Fork Union appears to be out of the path of Hurricane Irma and is expected only to receive additional rains and winds similar to those experienced with our usual heavy summer thunderstorms.
In 2003, the campus did take a direct hit from the powerful Hurricane Isabel, leaving the campus without external power supply for a period of days. Life on campus continued in a remarkably normal manner, and classes continued to meet as scheduled.
Prepared for Power Loss
The campus has onsite generators to keep electricity flowing to critical infrastructure, and our maintenance staff keep a close eye on tree limbs that need to be removed and other potential hazards in advance of predicted high winds.
Jacobson Hall, the Upper School barracks, was constructed with a building generator capable of powering the entire building, with full service to the first floor and all bathroom facilities, and emergency lighting and service to the upper floors.
Larry McIlnay, Director of Food Services, reassures parents that "we're ready for this one." The school has ordered in extra supplies of bottled water, canned goods, and topped off the fuel tanks for the generators.
"We can run without refueling for four days, and run forever with additional fuel. Our students will always have a hot meal, and a place with lights and air conditioning," McIlnay says.
Ready to adapt to changing transportation needs
Weather conditions always have the potential to impact transportation plans for cadets traveling on weekend leaves. Our Commandant's Office personnel have many years of experience in dealing with such travel disruptions and adjusting nimbly to meet new travel conditions. As always, our first emphasis will be seeing to the safety of your son if he is to travel away from campus on leave. We will also work to make every accommodation we can to meet shifting schedules as the weather may impact transportation schedules. We've dealt with such situations many times in past years and we have the experience and patience to help work through the sometimes complicated logistics and help your sons have a safe and enjoyable leave to the fullest of our ability.
Keep an Eye on the Campus
You can keep an eye on weather conditions on campus with the Skyline Network weathercam we have mounted high atop Hatcher Hall for use by our local television stations. You can see the current view looking almost due west from the top of our central administration building at http://www.newsplex.com/content/ipcams/387007691.html.