PREDICT severe weather evacuation plan


The PREDICT project will have EOL and university staff on St. Croix, USVI during approximately 12 Aug - 4 Oct 2010. The staff will be housed at the Buccaneer Hotel. The NSF/NCAR GV will be used for the project.

The Buccaneer Hotel is on a hill, thus flooding is not expected to be an issue. In case of forecast hurricanes, the hotel advises guests to leave the island. For guests that cannot leave the island, we have been told that the hotel stays open and is manned for the duration of the weather event. The hotel has its own generators and water supply. There is also food at the hotel. Remaining guests are usually gathered in the lobby, and windows are covered, etc. In addition there are basements available.


This document describes the responsibilities and procedures to be followed in case of severe winds (a threat to the GV aircraft) and hurricane force winds (a treat to PREDICT staff). The document was drafted following a meeting between Meitín, Jensen, Stith, Schanot, Thompson, Ringleman and Davis at RAF, 13 April 2010.


UCAR is responsible for evacuation of UCAR employees. This applies to both EOL and non-EOL employees. In practice the decision to evacuate UCAR employees will be made jointly by the RAF Project Manager and the on-site RAF pilots in accordance with the criteria given below.


While all other PREDICT staff are responsible for their own evacuation arrangements and timelines, EOL staff will endeavor to assist with evacuation arrangements for non-UCAR employees, but EOL staff has no responsibility for this.


Evacuation of aircraft only


The GV will need to be evacuated from St. Croix in case the forecast winds are 30 kts or higher. Repositioning of the GV may be to Barbados, Trinidad-Tobago, JeffCo or other US airport as deemed appropriate by the GV Operations Group.


More stringent criteria may apply in case of strong cross-runway wind component.

Evacuation of PREDICT staff


When St. Croix is within the NHC track "forecast cone"   ( for hurricane force wind (Category 1 forecasted), UCAR, staff including UCAR casual students and contractors, will be evacuated using the following schedule:


Staff will be given the choice to leave St. Croix starting 72 hours before forecast Hurricane winds at St. Croix.


When St. Croix is within the NHC "track forecast cone"  ( for hurricane force wind (Category 2 and higher forecasted), UCAR staff, including UCAR casual students and contractors, will be mandated to evacuate using the following schedule:


            Non-essential staff (office staff, backup staff, etc.):

72-hours before forecast hurricane wind conditions at St. Croix, the non-essential staff will start being evacuated.


Essential staff (minimum crew required to prepare, conduct and recover from research missions):

48-hours hours before forecast hurricane wind conditions at St. Croix, the essential staff will start being evacuated.


The evacuation may be done earlier than this based on advice from the PREDICT PI science team.


Primary means for evacuation will be using commercial air services, if at all possible. PREDICT operations staff will closely monitor availability of commercial flights whenever a storm threatens. If commercial air services are not feasible, then either a charter aircraft or the GV will be used to evacuate UCAR staff. EOL staff will document the fact that no normal commercial air services are available.


Evacuations using the GV will not be attempted if this puts the aircrew or aircraft at risk.


Evacuation using the GV may be done to pre-planned locations in Barbados, Trinidad-Tobago, the US mainland, or to any other location that the flight crew deem viable. RAF pilots will investigate the requirements for flying in and out of Barbados and Trinidad-Tobago, and other EOL staff will investigate lodging and other conditions (visa requirements etc.) at these locations.


In case of very severe hurricanes or rapidly intensifying systems or unforeseen circumstances, the GV may also be used to ferry non-UCAR PREDICT staff to a safe location (see above list). The RAF Project Manager will decide what staff

will be on a particular GV evacuation flight.


All persons flying on the GV should have their passports with them.

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