Upcoming storm, Santa Cruz County evacuations, and support services

To: UC Santa Cruz campus community

From: Jennifer Baszile, Vice Chancellor Student Affairs and Success; Lori Kletzer, Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor; and Sarah Latham, Vice Chancellor Business and Administrative Services

A powerful winter storm is expected to hit Santa Cruz County on Tuesday and extend into Thursday, with up to eight inches of rain forecast in some parts of the Santa Cruz Mountains. For that reason, Santa Cruz County and Cal Fire have issued an evacuation order for some local areas due to the risk of flooding and debris flows. The areas include parts of Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, Felton, and Davenport — mainly the areas that saw significant fire damage in this summer’s CZU Fire. If you are unsure whether you are in an evacuation zone, check the county’s interactive online map. High winds and power outages are also anticipated.

Though the residential campus, Westside Research Park, Coastal Science Campus and Scotts Valley Center are not within the evacuation zone and are not threatened, we know some employees and students live in impacted areas. Temporary shelter information is available at the county evacuation webpage.

Employees facing work disruption

For our employees who are impacted and unable to work, either due to evacuation or power loss, please inform your manager or department chair of your status and let them know what types of support you need and the best way to reach you. Administrative leaves will be available for those impacted.

We ask that managers and supervisors, many of whom are impacted themselves, show as much flexibility as possible in accommodating employee needs. Work priorities should be examined in light of this emergency situation.

Disruptions to instruction

While instruction continues, we understand the uncertainty and disturbance that sudden evacuations and electricity loss can cause. Students who have been evacuated or are without electricity may lose internet access and other instructional resources. They also may be dislocated from their homes or be unable to find a quiet location to participate in class or to do assigned work. We encourage instructors to be flexible in this emergency situation. Students may need extra time or other accommodations to be able to complete work.

Instructors and TAs may also be impacted by evacuations or power outages, and may not be able to find an appropriate space for the delivery of instruction. Should this occur, communication between instructors and TAs and with students is critically important, as is communication with the department chair or college provost sponsoring the course. Keepteaching.ucsc.edu and last year’s fall guidance are also useful resources.

Students and employees needing assistance

Slug Support is available to provide students with immediate food, housing, and other essential needs. Students in need of immediate help should call the program’s crisis line at 831-459-7003. For the duration of the evacuation order, this line will be available 24 hours a day. Please note that even if you have been assisted by Slug Support before or were assisted during the CZU Fire evacuation, you will still be able to receive assistance during this time. Information is also available on the Slug Support webpage.

For non-emergency needs, please email deanofstudents@ucsc.edu or call 831-459-4446 and leave a message.

Employees who have been evacuated and are in need of emergency evacuation housing assistance should call 831-421-0695 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also email utc@ucsc.edu, which is monitored regularly after regular business hours.

We recognize that an event like this can be stressful, as it arrives as we are still navigating the pandemic and other challenges. In addition to support services offered by staff in our colleges and resource centers, Counseling and Psychological Services provides assistance for students. The Employee Assistance Program can provide counseling and support for faculty and staff.

We will provide additional updates as they become available.