By Barbara Brown
(NOTE: Schools have not been closed as of the publication of this story at 7:30 a.m., October 7. Please make sure your kids go to school until it is otherwise determined)
(Tumon, Guam) Department of Education superintendent Jon Fernandez has his process ready in case the governor declares Condition of Readiness 2 in the middle of the school day, and emergency shelters are needed. Mr. Fernandez told Kandit this morning:
It is easier to mobilize for school closures when schools are not in session. However, if COR2 is declared, our priority would be to ensure the smooth closure of schools and to work with DPW so buses have sufficient time to take students home. We would need to notify the general public and parents to ensure kids get home safely. Once we close schools, we have assigned shelter managers and staff who understand their role in opening shelters and can begin to mobilize. This requires setup of the shelter areas, preparation for registration, and shift assignments. We have staff up at the EOC and JIC to help provide updated information and we have both radios and other means of communication to coordinate shelter operations and updates. We take hourly census of individuals in the shelter and use that to monitor the need for shelters throughout the storm.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has not declared COR2 or COR3 as of yet. A declaration of COR2 triggers the closure of the government of Guam (except for essential services), including the closure of public schools. Ms. Leon Guerrero is expected to make a decision following a 10 a.m. heavy weather briefing at Civil Defense this morning.
Typhoon Hagibis now is 368 nautical miles, or 423 miles, east-northeast of Guam, according to the 6 a.m. statement from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Maximum sustained winds have been measured at 75 mph. The storm now is moving west-northwestward at 16 mph.
The typhoon is expected to pass 40 miles north of Saipan around midnight tonight, according to the latest from the National Weather Service.
The NWS is expected to produce an update at 8 a.m.