Affiliate(s): Southwestern Social Science Association
As you know Hurricane Michael has formed and is growing. I have received emails from individuals concerned about whether the conference will be canceled. The current, short answer to that is No.
I am in Orlando now (and as many of you know, lived here for 12 years) and am not terribly concerned about the effects of the hurricane on the area itself. Any effects for us are likely to be in travel disruptions. However, I expect that the hurricane will be well passed this area before most of you are scheduled to travel. Because of the timing, they are not expecting disruptions at MCO.
Currently, the forecast is for Hurricane Michael to be a very fast moving hurricane. It is currently expected to make landfall in Apalachicola, Fl tomorrow (Tuesday). Apalachicola is about 250 miles northwest of Orlando. As such, at this time, it is expected that the effects of the hurricane in Orlando will be minimal and have passed by early Wednesday morning. In the Central Florida area, they are forecasting a 50% chance of rain and wind speeds of less than 20 mph.
Unless the hotel is unable to provide the services required for the conference, our contract obligates us to hold the conference or to pay the costs associated with it. Consequently, at this time, we expect to hold the conference as planned. Because the anticipated effects of this storm to the Orlando area are expected to be minimal, I would not expect this to change.
I understand that many of you are concerned that flights may be canceled. Of course, that is a risk anytime you travel. If your flight is delayed or canceled you will need to address that on your own with your airline carrier or travel agent to come to an agreeable resolution.
We are in contact with the hotel and will update as it becomes necessary.
Lydia Andrade, SSSA President
Tracy Dietz, General Program Director