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Hurricane Season Preparedness

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Hurricanes can cause storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes and rip currents. These can cause damage to infrastructure, stopping basic services such as electricity and water. It is important that you prepare now for any potential weather events this hurricane season. On rare occasions, New Orleans issues a mandatory evacuation order due to the threat of a hurricane. If an evacuation is not ordered for a hurricane headed to our area, you may still choose to evacuate or, alternatively, shelter in place. Please read all the information below so that you are prepared for hurricane season.

How to Prepare

  • Pay attention to the daily weather forecast. Check NOLA Ready (a website hosted by the City of New Orleans) for information on weather that may result in hurricane conditions.
  • Check emergency updates on Tulane’s Emergency website (you can also call the Tulane Alert Line: 504-862-8080 or 877-862-8080 (toll free) for updated information).
  • Review the Tulane Hurricane Guide for Students, which contains useful links and information that you should read through. This will help you understand the university protocol during an emergency and what steps you need to take now to be prepared.
  • Make an Emergency Kit. You should have a kit ready in case you need to quickly leave your home. The kit should include the following:
    • A “Go Bag”: Cash, telephone contact numbers, driver’s license, passport, travel documents, and any required medications.  Include at least 3 days of clothes.
    • Essential emergency supplies: Water, food, flashlights, batteries, and first aid kits are very important.  You can get a list of other basic disaster supplies here.
  • Make an Evacuation Plan. Once you have reviewed the student guide, you must make a personal hurricane evacuation plan. Good areas to evacuate to include Atlanta, Knoxville, Birmingham or any city at least 300 miles inland. Below are different ways to evacuate:
    • Fly: If you plan to fly, it is not necessary for you to fly back to your home country. Classes will likely resume a few days after an evacuation, so we recommend you fly to a location within the U.S not affected by the hurricane. To enter the airport during an evacuation, you will need to buy tickets online and print the proof of purchase and boarding pass before you go to the airport. Tulane shuttles will be available to take you to the airport until about 30 hours before the hurricane makes landfall.
    • Drive: You can drive your own car, rent a car, or ride with a friend who has a car. If you plan to rent a car, you will need a credit card and a valid driver’s license from your home country or a U.S. driver’s license. Be aware that during an evacuation rental cars will be in high demand and may quickly become unavailable. The Hurricane Guide for Students has detailed information you will need if you are driving.
    • Other Means of Transportation: If you evacuate early, other means of transportation such as Greyhound Buses or Amtrak trains may also be available – make sure you buy tickets in advance and print out your proof of purchase. If a citywide evacuation is ordered, the city will commandeer buses and trains and commercial tickets will no longer be available.
    • Tulane Evacuation: As a last resort, and only to be used if your existing evacuation plans fall through, you (and your dependents, if applicable) may evacuate with the University. Evacuating with the University will not be a comfortable experience. You will be sleeping on the floor in a gym, your access to food options will be limited, and you will be required to get permission to leave the evacuation area. You will need your Tulane ID to board the Tulane evacuation shuttles. Pets (aside from service animals) will not be permitted on the Tulane evacuation shuttles, so pet owners must have other plans for evacuation.

Enter your Evacuation Plan and U.S. Telephone Number in Gibson

  • It is important that Tulane knows how you plan to evacuate. Make sure to enter your Personal Family Storm Plan in your Gibson account as soon as possible.
  • Enter your U.S. phone number once you get a U.S. SIM card in Gibson so that you receive emergency text alerts (“TU Alerts”). This is also very important for other kinds of emergency situations, such as an active shooter on campus.

If a Mandatory Evacuation Is Issued

  • EVACUATE EARLY!
    • The Greater New Orleans area has a population of approximately 1.2 million people. A large percentage of this population waits until the last minute to evacuate.
      • This causes extreme congestion at airports and on the highways. If the university orders an evacuation you should leave immediately. This should be around 4 days prior to land fall.The earlier you leave, the easier your evacuation will be. Your chances of securing flights will also be higher. If you wait past 3 days before land fall you will begin to encounter long lines at gas stations, outgoing flight delays, full flights, and slow moving interstate traffic.
    • Once again 3 to 4 days before the storm makes landfall is your optimum evacuation time line.
  • Remember to bring your Tulane Splash Card, driver’s license, passport, I-20 or DS-2019 and your health insurance card.
  • Communicate with your family as much as possible before and during any severe weather event. We cannot underestimate the importance of keeping in touch with friends and family.  Please let them know you are safe and keep important contact information in writing in case something happens to your phone.
  • Consult the Tulane Alert Line and Emergency website (tulane.edu/emergency) daily during severe weather for official information regarding Tulane University. Listen to local news media for other information. Stay where you are if it is safe until Tulane University gives the "all-clear” and announces you may return to campus.
  • DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RETURN TO CAMPUS until instructed to do so by the university. This will be announced via email, the Alert Line and Emergency Website.
  • Be prepared in case telephones and cell phones in the New Orleans area become inoperative.
  • Bring cash with you in case you cannot access an ATM machine.
  • If you have pets, make sure to include them in your evacuation plan. You will need a pet carrier/crate, adequate food, water, blankets, vaccination records, and any required medications for your pet. Plan ahead to make sure your transportation and lodging will accept pets. No pets will be permitted in the Tulane evacuation shuttles aside from service animals.

If an order to ‘Shelter in Place’ is Issued:

Shelter in place means staying indoors in a safe place until the threat of severe weather passes. That means that you would need to plan accordingly by gathering the necessary supplies and preparing your residence for the storm. For specific details and to learn more about how to shelter in place click here.

If you have any questions or concerns about hurricane preparedness, please contact the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response:

You are also welcome to contact us at the Office of International Students and Scholars.