Preparing for the Storm

Your first step in preparing for a hurricane should be to develop a personal emergency response plan and discuss it with your family well ahead of a weather emergency. This list will help you in your planning.

Rental insurance.  Inventory and purchase insurance for your rental unit and any especially valuable personal possessions. Please visit this website for insurance information and other resources:

Develop an emergency communication plan. Have an out-of-state relative or friend serve as a "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance.

Hurricane preparation kit. Pull together useful items such as non-perishable food items, snacks, juices, soft drinks, bottled water, manual can opener, change of clothing, sturdy shoes, portable radio, first-aid kit, batteries, flashlight, eating utensils, and containers for holding water. Refill prescription medicines. When you evacuate, you will want to take these supplies with you, along with a blanket and pillow or sleeping bag. Include games and toys as necessary for children or others.

Prepare your room, apartment, or house. Pick up all items from the floors and store in drawers and closets. Move upholstered furniture away from windows. Close and lock your windows. Bring inside any items you may have on balconies or other open areas. Turn refrigerator and freezer temperature gauges to the lowest number. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly. Unplug stereos, TVs, electronic equipment and lamps.

Computers and electronics. Back up computer data and take a copy with you. Cover your computer and other electronic equipment with plastic sheeting or large plastic garbage bags.

Protect important documents. Place your documents in waterproof containers and take with them you.

Gas up your vehicle. Check all fluids and tire pressures (including spare).

Have cash on hand. ATMs will not operate should the area experience a power failure.

Evacuation routes. Consult the following website: Louisiana Citizen Awareness & Disaster Evacuation Guide.

Transportation. For students who need transportation to the airport, train or bus stations, Public Safety will establish a shuttle service so that the students can make their connections.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Tulane will not provide transportation from the airport back to campus after the storm. Students are responsible for securing their own transportation back to campus.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If the City of New Orleans initiates its City-Assisted Evacuation Plan, students, faculty, and staff must be aware that rail and bus transportation will be utilized by city emergency personnel to evacuate citizens who have no other means of leaving the metropolitan area. In addition, Louis Armstrong International Airport will require an airline ticket or itinerary to access the airport. It is strongly recommended that students develop personal evacuation plans that do not relay on bus or rail transportation, and purchase airline tickets PRIOR to arrival at the airport.

Please consult the City-Assisted Evacuation Page for additional information.

Faculty and Staff Preparation

Each department should prepare a plan for safeguarding university property. The plan should, at a minimum, outline procedures for safeguarding or relocating to a secure area all important equipment, research materials, books, documents and delicate instrumentation. Each department employee should be familiar with their department's emergency plan prior to the beginning of hurricane season.

Departments should also:

  • Have all employees update their off-campus information (e.g., home address, home phone, cell phone, non-Tulane e-mail) at Also, maintain list of such information and distribute a copy to all employees within the department or unit.
  • Complete an updated inventory of all computers, office equipment, and scientific equipment including description, Tulane decal number, serial number, and age of the item. If possible, purchase orders or other documentation that may demonstrate the value of the item should be secured.
  • Keep on hand plastic sheeting and tape to cover equipment in the event you are asked to prepare your work area for the storm.
  • Stay tuned to the Tulane Alert Line and Tulane Emergency Website.

The president or his designee will announce when the university will close. Some employees have required duties prior to, during, and after the hurricane. Those employees designated as essential personnel must report at the time assigned by their supervisor. All non-essential personnel will prepare their work areas and then leave campus to take shelter or evacuate the area, as recommended in official city announcements.

In addition, each employee should have their own personal hurricane plan in case the City and Metro Area are under evacuation orders. Employees should be ready to implement their plan and evacuate when a storm threatens Southeast Louisiana.

Please note that employees will NOT be allowed to use Tulane University or Tulane University Health Science Center buildings as a storm shelter.  No employees, except for designated emergency personnel, will be allowed to remain on campus in the event of a university evacuation.

Preparing Your Work Area When a Storm Threatens

  • If you have temperature-critical materials, contact your Facilities Services office to ensure that emergency power is available.
  • Secure all critical papers, pictures, books, and other loose items in a cabinet, desk, or closet.
  • Back up computer hard drives. Make two copies. Secure a copy in your office and take the other with you.
  • Unplug all electrical equipment.
  • Move as much as possible away from windows to an interior area or against an interior wall.
  • Raise equipment up off of the floor, if possible.
  • Cover with plastic and secure with tape any office equipment, scientific instruments, fine art, antiques, and computers that cannot be stowed or moved away from windows.
  • Close and lock (or secure with tape) all filing cabinets.
  • Close and lock all windows.
  • Close and lock all doors.
  • Stow telephone in desk, closet, or cabinet.
  • Take personal items and backup disks home with you.
  • Before leaving, meet with your supervisor to confirm telephone numbers and learn when you are expected to call your supervisor after the storm. Assist other departments as necessary.