June 1 marks the official start to the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which extends through November 30. There’s a time and a season for everything, and May is the time to begin ensuring you are ready for hurricane season.
It’s important to stay vigilant and prepared throughout the season, until the end of November and hurricane season is officially over.
Evacuation vs. Shelter-in-Place during a Hurricane, Tropical Storm or Major Weather Event
Loyola will always err on the side of caution when possible to ensure campus and student safety, which could mean that the University calls for an evacuation when the city has not.
The City of New Orleans will issue a mandatory evacuation for what is considered to be a major hurricane, which is a storm of Category 3 or higher strength. While each storm is different, this guideline serves as a consistent threshold and has been in place since 2007. Loyola will follow the city’s lead, but we encourage everyone to be flexible and attentive, as our response could call for a campus evacuation for a storm of lesser strength.
Information will be provided in detail for each threatening storm to the greater New Orleans area via the website, social media, email and text, courtesy of our emergency communications system.
Rules for the road during hurricane season
- Prepare now. Consider having supplies on hand for the duration of the hurricane season: two to three days of water supplies, a week’s worth of prescription medication, dry goods, flashlight, batteries, and first-aid kit, are a good start.
- It is always a good idea to have your gas tank half-full during hurricane season and to have cash at the ready in case of the need to evacuate.
- Determine multiple evacuation destinations as you develop your plan. You may need to be prepared to follow different routes - or modes of transportation - depending on circumstances and which direction the storm turns.
- If you live off-campus, begin preparing your home now, and have a plan to secure your home in the event of high winds and hurricane-level storms. Consider keeping your trees trimmed away from your home to lessen wind-driven impacts. If you board up your home, check your materials to see if they are still in good condition.
- If you rent or own your home, check to see if you have insurance coverage for wind (including for named storms) and flood. Remember that flood insurance is a separate policy and will have a 30-day waiting period to take effect.
- Have a plan for your pet, in the case of evacuation.
- Consider reducing the amount of frozen foods in your freezer. The less you have to pack up and/or leave when you evacuate, the better.
- During an emergency, the University may issue a “suspension of campus operations” order. In such a situation, classes are suspended and only resident students are permitted to remain on campus. Daily operations will be suspended and access to campus will be strictly limited for life/safety reasons until the order is lifted.
Please note: Due to the COVID-19 health pandemic, you should also include face masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectants in your shelter-in-place kit to prevent the spread during recovery activities.