Hurricane Guide for Students

It is imperative that students and their families develop a personal evacuation plan, and be ready to implement that plan if a storm threatens the New Orleans area.

Living with the threat of a serious hurricane is part of living in New Orleans. Because our first concern is for the safety of our students and employees, Tulane University has emergency plans and teams in place if a storm approaches the New Orleans area. We plan ahead in conjunction with city, parish and emergency officials.

However, you must plan ahead in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane weather emergency. Students and their families should develop their own personal emergency plans in the event New Orleans is threatened by a hurricane. These plans should include your destination and transportation arrangements.

Staying Informed

When a hurricane or tropical storm threatens New Orleans, the university will activate the Tulane Alert Line to provide faculty, staff, students and parents with up-to-date information on storm progress, instructions regarding campus preparations, announcements about closing and reopening of university offices, and other relevant instructions. In addition the Tulane emergency website will be updated with vital information.


Tulane's emergency website:


Tulane Alert Line: 504-862-8080 or 877-862-8080 (toll-free)


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. Purchase insurance for and inventory your personal possessions.  Please visit this website for more information on protecting your belongings:

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 and 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 or apartment. 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 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.

Responding to the Storm

Whenever a hurricane threatens New Orleans, Tulane's campuses will close and an evacuation order may be issued by Tulane. It is critical that you monitor the Tulane Alert Line and the Tulane emergency website and follow all instructions issued by the Tulane administration. When responding to any evacuation order, you should seek shelter outside of the city.

Please note that students will NOT be allowed to use Tulane University or Tulane University health sciences campus buildings as a storm shelter if an evacuation order is given.  No students will be allowed to remain on campus in the event of a university evacuation. 

Use your prearranged emergency plan. You are urged to make every effort to leave the area since we cannot assure your safety in New Orleans under hurricane emergency conditions. Consider the following options for evacuation sheltering outside of New Orleans:

  • Choose a sheltering option far inland and north of Interstate-12.
  • Consult the Louisiana Citizen Awareness & Disaster Evacuation Guide. Copies are available on campus for students and online.
  • Make reservations at a hotel or motel outside of the storm area.
  • Go to a relative's or friend's house far inland and north of Interstate-12.
  • Go to a Red Cross shelter. (Shelter locations are announced by the news media as storms approach the area and evacuation orders are issued.)

When You Evacuate

Tell someone outside of the storm area (a family member or friend) where you are going. If you live on campus, please complete an Evacuation Info Card and register with the staff member at your residence hall front desk.

  • Offer a ride and share sheltering options with other students who need transportation.
  • Leave as soon as possible. Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges.
  • Bring your preassembled hurricane kit and protective clothing. When an evacuation is ordered, you should do everything in your power to comply. Tulane will provide as much notice as possible in helping students make arrangements so that they can provide for their own safety and welfare.  For examples of what to bring, please visit this page:

After the Storm

Consult the Alert Line and Emergency website for official information regarding Tulane University on a daily basis. Listen to local news media for other information. Stay where you are if it is safe until authorities give the "all-clear." DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RETURN TO CAMPUS until instructed to do so via the Alert Line and Emergency Website.

Use the telephone only for emergency calls; however, be prepared to have telephones and cell phones become inoperative. Contact relatives as soon as possible to let them know where you are and to make necessary plans. Drive only if absolutely necessary and avoid flooded areas.


For additional information on hurricanes and storm preparations, check the following the resources on our Employee and Student Planning website.