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Wednesday, August 20, 2014   3:36 PM    |   82°F
 
 

 

Hurricanes


Preparedness

  • Hurricane season runs from Jun 1 through Nov 30.  All should be familiar with Chancellor’s Memorandum (CM) 51, Policy on Weather Related Emergency Procedures, which highlights actions required to protect LSUHSC-NO personnel, property and research.  Early preparations enhance response and recovery.  At the beginning of hurricane season Schools and departments should:
    • Updates Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans
    • Assign essential personnel
    • Ensure critical supplies and equipment are stocked
    • Develop a communications plan and a hierarchy of decision makers
    • Develop a plan for moving essential equipment away from windows and covering critical equipment
    • Designate a location for essential personnel to report for recovery operations
  • Emergency planning extends beyond the workplace.  You should have an emergency plan for you and your family that includes:
    • A designated out-of-town contact that each household member can call if separated during an emergency.  Choose a pre-determined place to reunite if separated during an emergency.
    • Supplies to get you through the emergency.  Disaster can strike at any time and in many forms which do not require citizens to evacuate, but do require them to be ready to be stuck inside, without power or running water, or access to groceries.  Check out Gather Supplies for everything you need in your home to weather events from boil advisories to chemical spills to Category 1 or 2 hurricanes.
    • Primary and alternate evacuation routes.  Roads may be blocked, buses and city transportation shut down or re-routed, or streets be impassable.  In the case of city evacuation, all should be familiar with the contraflow map illustrating what major roads lead where, and those without transportation should know how to access City Assisted Evacuation for assistance.
    • More information on emergency preparedness can be found at the City of New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and in the Official Louisiana Hurricane Survival Guide.

 

Preparing for Potential Closure of LSUHSC-NO

  • In general, response actions begin 72 hours before the onset of tropical storm force winds, and will be complete 24 hours prior to the onset of tropical storm force winds with the full or partial closure of the University.  You will be notified via the Emergency Alert System of certain milestones and your associated actions, which typically include:
    • At 72 hours prior to the onset of tropical storm force winds, Facility Services begins preparing for shutdown operations by staging supplies, and topping off fuel and water tanks.  Faculty and Staff should take action consistent with their School/Department plans, including moving essential equipment away from windows, covering critical equipment, and removing perishable food from refrigerators.  Researchers begin filling dewars with research material in accordance with the “Emergency Preparation Liquid Nitrogen Supply and Safety Plan
    • At 48 hours prior to the onset of tropical storm force winds, preparations begin for potential partial or full closure of the University.  To reduce the probability of damage due to high winds and water, Facility Services begins shutdown of boilers, chillers, and electrical systems.  Elevators will begin to be secured at 39 hours out and all elevators will be secure by 24 hours out.
    • Between 48 and 36 hours prior to the onset of tropical storm force winds, if the threat from the storm remains, the Chancellor will order the partial or full closure of the University.  All students and personnel must vacate all campuses not later than six hours in advance of the mandated closure time.  It is imperative that all interior doors remain open for a security sweep by emergency personnel prior to final lockdown.
    • The target for full or partial closure of the University is no later than 24 hours before the onset of tropical storm force winds.
  • Note that these milestones are only a guide; a storm’s speed and direction can change quickly resulting in an accelerated timeline.

 

Closure and Reopening of LSUHSC-NO

  • When a voluntary or a mandatory evacuation is ordered by an authorized state, city, or university official, LSUHSC-NO will NOT serve as a shelter of last resort for faculty, students and staff.
  • Note that if the entire University closes, all students living in Residence Hall and Stanislaus Hall must evacuate the Health Sciences Center.
    • All LSUHSC students, especially international students and students new to the university, are encouraged to partner with a “buddy” familiar with local evacuation procedures to formulate an individual evacuation plan.
    • Personal evacuation plans should focus on assuring that transportation for timely evacuation is available and that a designated location to evacuate is identified in advance of an evacuation.
  • Should it appear that the University be closed for an extended period, personnel will be notified via the Text Alert System and by mass email that they must update their personnel contact information on the LSUHSC Registry.
  • Once the storm passes, a team will be dispatched to assess damage.  Even if there is little or no damage to the facilities, critical systems must be brought online before the University can reopen.  The Chancellor will determine when the University can reopen, and notification will be made via the Text Alert System and mass email.