Hurricane Preparation Tips

With hurricane season upon us, it is important to make the appropriate preparations.    


1.1. At the university:  

1.1.1 Please familiarize yourself with CM-51, the Policy on Weather Related Emergency Procedures for LSUHSC-New Orleans.    

1.1.2 Sign up for Omnilert, LSUHSC-NO’s emergency text messaging system at the link below if you have not already done so. This will allow you to receive updates from LSUHSC- management on your cell phone in the event of an emergency. Please note that Omnilert is only used for emergency messages so you don’t have to worry about receiving promotional texts.  

1.1.3 Back up any important digital files on desktop or laptop computers to your O: drive or your departments shared drive (T: drive).  

1.1.4 Familiarize yourself with your department’s and/or school’s emergency plan.  

1.1.5 Communications are usually the first thing to break down in a disaster. The more ways you have to communicate, the more likely it is you can get through. Make sure your department has at least three ways to contact you in addition to your home telephone number. This can include cell phone number, the number of the location you are evacuating to, and, the number of a friend or a relative who lives outside affected area with whom you will be in contact during the emergency. If you have a blackberry, make sure the PIN number is included in that list. If your department has the name of your cell phone service provider, they can send emails directly to your cell phone.

1.1.6 Practice sending and receiving text messages. During emergencies, voice channels become overwhelmed but text messages can get through. (This is one of the reasons why the University has invested in e2campus.) Make sure you include your cell phone service provider (Verizon, ATT, Sprint, etc.) in your emergency contact list.  

1.1.7 If you have been assigned equipment to use during an emergency or an evacuation such as a laptop, blackberry, cell phone, WWAN card, etc., make sure you understand its proper operation.  

1.1.8 Remember that the University campus will be closed during the emergency. Plan to evacuate to a location well outside of the affected area.  

1.1.9 Plan how you will communicate with your supervisor and co-workers, family and friends and receive announcements from government and University officials during the emergency. Understand that an emergency can render a particular mode of communication (e.g. cell phones) inoperative, so plan for multiple ways to send and receive information. These can include but are not limited to: Landline phones at your evacuated location. A friend or relative outside the disaster area who can act as a message center. Internet access (Is it available where you plan to evacuate? LSUHSC will put up an emergency website where you can update your contact information.) Email (both LSUHSC address and an alternate) Text messaging (Don’t forget to sign up for Omnilert!) Satellite radio (They have The Weather Channel) Cell phones (Remember that for weeks after Katrina, cell phones with a 504 area code remained inoperative. You may want to consider an emergency “pay as you go” phone with another area code as part of your emergency equipment.)   Make sure to communicate this information to your supervisor, coworkers, family and friends once it has been developed but before a hurricane is in the gulf. With the switchover of television broadcasting to all HD after June 12, 2009 you may want to consider one of those USB HDTV tuners that plug into a laptop to replace the now useless portable TV.

1.2 At home:  

1.2.1 Develop a family disaster plan and know how to stay safe in a hurricane. Discuss what your family should do when a hurricane/tropical storms threatens and where you might go in an evacuation - to a shelter, hotel or to stay with family or friends. Don't forget about pets. Many shelters will not permit them, some motels routinely accept pets, and some do not.  Others will do so for an additional charge. Many will make exceptions for evacuees it the affected regions, so plan in advance what to do with them.   The following websites have valuable information to assist in forming a hurricane preparedness plan:  

1.2.2 Print out enough copies of the emergency evacuation guide for your area to put one in each vehicle and post one in your home. In addition to contra-flow maps, these guides have information on emergency shelters, government phone numbers, protecting pets and emergency supply lists.  

If you live in Southeast Louisiana use:  

If you live in Southwest Louisiana use:  

1.2.3 Examine any trees near the house. Trim back any branches which might damage the structure.  

1.2.4 Reinforce the framing of the house with metal braces.  

1.2.5 Keep an axe in the attic.  

1.2.6 Examine the roof of the house and replace or repair any damaged or peeled up shingles.  

1.2.7 Examine the sides of the house for any attachments (antennas, gutters, etc.) that may be loose and make necessary repairs.  

1.2.8 Examine the grounds around the house and remove any loose objects that don’t need to be there that could become missiles for you or your neighbors in high winds.  

1.2.9 If you have a generator, test it and re-familiarize yourself with its proper operation. Perform any needed maintenance.  

1.2.10 Replenish any emergency supplies in your home. The following links provide recommendations for emergency supplies.    

1.2.11 Develop an emergency kit for your car and a “grab and go” bag or knapsack with the bare essentials in the event you must leave in a hurry.


The probability that a hurricane will strike the New Orleans area is something that develops over a period of days. Know what Hurricane WATCH and WARNING Mean  

  • WATCH: Hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the WATCH, usually within 36 hours.  
  • WARNING: Hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the WARNING, usually within 24 hours.  

It may take several days before it becomes clear whether New Orleans will be the place where the hurricane makes landfall. During that period you should:  

2.1 At the University  

2.1.1 Check digital signs, emails, and the website for updates and specific instructions regarding the university. Announcements will also be sent via e2campus text messages. Remember that normal operations will continue until the Chancellor announces the closure of the campus.  

2.1.2 Complete backups of any critical digital information to University file servers (O:, T:, U:, and V: drives. )  

2.1.3 Secure offices against wind and water damage.  

2.1.4 Make sure all papers are placed in file drawers.  

2.1.5 Make sure all Protected Health Information (PHI) is secured in accordance with CM-53.  

2.2 At Home  

2.2.1 Monitor television (Remember, analog TV's, including the little portable ones, will no longer receive signals after June 12, 2009), commercial radio and NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts. Go to for weather alert frequencies.  

2.2 2 Monitor websites with hurricane information. Some good ones are:    

2.2.3. Plot the movement of the hurricane on a tracking map. These maps can be found in most stores during hurricane season and can be downloaded from the following sites:    

2.2.3 Remove any remaining loose items (toys, lawn chairs, potted or hanging plants, etc.) from your yard that could become missiles in high winds.  

2.2.4 Secure windows and doors against flying objects. (Board up, close shutters, etc.)  


3.1 At the university

Include the following with any documents you bring with you in your evacuation.  

3.1.1. Your LSUHSC-NO ID badge  

3.1.2. A printed copy of your department’s Emergency Contact List.  

3.1.3 If you have a blackberry, print a copy of the Blackberry user list which can be found at:  

3.1.4. Make sure you pack the following items to take with you: Laptop Power supply for the laptop. (This is the black, brick-shaped device that plugs between your laptop and the wall socket along with all the cables) Blackberries (if you have been assigned one.) Chargers for blackberries (both wall and mobile chargers) Cell phones Chargers for cell phones. (both wall and mobile chargers) Verizon cards (if you’ve been assigned one) Any other needed cables (e.g. network cables)  

3.2 At Home

3.2.1 Pack for your evacuation based upon the family disaster plan you developed in number 1 above. Don't forget to include: Important papers (Birth certificates, passports, insurance policies, deeds, titles, etc.) Enough clothes for a week. Medications for at least a week. Any additional items for infants, elderly, pets, or other with special needs. Food and drinks for at least two days.

3.2.2 Based on your preparations above, select the contra-flow route that works best for your destination. You can monitor traffic flow on the DOTD webcams at the following link:

The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway has a webcam located at the Northshore toll booth that also shows traffic in the Northbound lanes:

Remember, once you have entered the contra flow lane, your direction is set until you reach the terminus of the contra flow. Plan your route carefully!


4.1 Monitor television and radio broadcasts and local news websites.

Note that WWL-AM (870 on the AM dial) can frequently be heard in distant parts of the country especially at night.

4.2 Monitor the LSUHSC website for instructions. Be sure to update your contact information on the website if it changes.


5.1 Monitor television and radio broadcasts and websites for announcements about when it is safe to return.  

5.2 En route to your home, be prepared for traffic that is as heavy, or even heavier than when you evacuated. Make sure to fill your gas tank before heading back.  

5.3 Be prepared for lack of services when you return. Water, gas, phone and electricity may not be available yet in your neighborhood. You may need to go long distances to get gasoline for cars, generators and chainsaws as well as groceries and other necessities.  

5.4 Inspect property for damage. Be especially alert for damage to electrical lines, gas lines and water lines. Do not turn on electrical power, gas or water if any damage is suspected until it has been repaired and inspected by a licensed professional.  

5.5 Always wear protective clothing. The area WILL be littered with branches, metal, electrical wires and other hazards. BE CAREFUL. Most injuries that occur in a hurricane occur AFTER the hurricane is past.