President Michael Fitts, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Norton, and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Robin Forman, sent an update on Sunday, Sept. 13, via email to the Tulane community regarding Tropical Storm Sally.
The message read:
Dear Tulane Community:
Our emergency management team, along with our weather partners at AccuWeather, is actively monitoring Tropical Storm Sally. The storm is strengthening and is predicted to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane.
We are preparing for potential heavy rain, winds, power outages and street flooding. We are taking all necessary measures to secure and prepare our community members and campus facilities to shelter in place. Based on close monitoring and consultation with our highly experienced emergency preparedness team, nationally recognized weather partners, and city and state officials, we have determined that this storm does not warrant evacuation. Along with the city, we are enacting our shelter in place protocols.
Currently, we are planning to continue in-person classes and work until noon on Monday, at which point both in-person and online classes will be cancelled and the university will be closed to all but essential personnel to allow time for preparations for storm impacts, which will begin Monday evening. On Tuesday, the university will be closed and in-person and online classes will be cancelled. Wednesday’s operating status will be determined in coming days. Specific details about School of Medicine operations will be sent separately. Food and water will be distributed on Monday to on-campus students — more details will be forthcoming to those students. There will be specific directives and additional support for students in isolation and quarantine. Student Affairs staff will be reaching out to students directly.
It is vital that everyone continues to follow all COVID-19 safety protocols during this time, including wearing face coverings, social distancing and practicing good hand hygiene. The COVID-19 Testing Centers will be closed on Monday and Tuesday. This closure may also create testing result delays. Please make scheduling adjustments via the Campus Health patient portal. If you are a current student and you experience COVID-19 symptoms late Sunday or Monday, please schedule an appointment using the online patient portal. Tulane’s protocol for student travel remains in effect, which means that if you choose to leave the New Orleans area for any reason you must let us know so that we can ensure that the proper quarantine and testing protocols are followed upon your return.
For many of you, especially those who are experiencing tropical weather for the first time, this is likely an anxious time. Whatever you are feeling at this moment, if you need to speak to someone there are resources available. Students may access The Line for confidential counseling services at (504) 264-6074 or the Student Affairs Professional On-Call at (504) 920-9900. Students may also email SRSS@tulane.edu to communicate with a Case Manager. The Employee Assistance Program is available for all employees 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Services are free of charge and completely confidential. Reach New Directions professionals by telephone at 1-800-624-5544 or visit the website at www.ndbh.com, company code: Tulane.
For information on making your personal storm preparations, please visit emergencyprep.tulane.edu/hurricanes. Look for daily email updates from Tulane, which will also be posted online at tulane.edu/emergency. You can also stay updated with Nola Ready emergency alerts at ready.nola.gov/alerts.
I know we are all managing crises on many fronts right now, and it seems like we just weathered Marco and Laura. Please know that our Emergency Preparedness professionals have years of experience dealing with such storm threats and the university is fully prepared to shelter in place. It is vital, however, that you follow all instructions and recommendations and begin making your preparations now. With cooperation, vigilance and care for one another, the Tulane community will remain safe and weather this storm together.