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Smooth Evacuation on Downtown Campus

August 28, 2008 5:00 AM
 | 
Fran Simon fsimon@tulane.edu
  

Faculty, staff and students on Tulane's downtown campus, including the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, have prepared well for the approaching storm emergency and are ready for evacuation.

The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine has 1,300 students, many of whom are from other nations and have just arrived in town. All students were informed about the importance of having emergency plans in hand before they came to Tulane, according to Jeffery Johnson, associate dean of the school.

“Just as uptown is poised and ready, buses will be at the Deming Pavilion, our downtown residence facility, ready to take our students who have a need to Jackson State University,” Johnson says.

The downtown campus follows the emergency plan of the university. Earlier this week, the Office of International Students and Scholars sent an e-mail message to all Tulane international students, asking them to submit their personal evacuation plans to the office. Students residing at the Deming Pavilion were asked to contact Carol Ardeneaux, building manager, if they need transportation for evacuation.

“As they experience acculturation and assimilation to the culture here, these students are experiencing their first storm,” notes Johnson. “Many of our students will become leaders in public health — prevention, planning and emergency response — so this puts what they're learning in the classroom into a real-life setting.”

Most of the 660 students in the Tulane School of Medicine tend to have their own transportation, so they will likely be able to leave the city with their own wheels. Dr. Marc Kahn, senior associate dean for admissions and student affairs at the medical school, urges medical students to follow directives from the university's emergency website and AlertLine emergency information number, 504-862-8080 or 877-862-8080.

In addition to the university's text-messaging system that sends alerts to members of the university community, Kahn says the medical school has the capability of sending medical school–specific text messages. The school has cell phone numbers for all of its students. This system put into place by the medical students allows them to stay in close touch with each other. After Hurricane Katrina, which displaced the medical school to a temporary home at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston for the 2005–06 academic year, the medical students also initiated their own web-based forum to stay in contact.

“Medical students are not part of any disaster team, and they are expected to evacuate if the university closes,” Kahn adds.