On Sunday, President Michael Fitts updated the Tulane community on the tropical storm activity in the Gulf of Mexico and the university’s preparedness for severe weather.
The message read:
We are writing to provide an update on Marco and Laura and our plans for the coming days. On Sunday, Tropical Storm Marco was upgraded to a hurricane and Tropical Storm Laura is expected to become one on Monday. These are not surprising developments, and we remain confident that we have made the preparations necessary to keep our campus community and facilities safe while sheltering in place during both of these weather events. 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 these storms do not warrant evacuation.
The New Orleans area will begin to feel the impact of Marco Monday morning with the storm predicted to diminish by late evening. Marco could potentially cause damage to trees, power outages and flooding. Tulane’s campuses are closed to all but essential personnel through Monday. If you are unsure whether you are essential personnel, please contact your supervisor. As mentioned in our previous message, we are moving all classes to online instruction for Monday. Please be flexible and patient, as faculty members might be experiencing impacts due to the storms and unable to conduct their online classes or communicate with students.
Currently, we are planning for in-person classes on Tuesday with the exception of those scheduled in the temporary structures, which will be held online. We are using Tuesday to bring technology solutions back online and to address sound upgrades in our temporary structures. The School of Medicine will send out separate messages regarding class and clinical schedules.
We are also actively monitoring Tropical Storm Laura. At this time, we are preparing for potential weather impacts from this storm on Wednesday as well. We will know more about Laura’s predicted path and intensity on Monday and will share additional updates.
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; we’re planning to reopen them on Tuesday. 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.
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. Once the storms have passed, students may go to CAPS for Counseling Services (located in the Science & Engineering Lab Complex) or Case Management and Victim Support Services (located in the LBC, G02) from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. 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.
Please continue to look for daily email updates on the storms from Tulane, which will also be posted online at tulane.edu/emergency. For information on making your personal storm preparations, please visit emergencyprep.tulane.edu/shelter-place. You can also stay updated with NOLA Ready emergency alerts at ready.nola.gov/alerts.
Though we must prepare and remain vigilant, the Tulane community has weathered much greater weather threats than these and has always emerged stronger and wiser. We will be together throughout these storms to support one another even as we look forward to the brighter days that are sure to follow.