The following message was sent the Tulane community on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 27, regarding university operations ahead of Hurricane Zeta:
Dear Tulane Community:
We are continuing to closely monitor Hurricane Zeta. Our weather partner, AccuWeather, is calling for the system to come ashore as a strong tropical storm or weak Category 1 hurricane Wednesday evening near Houma, south of New Orleans — other forecasters are suggesting it may come earlier.
We are currently preparing our campuses, which are expected to experience tropical storm winds and rain and occasional hurricane-force gusts Wednesday evening and night. This could result in downed trees and limbs as well as power outages. Additionally, Zeta's predicted cumulative rainfall of 2-4 inches during a short period of time could result in street flooding.
Tomorrow, due to potential impacts from Hurricane Zeta, the university is moving operations online for remote teaching, learning and working and campuses will be closed to all but essential personnel. The Student Health Center and COVID-19 Testing Centers will also be closed on Wednesday. The School of Medicine will be issuing a separate message regarding their operational plans.
The Commons and the LBC food court will be open until 2 p.m. tomorrow. We expect to reopen dining operations on Thursday. On-campus students will be given prepackaged meals (notifications for meal pickup times will be sent out soon) and water has been pre-staged in the event that there is a boil water advisory. Off-campus students are urged to continue to make preparations as well, including securing non-perishable food, bottled water, charging all electronic equipment and ensuring a sufficient supply of back-up batteries for flashlights and other battery powered devices. Extra care and supplies will be provided for students currently in isolation and quarantine.
At this point, we are planning to reopen campus on Thursday morning. However, classes will be held online in the morning to prepare classrooms. In-person teaching and learning will resume at noon.
With Zeta being the seventh storm threat we have faced this season, our storm preparation team is well-practiced at securing our campuses and ensuring the safety of our campus community as we shelter-in-place. We are taking all necessary measures to secure and prepare our campus facilities, including the temporary facilities that were put in place to house socially distanced classrooms and dining. We are preparing to switch to co-generator power in order to ensure uninterrupted power to residence halls and other vital campus buildings should the city experience outages.
Please continue to look for email updates we will send you regarding Zeta. These will also be posted online at tulane.edu/emergency. For information on making your personal storm preparations, click here. You can also stay updated with NOLA Ready emergency alerts.