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Loyola community returns after successful execution of hurricane plan

Loyola press release - September 8, 2008

Quick Facts About Loyola’s Response to Hurricane Gustav

Loyola University New Orleans resumed on-campus operations Monday, Sept. 8, after the threat of Hurricane Gustav forced the campus community to evacuate. Here’s a look at the highlights of Loyola’s response:

  • The university’s Emergency Response Team made the call to evacuate the campus on Thursday, August 28 and cancelled all classes the next day to allow students, faculty and staff time to prepare for the campus evacuation, which was scheduled for Saturday, August 30.
  • Loyola suspended operations and safely evacuated 13 students, 4 student staff and 6 professional staff on Saturday, August 30, to Baton Rouge, La.
  • The university’s Emergency Response Team is an interdisciplinary group comprised of senior university administration, all deans, and representatives from student affairs, information technology, public affairs, risk management, facilities, university police, government relations, and board relations.
  • The decision-making arm of the Emergency Response Team successfully evacuated to Dallas on Sunday, August 31, and initiated all emergency communications to keep students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni apprised of information about the effect of Gustav on the campus and a timeline for resuming operations and classes. The team met twice a day and maintained regular communications with the Louisiana governor’s office, the New Orleans mayor’s office, the New Orleans Police Department and Loyola’s on-campus emergency team.
  • The university employed a number of emergency messaging tools, including daily website alerts, text and voicemail messages to mobile phones, phone hotline recordings, and campus-wide emails.
  • Between Wednesday, August 27 and Monday, Sept. 8, a total of 14 different notices were sent via email to 18,898 individual constituents, which included students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and news media.
  • The university also employed its emergency text and voicemail messaging system during the call for evacuation and the call to resume classes. In attempting to reach 4,164 people both times, 4,041 connections were made with the evacuation message, and 3,435 connections were made with the return-to-campus message.
  • During the evacuation period, there were 24,686 logins to Blackboard, Loyola’s online distance learning program, which allows faculty and students to continue their course work regardless of suspension of on-campus classes.
  • The university’s facilities team and university police remained on campus during and after the storm to restore operations. The facilities team also was responsible for all cleanup and building mediation after the storm. The team worked closely with Entergy and power was restored to the main campus on Wednesday, Sept. 3.
  • After power was restored, the facilities team diligently checked all systems (sprinklers, fire alarms, elevators, ect.) to ensure the campus was ready and safe for the return of the university community.
  • The university resumed campus operations and opened residence halls on Sunday, Sept. 7.
  • Classes resumed on Monday, Sept. 8.