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Hurricane season begins, but Loyola preparations are well under way

Loyola press release - June 1, 2010

The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season begins today, and with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters predicting an above-normal storm season this year, Loyola University New Orleans is undertaking preparations now. Forecasters predict 18 named storms, including five major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5).

"The update from NOAA reinforces earlier predictions that the season will bring many more named storms than in recent years," said Director of Risk Management Richard Bell. “The university’s Emergency Management Team is reviewing its off-site recovery plan and current response procedures to ensure that we are ready if New Orleans is in the path of a hurricane.”

All departments represented on the university’s Emergency Management Team are reviewing, updating and strengthening individual plans for their areas as well as examining the overall emergency response plan for the university. As in past years, all Loyola students are required to file a Personal Evacuation Plan, listing their evacuation destinations, transportation arrangements and emergency contact information. International students and students with disabilities, who require special assistance in evacuating, will be transported by the university to Wesley College in Jackson, Miss., in the event of an evacuation order. The university has also applied for a grant from the Department of Education to help improve and expand its current emergency efforts.

University officials are also working with state and local emergency offices to better prepare for all types of disaster and recovery. On Thursday, June 3, Bell, Director of Public Affairs Meredith Hartley, Director of University Police Pat Bailey and Assistant Controller Jayme Naquin will attend the Meta-Leadership Summit for Preparedness, a workshop designed to prepare business, government and nonprofit leaders to act together in times of crisis.

“Crises can happen anywhere and at any time. While we give special review of our hurricane emergency planning each year, it is also important that we as a university are prepared for any type of crisis,” said Hartley. “This workshop should help us reinforce contacts with our local and regional responders and help us prepare for the unforeseen crisis.”

For more information on Loyola University's emergency preparedness, contact Hartley at mhartley@loyno.edu or 504-722-6078.