Hurricane season usually runs from June 1 to November 30. These tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. Hurricanes can bring damaging winds, heavy rain, storm surges, and flooding to coastal areas.

Be Prepared!

1. Stay Informed

2. Create an Emergency Kit in the Event of Widespread Power Outages

  • Essentials: Gather non-perishable food, water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days), medications, and first-aid supplies.
  • Tools and Supplies: Include items like flashlights, batteries, a multi-tool, duct tape, and a manual can opener.
  • Important Documents: Store copies of important documents (ID, insurance papers, medical records) in a waterproof container.

3. Know What You’ll Need to Do in the Event of an Evacuation

  • Non-Residential Students, Make a Transportation Plan: Students who live off-campus are urged to participate in the public evacuation (either voluntary or mandatory) when announced by Parish officials. The University does not provide voluntary evacuation services for students who do not reside on the campus. Students who participate in voluntary evacuations are solely responsible for their personal safety, possessions, funds and expenses, shelter, and return transportation once the University announces reopening.
    • *Exception: Non-residential students living within walking distance of campus who do not have personal vehicles or access to a vehicle may participate in the campus-assisted evacuation.
  • Residential Students, Be Prepared for Evacuation: In the event of a projected storm landfall, students who live on campus and do not have personal transportation will be notified as early as possible about when to assemble at the McNeese Police Department, where they will be picked up by bus and transported to a shelter located outside the impact area per the Parish plan. Students will be returned in the same manner when the situation permits. Students who evacuate in this manner are solely responsible for their personal safety, possessions, funds, and expenses.
  • Emergency Contacts: Have a list of emergency contacts and share your evacuation plan with family and friends. International students who take part in the campus-assisted evacuation must provide a working domestic emergency contact phone number.
  • Bring Only Your Necessary Belongings With You: Be sure to pack a few changes of comfortable and durable clothing, personal hygiene products, credit/debit cards, your phone charger, and identity documents (i.e. passport, driver’s license or state-issued ID, etc.), emergency phone numbers and contact information, and other important documents (insurance papers, banking information, medical records, etc.). If possible, put your important documents in something waterproof like ziplock bags.
  • Secure Belongings You Leave Behind: Unplug all electronic devices, wrap them in plastic or trash bags, and raise them off the floor if possible. Store belongings and important documents in waterproof containers if possible and raise them off the floor.
  • Pet Preparedness: Include pets in your plan by ensuring they have food, water, and carriers for evacuation. Do not leave your pets behind! The Parish will publish information on pet-friendly shelters. Many hotels also offer accommodations for smaller pets, so call ahead to find out.

4. Communicate Your Plan with Friends and Family

  • Ensure your family members know your plans and establish a communication protocol in case of separation if you’re traveling with friends to evacuate.

Tropical Storms vs. Hurricanes

Tropical storms are low-pressure systems that form in tropical regions and are characterized by winds that range from 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 to 118 kilometers per hour). Tropical storms are given names, just like hurricanes, and can produce heavy rainfall, strong winds, and storm surges that can cause flooding and other damage.

Hurricanes are more intense than tropical storms and are characterized by winds that exceed 74 miles per hour (119 kilometers per hour). Hurricanes are also known as typhoons or cyclones, depending on the region in which they form. Like tropical storms, hurricanes can produce heavy rainfall, strong winds, and storm surges, but they can cause much more widespread and severe damage.

Evacuation Decisions

The Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and local emergency managers make the decision if an evacuation is warranted and establish the timeline for the evacuation.
McNeese officials attend the Calcasieu Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness meetings and report information back to the McNeese Emergency Preparedness Team for guidance in campus decisions.