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LSU in the Eye of the Storm: A University Model for Disaster Response. Mary G. Parker, Director Office of Student Aid and Scholarships Louisiana State University. SWASFAA Annual Conference November 09, 2006. Purpose.

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lsu in the eye of the storm a university model for disaster response

LSU in the Eye of the Storm:A University Model for Disaster Response

Mary G. Parker, Director

Office of Student Aid and Scholarships

Louisiana State University

SWASFAA Annual Conference

November 09, 2006

  • Provide information to Financial Aid Administrators that will assist with the development of disaster preparedness plans for their institutions, financial aid offices and professional associations
lsu s katrina experience
LSU’s Katrina Experience
  • Setting the Scene
  • Katrina Comes Ashore
  • LSU Responds
    • Facilities, Volunteers & Partnerships, Communications, Housing & Dining, Security, Technology
  • Top Lessons Learned
calm concern before the storm
“Even as we were scurrying around buying gallons of bottled water, in the back of my mind I thought Katrina would be like Hurricane Ivan was for New Orleans: much ado about nothing. If only.”

LSU Art Professor

5 am, Sat., Aug 27, Katrina declared Cat 3 storm

Low-lying areas evacuate

Special Needs Shelter opens at LSU

Announced cancellation of Monday (Aug 29) classes and public events

Calm Concern Before the Storm
the hurricane grows
The Hurricane Grows
  • Preparations continue
  • LSU Leadership Team continues to meet twice a day on campus
  • New Orleans under mandatory evacuation
  • Katrina now a Cat 5 storm, max sustained winds, 175-mph, gusts to 216-mph
katrina comes ashore
Katrina Comes Ashore
  • Mon., Aug. 29, makes landfall at Buras, LA
  • Worst natural disaster in U.S. history
  • Millions of people in 7 states affected
  • Tue, Aug 30, classes and public events cancelled until Tue, Sep 6
  • Wed, Aug 31, began admitting and registering displaced students
our mission serve the victims
Our Mission:Serve the Victims
  • Chancellor’s charge: Serve human needs first
  • Ask for help
  • Eliminate red tape
  • Break rules if necessary
  • Think creatively
nothing normal about katrina challenges we faced
Nothing Normal About Katrina: Challenges We Faced
  • No communication; phones down, no cell service
  • Extremely hot weather
  • Power out in most places
  • Constant struggle to maintain updated info
  • Stress & depression, little sleep
  • Huge demand for housing, ice, gasoline
  • Need to manage intense media interest while maintaining patient privacy
support for agencies
Support for Agencies
  • FEMA, National Guard, DHH, Red Cross, FBI, SBA, US Forestry Service, surgical teams, police, Homeland Security
  • Installed 200 additional phones, phone lines, network connections, computers, fax machines & printers
  • Housed & fed 950

relief personnel

  • Provided showers for

1,000 workers

  • Housed 1,287 pets
conversion to medical facilities
Conversion to Medical Facilities
  • Largest deployment of public health officials in U.S. history
  • Some agencies involved: DHH, FEMA, U.S. Public Health Service, CDC, LSUHSC, State emergency response teams, USAF, Army, Coast Guard, National Guard, Navy, Marines, LSU Athletic Department
  • Largest acute-care field hospital ever created in

U.S. history

conversion to medical facilities1
Conversion to Medical Facilities
  • Operated 800-bed field hospital, 250-bed SNS
  • Triaged 15,000 evacuees
  • Treated 6,000 patients
  • Filled 2,000 prescriptions
  • Utilized 1,700 volunteer medical personnel from

12 states

  • PMAC open 9 days
volunteers partnerships
Volunteers & Partnerships
  • 3,000 faculty, students & staff volunteered
  • 800 mattresses donated, collected & delivered to area shelters
  • 100 laptops donated by IBM
  • Developed volunteer registry with Microsoft

LSU Information Center –

  • 70 LSU volunteers manned

13-day, 24-hour hotline,

received 6,495 calls

more help arrives
More Help Arrives
  • LSU Police Department
    • Provided site safety & security at PMAC, SNS &

Animal Shelter

    • Escorted evacuee transports
  • Information & Technology Services
    • Provided telephone & data connectivity
    • Created Dr/pt/police/volunteer registry
    • Modified electronic admissions process
    • Created computer accts for visiting students
    • Restored mission critical apps for UNO & LSUHSC
    • Opened servers to certain displaced businesses
managing deluge of media
Managing Deluge of Media
  • Times Picayune sets up at Manship School of Mass Communication
  • WWL-TV broadcasts from Hodges Hall
  • Washington Post, NBC News, ESPN, Chronicle of Higher Education, BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, New York Times, Good Morning America & dozens of others visit campus
  • Public Affairs
    • Operated 24-hour public info hotline
    • Managed media requests for experts and info from around the globe
    • Handled internal communication
      • Broadcast e-mails, Town Hall meetings
    • Maintained throughout crisis, beyond
    • Chronicled University’s activities
flexibility 101 breaking the rules
Flexibility 101(Breaking the Rules)
  • Moved/rescheduled

football games

  • Modified academic calendar (three times)
  • Admitting students without records
  • No application fee
  • Paying tuition and fees?
displaced students families institutions
Displaced Students, Families & Institutions
  • Housed 500 newly registered students
  • Reactivated 2 off-line residence halls
  • Matched displaced students & families with housing provided by LSU faculty, staff, alums & friends
  • 700 instructors offered teaching support
  • Added 80 new class sections
  • Increased class sizes to room capacities
important lessons learned
Important Lessons Learned
  • Remember that Communication is key
  • Have an emergency and evacuation plan ready beforehand (pre and post disaster planning)
  • Develop a specific plan for the financial aid office
  • Know what resources you have & how they can be used
    • Maintain inventory of services/facilities, technology, materials & equipment, housing, experts & people trained as emergency responders
    • Look in unconventional places for experts.
important lessons learned1
Important Lessons Learned
  • Consider remote servers for key info
  • Develop a plan for data storage and retrieval plans
  • Know where your back up data is located and how it can be accessed
  • Have electronic access to P&P manuals and governmental reference materials
  • Monitor IFAP, State Agencies, NASFAA for news releases and announcements
important lessons learned2
Important Lessons Learned
  • Be a part of the institutional disaster planning (Need to be able to stress importance of FA regulations in regards to administrative capabilities
  • Make sure that you have a call plan for your staff in the event of a hurricane
  • Cross training is vital not only within your office but within your enrollment management unit
  • Think creative, be strategic and manage how your university is used
important lessons learned3
Important Lessons Learned

Communication is Key! Be prepared to be creative and have alternate methods of communication

  • Constantly update info internally & externally
  • Use your Web site & don’t forget radio(KLSU)
  • Have a good communications assets that are functional and available (e.g., cell phones, Blackberries, etc.)
  • Each department needs an emergency list (know who to contact and who will contact you)
important lessons learned4
Important Lessons Learned
  • Be prepared to support students & families
  • Have a plan to evacuate students from your campus if that becomes necessary
  • Create necessary data bases ahead of time; update them periodically (LSU uses Microsoft Sharepoint)
  • Write an emergency academic response plan to admit/register new students
  • Be flexible with scheduling issues
  • Develop courses that could easily go online
  • Be willing to do any job – “It is not in my job description” does not work.
  • Get back to core business as quickly as you can.
important lessons learned5
Important Lessons Learned
  • Seize leadership opportunities
  • Communicate effectively
  • Practice self awareness and awareness of others
  • Be flexible and prepared to make decisions outside of the “rules”
  • Document, Document and Communicate
emergency operations center
Emergency Operations Center
  • Forecast of 20+ years increased hurricane activity
  • Chancellor directed permanent 24/7 “all hazards” EOC be established
  • Equipment
  • Training
  • Exercises
the calm after the storm coping with katrina
The Calm After the Storm & Coping with Katrina
  • Continue to develop EOC (Plan, Train,Practice)
  • Road to recovery is long
  • We are grateful to those who came to our aid in time of need
  • We were humbled by outpouring of support from around the world
  • We are providing leadership to help rebuild Louisiana & the Gulf Coast Region
thank you for your time and your interest

Thank you for your time and your interest.

Mary Parker