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Students: Prepare for Emergencies During Hurricane Season

August 18, 2017

As an F or M student in the United States, it is important that you maintain your student status, even during emergency events like hurricanes.

The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 until Nov. 30 each year. However, the peak of the season is typically between mid-August and late October, when hurricanes are often most active and dangerous.

To make sure you are prepared for the peak of hurricane season or other emergencies, follow these steps.

  1. Have the emergency contact information for your designated school official (DSO). In the case of a hurricane or other natural disaster, you need to be able to communicate with your DSO so that you are accounted for and can receive additional information and guidance.
  1. Store your documents in a safe place where you can easily access them. Make sure all documents including your passport, student visa and Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” are in a secure location where you can access them if a hurricane affects your area. It is also best practice to make copies of these documents and store the copies in a separate, secure location.
  1. Sign up for messaging alert systems for emergency notifications. Your campus police or local law enforcement may have text messaging, email or other emergency alert systems in place. Signing up to receive these messages can help warn you before a hurricane occurs and keep you informed about the area’s emergency response plans.
  1. Use emergency preparedness resources. Several government agencies and other organizations in the United States have free resources related to hurricane and natural disaster preparedness. A few organizations you can use to find more information include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, Ready.gov, the National Weather Service and the American Red Cross.

Do you have additional questions about what to do before a hurricane or other emergency affects your area? Contact your DSO and ask about your school’s policies and procedures for international students in the event of an emergency.

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