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Helpful Information for Students and Others on Campus

We know that many of you have questions about what will happen if weather conditions worsen due to Hurricane Sandy. Please know that the safety of students and everyone on campus is our first priority. We’ve answered some frequently asked questions on this topic below and will continue to update this section of the site.

Safety tips in the event of a hurricane

  • Stay inside
  • During the peak of the storm, for maximum protection, you should close all doors and remain in interior hallways.
  • Stay away from dangers such as glass windows and unsecured furniture or objects
  • Do not attempt to travel between floors, but if you must, use the stairs.
  • Do not attempt to open windows or doors to see what is happening outside.

Important numbers:

  • Residence Life: (202) 687.4056
  • Housing Services: (202) 687.4560
  • Facilities Work Management Center: (202) 687.3432
  • Public Safety: (202) 687.4343
  • GERMS: (202) 687.4357
  • D.C. Metropolitan Police Department: Dial 911 for emergencies, Dial 311 for non-emergencies

How will I be notified of the University operating status?

  • We encourage students, faculty and staff to sign up for HOYAlert for emergency notification via email, SMS and voice messaging. This distribution is updated daily at 12:00 a.m, so sign up today to receive alerts beginning tomorrow.
  • Check the University operating status web page or regularly for updates
  • Contact your RA or Hall Director for updates

What can I do to prepare if I live off campus?

General tips for preparing at home can be found here:

What should I do if my residence loses power?

If power goes out, emergency power will operate life safety systems (fire alarms, emergency lights, and one elevator in a building) by generator. All other electricity will be off.

If your power goes out completely you should consult with your RA before proceeding cautiously to the nearest building with power.

What will happen if a tornado is spotted in the area? What should I do?

We will issue a HOYAlert for a tornado warning when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. We will also activate The Campus Alert System, a loud network of steam whistles throughout campus that can be heard in outdoor areas on- and immediately off-campus. The horn will sound in a series of intermittent blasts, for a total of 15 minutes. These alerts will signal the need to take shelter immediately (termed shelter-in-place). Seek shelter immediately in the lowest level building available. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck. Do not open windows.

What should I do if I see a downed power line or downed trees?

From PEPCO: "If you see a downed power line, stay away from it. Assume that all downed power lines are live and extremely dangerous. Don’t touch any person or object that is in contact with a power line; the current could flow through you. Immediately call the emergency service number at 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877) 737.2662 and press 2 to report downed wires. Call 911 only if there is an associated emergency such as a fire, automobile accident or, if medical assistance is required."

D.C. Citizens are asked to call 311 to report any downed trees or branches in the public space and to provide as much detail as possible. Alternatively, go to the Service Request Center at

What can I do to prepare if I live off campus?

We recommend that you have flashlights and extra batteries on hand. Please do not use candles, as they are a potential fire hazard. We also recommend that you have non-perishable food items and bottles of water. Please secure or take indoors any items that are outdoors near your home and that could blow away in windy conditions, e.g., outdoor furniture, trash cans, recycling bins.

What should I do if I live off campus and I lose power or notice leaks/damage?

If you lose power, report the outage to your service provider:

  • PEPCO: 1 (877) 737.2662
  • BG&E: 1 (800) 685.0123
  • Dominion Power: 1 (866) 366.4357

You'll want to have your account number ready if you need to call. Weather permitting, you are welcome to come to the Leavey Center. University staff will be available there.

If you notice leaks in your residence or any other storm-related issues regarding the condition of your house/apartment, please contact your landlord or property manager immediately.

Important numbers for students who live off campus:
Off-Campus Student Life: (202) 687.5138 or

What Should I Do If Water Leaks Into My Work Area?

If you work in an area that has been known to encounter leaks from water intrusion in the past, please take time to either relocate both sensitive equipment, and hazardous materials away from known areas of concern or cover with plastic in the event the heavy rain results in water infiltration. As an added precaution, please survey lab areas and secure research materials as needed [e.g. ensure chemicals, are safely away from the edge of shelving]. Employees who work within labs should refrain from using the autoclaves and x-ray film processors to reduce the burden on drainage systems.

Georgetown University37th and O Streets, N.W., Washington D.C. 20057(202) 687.0100

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