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Vanderbilt responds to Hurricane Katrina

Please continue to check this Web site as it will continuously be updated with information about Vanderbilt's response to Hurricane Katrina.

Information for displaced Gulf Coast students

Information about volunteering

Calendar for Katrina relief

Hurricane disaster experts

News coverage of the higher education community's response to Katrina

Supporting Vanderbilt's relief efforts

Sept. 22, 3:45 p.m.

Message from Chancellor Gee re: hurricane-related energy curtailment

Dear University Colleagues,

As the country continues to reel from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, residents along the Gulf Coast brace themselves at this very moment for the landfall of Hurricane Rita. The impact of both hurricanes will long be felt in a variety of ways. Most immediately, Middle Tennessee has been informed that Hurricane Rita emergency preparedness response includes shutting down and evacuating staff from several refineries along the Gulf Coast.

The closing of refineries means this region, as well as others across the country, will experience a disruption in natural gas supply. In response, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which supplies the vast majority of Vanderbilt's power, is enacting a contractual electric power reduction for all of its commercial customers effective today. This power reduction is expected to last for approximately eight days.

As a result, the University and Medical Center are undergoing a substantial decrease in our ability to generate electric power. After Hurricane Rita makes landfall and damage assessments can be conducted at affected refineries in Texas and Louisiana, Vanderbilt might experience a further, more long-term, interruption in the delivery of natural gas.

In light of our limited power generation capabilities, this curtailment is different than the one which was responded to so positively in August. In addition to being charged three times TVA's normal rate for nearly half of all the energy we will consume during this curtailment, there is the very real threat we might not have enough power to meet all of our campus needs. Our primary concern as a community must be to reduce our non-essential energy consumption so that critical areas remain unaffected. These areas include our Medical Center, especially surgical suites and patient care floors, as well as our residence halls and our dining and research facilities.

The ways in which we can help are simple and extremely effective:

-Raise thermostat settings to 78 degrees.

-Turn off equipment when it is not in use.

-Turn off lights in offices, conference rooms, and residence hall rooms that are not in use.

Faculty and staff should shut down computers, printers, and other office equipment when leaving campus for the day. Students should turn off electronic devices, including computers, televisions, and stereos, at night and when they are away from their residence halls.

As this disruption of power is an issue facing all of Middle Tennessee, I strongly encourage those of you who do not reside on campus to employ these same energy-saving tips at home.

Rising costs and limited availability of fuel are issues which most Americans are currently facing. By limiting our own consumption, at Vanderbilt and at home, I believe we contribute in a significant way to easing the strain in the aftermath of these horrific hurricanes.

I appreciate your help in meeting Vanderbilt's priority of keeping certain areas of our community unaffected, and I also appreciate your attention to this national effort to reduce energy consumption at a time when conservation by us all is sorely needed.

As more information about our power situation is available, I will share it with you. Until that time, for more ways you can conserve energy, please read additional tips from the Vanderbilt Register at


Gordon Gee

Sept. 9, 5 p.m.

Vanderbilt continues to respond to victims of Hurricane Katrina

A week after Vanderbilt University began admitting students displaced by Hurricane Katrina, approximately 100 students from Gulf Coast colleges and universities had registered for classes. Vanderbilt Medical Center now has treated more than 70 Gulf Coast evacuees, hospitalizing more than 20, and its LifeFlight reserve helicopter and fixed wing aircraft and their medical teams continue to assist in disaster relief and patient transport out of the region.


Sept. 9, 2:45 p.m.

With dozens of events and fundraisers being planned by student groups across campus, a Web site has been developed to help coordinate these efforts and match volunteers with projects.

The Web site allows student groups to register their event or willingness to help in six categories: Money, Blood Drive, Food Drive, Clothing Drive, Local Shelter Support, Road trip to Affected Areas. The site will allow Vanderbilt's Student Government Association and Interhall, the residential life governing body, to coordinate groups of students who want to assist in similar categories.

Individual students as well as student organizations that are planning events and fundraisers are encouraged to register their event as early in the planning stage as possible at:

Vanderbilt Athletics is actively working in partnership with the Red Cross to support the relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina victims during each game of the Commodore's home football season. In the immediate future, a collection will be taken at the September 17th Ole Miss game and given directly to the Red Cross. The Red Cross Bloodmobile will also appear at home games as it is available.

Sept. 8 1:15 p.m.

As of Wednesday, Sept. 7th, the last day of enrollment at Vanderbilt for area students displaced as a result of Hurricane Katrina, the Division of Unclassified Studies registered 83 undergraduates and 15 graduate and professional students as Visiting Students. The entire university community welcomes these students with open arms, and Vanderbilt is committed to supporting them over the coming months until they return to their home institutions.

Sept. 6 10:20 a.m.

As part of the University's ongoing response to Hurricane Katrina, Vanderbilt Dining is supporting a food drive at Rand Dining Center to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Students on a Meal Plan may trade a "side" for an item to donate to the food drive. Every item that is donated will be matched by Vanderbilt Dining.

Donation items will be available at all Rand Cashier stands. If you do not want to trade a side, you may purchase an item to donate.

The Food Drive begins Monday, Sept. 5 through Friday, Sept. 9. Donated items will be added to collection bins located in Sarratt Student Center.

The Earth and Environmental Sciences Department in Vanderbilt's College of Arts and Science have created a Web site of links containing information on the background and science surrounding Hurricane Katrina and impacts on the Gulf Coast region.

View the site at

Sept. 2, 5:20 p.m.

Vanderbilt is prepared to help current students from areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina meet their changing educational financial needs. The university established a fund to provide aid to current students as well as displaced students temporarily enrolled at Vanderbilt and a second fund to provide financial assistance for the medical center's disaster relief efforts.

Read more ...

Sept. 2, 5:15 p.m.

VUMC prepares to receive patients from Hurricane Katrina

By 7 a.m. Saturday morning (9/3), the first wave of patients is expected to arrive via a military transport plane at the Nashville airport.

Read more ...

Sept. 2

Vanderbilt University is partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank to help provide relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.


Sept. 1

The Department of Pastoral Care at VUMC is offering a Prayer Service tomorrow (Friday) and next week Tuesday through Friday for those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The services will be held in Rhea Chapel in VUH (1st floor) and in Children’s Hospital Chapel in VCH (2nd floor) from 12:00 Noon-12:15 pm. Patients, families and hospital staff are all invited to attend.


All services will be held at 12:00 Noon (15 minutes)
Friday, September 2
No service Monday, Labor Day
Tuesday, September 6
Wednesday, September 7
Thursday, September 8
Friday, September 9

Aug. 31: A message from Chancellor Gordon Gee:

Dear members of the Vanderbilt community,

Our entire University responds in sympathy and sorrow to the horrific devastation of the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina.

Students, faculty, and staff who hail from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, as well as those of you with families in the region of disaster: please know that our hearts and minds are with you at this time. You will have all the support that is ours to give.

And to all of Vanderbilt: the same ideals which bring us to live, study, and work together in community require a compassionate response from us. Please know that Vanderbilt is developing opportunities for our staff, students, and faculty to participate in relief efforts. As an institution, we are committed to helping, and also to enabling the members of our community to help to the extent they are able and needed.

Our only option is to respond. No other option exists, or is even possible.

We will keep you alerted to opportunities to respond as they arise. In the meantime, please keep those affected by this disaster in your attention and within your compassion.

Gordon Gee