Closures and evacuation procedures

Develop a plan

Every year, prior to the start of hurricane season, you should develop a personal evacuation plan. Where will you go in the event of an evacuation? How will you get there? With whom will you evacuate? Discuss your options with your family and develop a personal plan of action.

  • Evacuation destination: Decide where and with whom you will go in the event of an evacuation. Do you have the means to self-evacuate, or will a family member pick you up? Will you go to a friend or roommate's home inland? If you have no other means to evacuate, will you evacuate with the university?
  • Insurance: Renters insurance is strongly recommended for students living on and off campus. Many insurers recommend creating a photo or video inventory of valuable items before any emergency occurs.
  • Personal transportation: If you have a personal vehicle, keep your gas tank full as soon as there is potential for a tropical storm.
  • Pets: Many students living off campus have pets, but only registered service animals are permitted to evacuate with the university or stay in a public shelter. If you have a pet, make a plan for the pet as well as yourself, such as evacuating to the home of a friend or family member.

Evacuation procedures for all SCAD students

If emergency or SCAD officials indicate evacuation is necessary:

  • All SCAD students, faculty and staff will be notified via SCAD Alert by email, phone and text message in the event of a closure or evacuation.
  • If you are living in a SCAD residence hall, check with your residence director or resident assistant for the evacuation timetable.
  • If you are traveling in your own vehicle or with friends, leave as soon as possible, avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges.
  • If you have family near Savannah, coordinate rides with them.
  • If you have no other means of evacuating, you may travel with the university to a designated inland location. Monitor SCAD communications for evacuation timetables and locations.
  • Take only items that can be carried comfortably, and be prepared to be evacuated for at least two days.
  • Pack a change of clothes, minimal toiletries, a blanket or sleeping bag, a pillow, prescription medications, important papers and records, water, snacks, a flashlight, books and cards. Suggested packing lists are available on both the Chatham Emergency Management Agency and Red Cross websites.
  • Inform your family of your evacuation plans.
  • Use telephones, including mobile phones, for emergency calls only. Text messages can be quicker and may conserve battery power.

Evacuation information for students living on campus

If emergency or SCAD officials indicate evacuation is necessary:

  • The university evacuates all residence halls when the request to evacuate is given by local authorities. Students MUST leave the residence halls.
  • All university buildings are closed when an evacuation of the university is ordered.
  • You have the option to self-evacuate in your personal vehicle, depart with family or friends or evacuate with the university if you have no other means.
  • You should inform your family of your evacuation plans.
  • Resident assistants survey their residents during pre-evacuation procedures and make note of each resident's evacuation plans.
  • Room preparation: If you live in a lower-level residence hall room, remove as many personal items as possible from the floors of the rooms in case of flooding. All blinds should be raised for visibility and security checks. Electrical equipment should be unplugged.
  • If you are evacuating with the university, gather at the nearest evacuation staging site at designated times. Be prepared to hold all items on your lap.
  • Inform your resident assistant and/or residence director if you change your evacuation plans.

Evacuation information for parents

Your student should work with you to develop a personal hurricane evacuation plan. Where will your student go in the event of an evacuation? How will he or she get there? With whom will your student evacuate?

If emergency or SCAD officials indicate evacuation is necessary:

  • SCAD has an extensive hurricane preparedness plan in place. The safety of our students is our number one concern. The university is in regular contact with the Chatham Emergency Management Agency, constantly monitoring any emergency situation as it develops.
  • If the situation warrants, the SCAD Savannah location will be closed, and classes will be canceled.
  • Students living in SCAD residence halls will be notified of any closings through residence life staff, as well as via email and automated messages.
  • Students living off campus should monitor local television and radio newscasts, their SCAD email and this website. Information will be announced through an automated SCAD Alert message, posted on the website and distributed to the news media immediately if the decision is made to close the university.
  • Students with personal vehicles should self-evacuate to a safe location inland, and take friends or roommates with them if they are able. Students with family nearby should coordinate rides from family members. Students who have no other means of evacuating may travel with the university to a designated inland location.
  • Students are encouraged to contact their parents and families and let them know where they are going, should evacuation be mandated.
  • Parents should be aware that in the event of an evacuation ordered by SCAD or CEMA, communications at SCAD might be temporarily disrupted as operations shift to SCAD Atlanta. Refer to and for updates during an evacuation.
  • Government and Red Cross emergency management services will designate the disaster shelters. Shelters in Chatham County will not be opened for any category of hurricane prior to landfall. Information about these locations will be distributed via the SCAD Alert System, on this website, in email and through the news media. Designated public shelters also will be listed on the Chatham Emergency Management Agency website.

Evacuation staging areas

The SCAD Museum of Art Alex Townsend Memorial Courtyard and Montgomery House are designated as the primary staging areas for students relying on the university buses for their evacuation. Information about timetables and schedules will be provided in the residence halls, via the SCAD Alert System, on this website, in email and through the news media.

Evacuation centers

Shelters are designated by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the Chatham Emergency Management Agency and operated by the Red Cross. Shelters will not be opened locally for any category of hurricane prior to landfall.

Department of University Safety


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Emergency contact numbers

Emergencies in the U.S.

Emergencies in France

Emergencies in Hong Kong


To arrange a SafeRide, call 404.253.3333 in Atlanta or 912.525.4500 in Savannah.