Resources available to students, employees affected by natural disasters

October 18, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — University officials are continuing to reach out to students and employees who are from the areas impacted by recent natural disasters — such as Hurricanes Florence and Michael in the U.S., Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines and Hong Kong, and the Oct. 13 earthquake in Indonesia — and offering to connect them to Penn State’s student support services.

“The University community, like the rest of the country and much of the world, is deeply concerned about the impact of natural disasters on the home towns of our students, and for anyone who has relatives in those areas,” said Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs. “We know that some of those threatened or affected may be your family members and friends, and that places dear to you may be profoundly impacted by nature's power.”

Students impacted  

Hundreds of students enrolled at Penn State are from the impacted areas, including World Campus students who are attending the University from their places of residence.

Sims reached out to University Park students from affected areas to confirm their safety and find out if they or their families have been impacted by the storms.

“Please know that you have our concern and sympathy, but you have much more than that. The University community stands ready to help in whatever way it reasonably can to address your worries and encourage your continued success here. We cannot take away the troubles at home, but we are reaching out to offer our help, and you should not hesitate to reach back if you feel our help is needed,” Sims wrote.

Resources for students

Among the resources available to Penn State students at University Park are:

  • The Student Care & Advocacy Office at Penn State supports students as they navigate unforeseen challenges such as personal crisis or emergencies while enrolled. To schedule an appointment with a case manager and learn more about available resources, please call 814-863-2020 or email
  • Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) strives to address the psychological needs and personal concerns of students that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, and emotional well-being. More information on services here:
  • Penn State Crisis Line:  1-877-229-6400 or Text "LIONS" to 741741

In addition, World Campus students may access the following resources:

  • Penn State World Campus has contacted its students in affected areas, offering help and assistance through the World Campus Student Affairs office. Penn State World Campus students who are from the areas hit by the storm can email
  • In addition, World Campus Student Affairs has scheduled a Nov. 29 webinar for World Campus students affected by natural disasters this fall, which will include academic advisers, a mental health advocate/case manager from CAPS, and representatives from Student Affairs. More details will be announced closer to the date.

Employee resources

Among the resources available to Penn State employees are:

  • The HR100 Employee Assistance Fund supports employees who may be in unexpected financial need, including in the case of natural disaster. More information is available at (
  • The Penn State Employee Assistance Program, through the EAP+Work/Life program, offers short-term counseling from licensed EAP professionals, by phone, email or in person to help employees better cope with personal, family and work issues. EAP also offers access to Personal Health Advocates, who can help navigate healthcare and insurance systems, efficiently and dependably. More information is available at
Last Updated October 30, 2018