Resources available for Penn State students affected by Hurricane Dorian

September 13, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, Penn State officials have reached out to students from the areas impacted by the storm and are offering the University’s assistance, including resources available to Penn State students who may be facing a personal crisis.

Nine Penn State students, enrolled at Penn State’s University Park, Behrend and Harrisburg campuses, as well as Penn State World Campus, have permanent addresses in the Bahamas, which was especially hard hit by the storm. When the hurricane’s significant impacts on the Bahamas became clear, Penn State Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims reached out to these students to convey Penn State’s support and share information on available assistance. 

“The University community, like the rest of the country and much of the world, is deeply concerned about the natural disaster impacting your home,” Sims wrote in a Sept. 4 email to affected students. “Our hearts and best hopes are directed to the people living in any areas hit hardest by Hurricane Dorian, particularly those in the Bahamas.”

Penn State also is offering help to more than 450 students, including World Campus students attending the University from their places of residence, who are from areas along the southeastern U.S. coast that were impacted by Hurricane Dorian, particularly North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

“Any student who has been impacted by Hurricane Dorian has the sympathy and concern — and also the support — of University leadership and the entire Penn State community,” Sims said. “We stand ready to assist students during their time of need and encourage their continued success at Penn State. Just as we are reaching out to students to offer our help, students should never hesitate to reach out to us if they need our assistance.”

When disaster strikes anywhere, or in the case of personal tragedy, University services and resources available to students in need include:

  • Student Care and Advocacy, which provides students with the necessary support to make difficult situations more manageable in times of emotional and mental distress, academic distress, loss of housing or financial insecurity, can assist with connecting students with appropriate resources. University Park students can call 814-863-2020 or email StudentCare@psu.edu for assistance.
  • Counseling and 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 available services can be found at  http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/counseling/.
  • Penn State Crisis Line: 1-877-229-6400 or Text "LIONS" to 741741.

Penn State World Campus is advising students to contact their instructor directly to discuss options for making up work missed due to circumstances related to the hurricane. Penn State World Campus students from the areas hit by the storm who need additional support can email wcstudentconcern@psu.edu.

For faculty or staff members personally impacted by Hurricane Dorian, the following resources are available:

  • 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 cope with personal, family and work issues. EAP also offers access to Personal Health Advocates, who can help navigate health care and insurance systems efficiently and dependably. Information is available at https://hr.psu.edu/health-matters/employee-assistance-program.
  • The HR100 Employee Assistance Fund supports employees who may be in unexpected financial need, including in the case of natural disaster. Additional information is available at https://policy.psu.edu/policies/hr100.

For information on additional student support services offered by the University, visit https://studentaffairs.psu.edu/student-support-services.

Last Updated September 24, 2019