Resources available for Penn State students affected by Hurricane Ida

August 31, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After bringing with it torrential rains, high winds and widespread damage in Mississippi and along the Louisiana coast, Hurricane Ida — now a tropical depression — has left more than a million people without power, mounds of debris and sweltering temperatures in its wake. 

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.

Two hundred seventy-nine Penn State students from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama enrolled at Penn State campuses, and in Penn State World Campus, have been contacted by the University to share the University’s message of support and provide 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. Our hearts and best hopes are directed to the people living in any areas hit hardest,” said Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs, in an Aug. 31 email to affected students. “We know that some of those affected may be your family members and friends, and that places dear to you may be profoundly impacted by nature's power. We also know that not everyone has returned to campus this fall, so you may be home, too, and experiencing the effect of Hurricane Ida directly.”

Sims said the University community stands ready to help in whatever way it reasonably can to address student concerns. 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 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
  • 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

For faculty or staff members personally impacted by Hurricane Ida, the following resources are also 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
  • 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

For information on additional student support services offered by the University, visit

Last Updated September 01, 2021