Louisiana Tech is already in preparatory mode to house Nicholls State students in anticipation of Hurricane Gustav.

Tech’s Emergency Response Team met Friday to begin executing support components of the Emergency Management Plan, which includes providing support for Nicholls’ campus community, said Dave Guerin, director of marketing and public relations.

‘We expect 100 to 125 Nicholls State students to begin arriving late Saturday night,’ Guerin said. ‘We understand there will be a mandatory evacuation ordered at 3 p.m. Saturday for residents of Lafourche Parish. The students who do not have anywhere else to go will be brought to Tech.’

Nicholls State is located in Thibodaux, which is part of Lafourche Parish and located on the southeastern part of the state.

‘We will provide shelter, food and any public safety needs for these students,’ Guerin said. ‘We want to get them settled. We’ll monitor the storm and its impact on their campus, and go from there.’

Tech’s chief of police, Randal Hermes, said he and the university police department are in daily contact with the Lincoln Parish and Ruston city officials.

‘We will keep the university community abreast of any changes,’ Hermes said.

Hermes added that as of Thursday, all university police personnel have been put on standby and are ready for the situation.

‘We are offering whatever assistance we have,’ Hermes said. ‘I and Assistant Chief Bill Davis were directly involved in the (Hurricane) Katrina evacuations. We have good first-hand experience.’

Guerin added that Tech’s schedule will continue as planned.

‘As of now, there are no changes to the university’s academic or athletic schedules,’ he said. ‘Everything is going as planned.’

Tech also has launched a new Web site, storm.latech.edu, which is the official information portal for the university. Check that site for updated news concerning the hurricane as it pertains to Tech.

Written by Judith Roberts