Maintaining Status During Emergencies


Guidance to Maintaining Status During Emergencies
As an F or M student in the United States, it is important that you maintain your student status, even during emergency events under severe weather and other emergencies. Please check the following sites for information from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Student Exchange Visistors Portal (SEVP). 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IN AN EMERGENCY?

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Being aware of where you are and what is happening around you can help you to understand how information, events, and your own actions will impact your safety and your ability to protect yourself, both now and in the near future.
  • Protect yourself. Based upon your assessment of the situation, use your best judgment to protect yourself and, if possible, others.
  • Call for help. Any emergency service can be summoned by calling 911.
  • Help others. Once you are safely away from the danger, warn others of the hazard and help if you can without putting yourself in danger.

Emergency Procedures

As an F or M student in the United States, it is important that you maintain your student status, even during emergency events under severe weather and other emergencies. Please check the following sites for information from DHS and Texas A&M.

What Your F and M International Students Should Do:

  • If living off campus, F and M international students and their accompanying dependents (if any) should follow the instructions of state, local and tribal officials, including any instructions to shelter in place or evacuate. All international students living on campus should follow their institution’s emergency plan.
  • If students have been ordered to evacuate, they should not return until they are told by local officials that it is safe to do so.
  • International students must remain in contact with their school’s PDSO or DSO and inform the PDSO or DSO of their emergency plans, including whether they have been ordered to evacuate.
  • International students must also continue to take all necessary actions to maintain their student status, to the extent possible under the circumstances, including keeping necessary documents in a safe, secure place; taking documents with them if ordered to evacuate; and communicating with their DSO about their emergency plans.

What PDSOs and DSOs Should Do:

  • Remind international students that they should remain in contact with you and have emergency contact information on hand, including your email address and a number where they can call or text message you after business hours.
  • Ensure international students understand that they must take all necessary actions to maintain their student status, to the extent possible under circumstances, including keeping necessary documents in a safe, secure place; taking documents with them if ordered to evacuate; and communicating with you about their emergency plans.
  • Promote campus resilience by sharing your school’s available emergency resources with your international students.
  • Encourage international students to sign up for messaging alert systems for emergency notifications from the school, campus police or local law enforcement. These messages can help them keep informed on emergency response plans in the area.

Should you or your international students have questions, remember that you can contact the SEVP Response Center Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET.

In the case of an emergency or life-threatening situation, please contact local law enforcement or officials.

For more information regarding what to do before, during and after a Hurricane, visit the Hurricane Planning and Response | FEMA.gov or Plan Ahead for Disasters | Ready.gov