UW Emergency Management

January 8, 2020

When the UW “closes” due to Snow, who makes that decision and how do we find out?!

photo of the main UW entrance roadway covered in snowWell before the first snowflakes begin to fall, UWEM starts fielding this question from students, faculty, staff, parents, media and the general public.  After we remind everyone that the UW NEVER CLOSES (technically, we either “suspend operations”, announce a “delayed start/opening,” or allow for an “early release”…) , we note that the UW follows a standard plan for making this important decision. This process also includes detailed actions to ensure timely, accurate and updated information to the campus community on any changes to our normal operational status.  The UW’s Inclement Weather Plan is the primary document that guides senior leadership in this complex decision-making process.  First developed in 2018 and further refined after the February 2019 Snowmageddon experience, this plan and related procedures, provides us with a consistent process by which the UW assesses current and forecast weather conditions, solicits input from key campus stakeholders, consolidates situational assessment, convenes key leaders for rapid decision-making and finally, getting “the word out” to the public in an efficient and rapid manner.  So how can I be ready this year for any upcoming weather disruptions?  First: if you have not already done so, SIGN-UP for UWAlert notices — your best and most reliable way to getting up-to-the-minute notices.  Second:  go to our Preparedness website and take steps now to get ready… and Finally: remember to be patient, flexible, helpful to others who may need assistance and, yes, take this as an opportunity to assess personal preparedness at home, school, work and community.