Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms Business Policies and Procedures Manual

SAFETY AND SECURITY
50.41
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   Office of Emergency Management
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WSU Pullman Inclement Weather Procedures


Overview

An inclement weather event may require the University to suspend some or all operations at the Pullman campus. (See also BPPM 50.40 for University-wide procedures regarding suspended operations.)

This section provides procedures regarding evaluation of and response to inclement weather situations that affect WSU Pullman.

Weather Emergency Condition Levels

At the Pullman campus, the President or designee may declare one of the following condition levels when a weather emergency is imminent or active.

Condition Levels
GreenClasses, nonessential services, and essential services are all operational.
YellowClass operations are delayed two hours or cancelled. Nonessential services are reduced at the discretion of unit heads. Essential services are operational.
RedCampus is closed. Nonessential services are suspended. Essential services function with minimal levels of staffing.

Vice presidents and deans are to exercise discretion in determining essential services and essential minimal staffing levels in accordance with BPPM 60.40 and applicable leave policies. Additional guidelines related to inclement weather and suspended operations are available from the Human Resource Services (HRS) website at:

hrs.wsu.edu/resources/inclement-weather/

When WSU Pullman is at the yellow or red condition level, the presumption is that the University will return to the green condition level on the following day unless the President or designee decides otherwise. Students and employees should check WSU Alerts for the latest condition level information. See:

alert.wsu.edu/

Condition Triage Team

The following individuals or their alternates serve as the Condition Triage Team responsible for providing pertinent information on a weather event to be provided to the President:

  • Assistant Vice President for Facilities Services, Operations: Reports the condition of the campus.
  • Executive Director of Public Safety: Reports the condition of state/county/city roads.
  • Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC): Reports the weather conditions.
  • Director of Transportation Services: Reports the status of Pullman Transit System and Pullman schools, if available, and planned activities on the University calendar that may be affected.
  • Special Assistant to the Provost and Executive Vice President: Reports any special academic situations, e.g., exam week.
Determination of Condition Level

The triage team representative calls and reports the overall conditions to the President or designee, who determines the weather emergency condition level.

Personnel Notified of Condition Level Decision

The triage team representative notifies the following individuals or their alternates of the condition level decision:

  • Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC): Upon notification, posts the appropriate condition level on WSUALERT; and notifies the vice presidents, deans, and public information officers using the WSU CougAlert System (see BPPM 50.40).
  • Executive Director of University Marketing and Communications: Upon notification, manages internal and external communications; notifies television and radio stations, external newspapers, the Daily Evergreen, and other media outlets as appropriate; and releases other emergency communications deemed appropriate under the circumstances, including the use of the WSU CougAlert System (see BPPM 50.40).
  • Provost and Executive Vice President (if the President makes the decision)
  • Associate Vice President of Facilities Services, Operations: Upon notification, notifies Facilities Services, Operations leadership.
  • Director of Transportation Services: Upon notification, notifies Pullman Transit and/or Pullman School District representatives.
  • Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer
  • Vice President for Finance and Administration
Weather Watch

Designated personnel maintain a weather watch throughout the period in which severe weather conditions remain in force and until normal operations resume. The triage team representative provides the President and the individuals listed above with regular updates on weather, road, and campus conditions throughout the weather emergency.

Decision Timeline

While a weather emergency may be declared at any time if conditions necessitate it, the following are the most likely weather scenarios with target timelines for reaching decisions.

During Night or Early Morning Hours

If the inclement weather occurs during the night or early morning hours, the Condition Triage Team reports pertinent information on the inclement weather event no later than 4:45 a.m. Such a report initiates the inclement weather procedures listed above (see Weather Emergency Condition Levels above). The triage team representative reports the condition to the President or designee no later than 5:00 a.m.

If there is advance warning of a potential weather event, the triage team representative notifies the triage team the previous evening to be on standby for a 4:45 a.m. call the following morning.

During the Day

If the inclement weather event occurs during the day, the triage team representative collects the pertinent weather information from the Condition Triage Team and reports the information to the President or designee as soon as possible. Such a report initiates the inclement weather procedures listed above (see Weather Emergency Condition Levels above).

Evening Classes and Operations

If an inclement weather event is expected to affect evening classes and operations, a decision should be reached no later than 4:00 p.m. to allow time to provide appropriate notice.

College/Department/Unit Responsibilities

All colleges, divisions, departments, and other operating units must develop Emergency Response Plans and Continuance of Operations Plans, in accordance with Executive Policy EP25 and BPPM 50.39. In addition to other Emergency Response and Continuity of Operations responsibilities, the purpose of these plans is to:

  • Prepare for weather emergencies;
  • Ensure that faculty, staff, and students are informed of the closure of offices within the area;
  • Ensure that faculty, staff, and students are informed of the postponement of special events or activities; and
  • Reinforce the communication of any decisions reached by the President or designee.
Limitations

The procedures above are not intended to cover all possible eventualities. The University administration assumes that the decision-making and relevant communications will be adapted, as appropriate, to suit the circumstances. The University administration does not assume that all individuals who may be coming to campus or on campus can be notified of a weather emergency or the designated condition level.