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WSU Spokane Inclement Weather Procedures

Inclement Weather Emergencies

An inclement weather event may require the University to suspend some or all operations at the WSU Spokane 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 Spokane.

Weather Emergency Condition Levels

The Chancellor 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 chancellors 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.

When the WSU Spokane campus is at the yellow or red condition level, the presumption is that the campus will return to the green condition level on the following day unless the Chancellor or designee decides otherwise. Students and employees should check the WSU Spokane Campus Alert website for the latest condition level information.

WSU Spokane Condition Triage Team

The Facility Services department and the Office of Communications and Development are the Spokane Condition Triage Team responsible for reporting pertinent information on a weather event to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Budget or directly to the Chancellor.

During inclement weather, Facility Services monitors local weather, campus, and road conditions.

Determination of Condition Level

Facility Services calls and reports the overall conditions to the Chancellor or designee, who determines the weather emergency condition level.


The Office of Communications and Development notifies the vice chancellors and deans, or their alternates, of the condition level decision.

Communications provides notice of any changes to the operations at WSU Spokane by:

  • Placing a weather icon on the WSU Spokane homepage that links to the Spokane Campus Alert webpage;
  • Posting conditions and status of operations notices on the Spokane Campus Alert webpage;
  • Placing alert notices on the WSU Spokane Twitter and Facebook account pages; and
  • Contacting local television and radio stations if operations are suspended.
Weather Watch

Facility Services maintains a weather watch throughout the period in which severe weather conditions remain in force and until normal operations resume. Facility Services provides the Chancellor 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, Facility Services 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. Facility Services reports the condition to the Chancellor or designee no later than 5:00 a.m.

During the Day

If the inclement weather event occurs during the day, Facility Services collects the pertinent weather information and reports the information to the Chancellor or designee as soon as possible. Such a report initiates the inclement weather procedures listed 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 Chancellor or designee.

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.