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

SAFETY AND SECURITY
50.45
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WSU Extension (REC, REs, and County Offices) Inclement Weather Procedures


Inclement Weather Emergencies

An inclement weather event may require the University to suspend some or all operations at a research and extension center (REC) or station (RES), or at a WSU Extension county office. (See also BPPM 50.40 for University-wide procedures regarding suspended operations.)

This section provides an overview of the procedures regarding the evaluation of and response to inclement weather situations that affect WSU Extension county offices and research and extension centers.

Weather Emergency Condition Levels

A research and extension center (REC) or station (RES) director who has received delegated authority from the President may declare one of the following condition levels when a weather emergency affecting the REC or RES is imminent or active.

The President has delegated authority to the WSU Extension Director or designee to declare one of the following condition levels when a weather emergency affecting a county extension office 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.

The applicable REC/RES director or the WSU Extension Director or designee is 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 an REC, RES, or WSU Extension county office is at the yellow or red condition level, the presumption is that the unit will return to the green condition level on the following day unless the REC/RES director or the WSU Extension Director or designee decides otherwise.

Students, volunteers, and employees should check with the REC, RES, or county extension main office for the latest condition level information. For contact information, see the Extension Locations website.

Assessment and Recommendation

In case of inclement weather affecting an REC or RES, the director assesses weather warnings and make recommendations for temporary changes to University operations.

In case of inclement weather affecting a county extension office, the county extension director and the WSU Extension director or designee assess weather warnings and make recommendations for temporary changes to University operations.

The goal is to have information about delays or closures made public as soon as possible on the day of reported inclement weather.

The REC/RES director notifies the CAHNRS Dean’s Office, the Extension Director’s office, and if possible the Agricultural Research Center of the situation and decision (see BPPM 50.40).

Notification

Each REC, RES, county extension main office, or the WSU Extension administration office:

  • Shares suspended operations or delay information and updates personnel by telephone tree;
  • Manages internal and external communications;
  • Notifies television and radio stations, external newspapers, and other media outlets as appropriate; and
  • Releases other emergency communications deemed appropriate under the circumstances, including the use of the Emergency Notification System (also referred to as the WSU CougAlert System; see BPPM 50.40).
Security

The REC/RES director ensures that all areas of the REC/RES are secured (e.g., laboratories, chemical storage sheds).

Office and Unit Responsibilities

All WSU Extension offices 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 REC/RES director or the WSU Extension Director 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 or are at the REC, RES, or county extension office can be notified of a weather emergency or the designated condition level.