January 16, 2013
5 ways to prepare for severe winter weather
This is the first in a series of articles discussing safety and security for the Purdue campus.
Know what's expected. Each campus has written procedures for adverse weather. The West Lafayette campus winter weather procedures are available at http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/purduetoday/releases/2012/Q4/to-purdue-community-adverse-winter-weather-procedures.html
If you are classified as "essential personnel," you are asked to work even when normal campus operations are suspended. Talk to your supervisors or faculty/staff in advance so everyone knows what is expected. And because the unexpected can be expected, each unit should take steps now to ensure two-way communication during a weather event.
Have a communication plan. Should Purdue suspend classes, an e-mail and Purdue Alert text will be sent. If the university is open, however, you may still need to cancel your own classes or events. How will you communicate that with students or customers? For students, many faculty members include this kind of information in their class syllabus. For customers, your area's website, voice mail, out-of-office e-mail responses and university calendar can be a good way to communicate. It's a good idea to check to be sure you can do this from off campus.
Park in the garages or take the bus. This not only keeps surface lots free for snow plows, but it also helps protect your car from the weather and sliding vehicles. And remember, CityBus rides are free to anyone with a Purdue ID card. Schedules and route maps are available at http://www.gocitybus.com/
Expect and report icy areas. Grounds employees try hard to clear walkways and slippery areas, but it's a big campus. If you notice an area that needs priority attention, call 494-3087. Above all, wear boots with tread and avoid slick spots. And don't forget: Look up to check for icicles and down to check for black ice in the garages.
Sign up. A Purdue Alert text will be sent if classes are suspended or only essential personnel should report to work. Sign up to receive the alerts by visiting http://www.purdue.edu/securepurdue/ and clicking on "Change My Emergency Contact Number." The university also will send an email to your Purdue account and post alerts and updates at http://www.purdue.edu
More resources also are available at http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/health_safety/weather.html
Source: Carol Shelby, senior director, environmental health and public safety, 765-494-7504, firstname.lastname@example.org