Purdue prepares for heavy snowfall; advises students on policies, protection

March 5, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue officials are reminding students about what they can expect and how to prepare for the heavy snow, sleet and blustery winds predicted for the Greater Lafayette area on Tuesday (March 5) afternoon and evening.

Although it rarely happens, should classes be suspended on the West Lafayette campus, a PurdueAlert text and e-mail will be issued, and the information will be posted on the Purdue Home Page. Texts are sent to those who subscribe, which can be done at http://www.purdue.edu/securepurdue/ by clicking on "Change My Emergency Contact Number." E-mails will be sent to all students, faculty and staff, and area news media will be alerted.

Employees should still report to work, if they can do so safely, unless all non-essential operations are suspended. Should that occur, only employees whose positions have previously been identified as essential will be expected to work. The Purdue policy can be found at http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/purduetoday/releases/2012/Q4/121128_WeatherMemo.pdf

"Many variables come into play when making decisions about schedule changes," said Carol Shelby, senior director for environmental health and public safety. "For example, in addition to temperature and wind chill, administrators consider the entire forecast for the day, snow cover, anticipated snowfall, icing, the conditions of roads and parking lots, and the ability to heat buildings and remove snow. Consideration also is given to how far people need to walk outdoors, which is greater for students than for faculty and staff, most of whom park in lots and garages near the campus."

In addition to requesting that drivers park in garages rather than surface lots, Shelby offers these suggestions:

* Dress for warmth. Wear several layers of lightweight, warm clothing. Wear hats and scarves to prevent body heat loss. Mittens that fit snugly at the wrists are better than gloves. Boots or shoes should provide good traction.

* Ride CityBus, which is free to everyone with a Purdue student, faculty or staff identification card. Bus stops are located all around campus, and buses run throughout Lafayette and West Lafayette.

* Use the Purdue tunnels and enclosed walkways.

More resources also are available at http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/health_safety/weather.html

Writer: Jeanne Norberg, 765-491-1460, jnorberg@purdue.edu

Source: Carol Shelby, 765-494-7504, cshelby@purdue.edu

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