Stormy Weather: Update on Inclement Weather Policies

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It's the season for tire chains, flooded roads, downed trees and power outages. Here's a reminder about UW Tacoma stormy weather policies and a guide to information about closures and delays.

It’s the season for tire chains, flooded roads, downed trees and power outages. Here’s a reminder about UW Tacoma stormy weather policies and a guide to information about closures and delays.

Please bookmark this for your reference through the winter. You can also access it on the UW Tacoma UW Alert site. These guidelines apply on weekends and whether classes are in session or not.

When the university is in operation, but severe weather conditions exist, use your own best judgment about driving to campus. Below are guidelines for what to do when you miss work or school due to weather.

Suspended operations – closing campus

In the event of snow, ice or other dangerous conditions, campus leadership will assess the road conditions early in the morning and make a decision no later than 6 a.m., earlier if possible, about whether to suspend operations for the entire day or operate on a delayed schedule.

When operations are suspended, the campus is closed, classes are not held, administrative offices are closed and events and activities are cancelled.

If no alert messages are posted on the website or the emergency telephone hotline, assume campus is open.

The best way to receive news of a campus closure is to sign up through the UW Alert system at tacoma.uw.edu/alert, which sends text messages to cell phone and email. If you signed up previously, this is a good time to check to ensure your contact information is current.

NOTE: Faculty and staff will not receive a UW Alert email message unless they sign up. This is a change from previous years. Students automatically receive an email, but must sign up for the text alerts.

Delayed start

When a delayed schedule is called, classes and offices will resume operations, usually at 10:30 a.m. or noon, depending on conditions.

Closing early

If a storm hits during a weekday, campus leaders may decide to suspend operations early. An announcement is usually made by 2 p.m. that day.

Where to get information

  • You can sign up in advance to receive UW Alert texts and email that will notify you about closures and other emergencies. Sign up or update your contact information: tacoma.uw.edu/alert
  • UW emergency telephone hotline: Call 253-383-4636 or 866-897-4636
  • UW Tacoma web homepage: www.tacoma.uw.edu
  • Email notification will be sent to your @uw.edu email address
  • Twitter: www.twitter.com/uwtacoma
  • Facebook: www.facebook.com/uwtacoma
  • Check www.FlashAlert.net, click on "Seattle" in the map, then click on "Colleges & Universities" and find UW Tacoma at the bottom of the list, but only if the campus is closed.
  • TV and radio stations will broadcast information from FlashAlert.net.

Messages will be available through these communication methods as soon as decisions to suspend or delay operations are made. UW Tacoma’s website will be updated as soon as possible with an alert message if there is any change in campus operations.

Missed classes

Faculty should make arrangements to contact students if class is cancelled when the university is not closed. Students should talk with their instructors about making up class time lost during a suspension of operations or a delayed opening, or if they are unable to get to campus.

Missed work time

UW Human Resource's suspended operations web pages provide information about pay and leave practices during inclement weather and suspended operations. If you have additional questions about HR practices during suspended operations and inclement weather, please contact UW Tacoma HR at 253-692-5669.

Inclement weather site:
www.washington.edu/admin/hr/polproc/susp-ops/inclement-weather.html

Suspended operations link:
www.washington.edu/admin/hr/polproc/susp-ops/leavecomp.html

Remember, when the university is in operation, but severe weather conditions exist, use your own best judgment about driving to work. Refer to the policy on taking leave due to inclement weather on the UW HR website linked above.

Additional safety information

You can always find this information in our UW Tacoma Emergency Guide.

Section: 
Written by: 
Mike Wark / November 23, 2015
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or johnbjr@uw.edu