It’s December, which means that winter has officially started. Temperatures are dropping and before you know it, snow will fall! If you’ve ever experienced a classic Canadian winter, you would probably agree that the weather can be unpredictable. Although the York U campuses are equipped to handle ice and snow removal to ensure safety and accessibility of all buildings and facilities, the University may declare a weather emergency if weather conditions are deemed to:
- Prevent safe travel to and from York University; or,
- Have a substantial adverse effect on normal University operations.
If those conditions are met, York U will initiate a set of procedures to ensure timely communication and the safety of the campus community. Read the #YUBlog’s guide to learn more about weather emergency procedures at York U and take a look at our previous post, “Campus Safety Resources at York U” to learn about all of the tools available to you in an emergency.
Basic Weather Emergency Procedures
York University ensures that weather forecasts are continuously monitored. If necessary, a weather emergency can be declared at any time and Weather Emergency Procedures are enacted. This means that classes are cancelled, exams are postponed and other University operations are suspended. In other words: it’s a snow day! Note that not every snowfall instantly equals a snow day, especially since Canada is expected to have snowy winters.
A decision to declare a weather emergency is normally made at the following times:
- By 5:30am, where daytime operations are suspended and daytime classes, exams and activities are cancelled or postponed;
- Before 5pm, where evening operations are suspended and daytime classes, exams and activities are cancelled or postponed; and
- By 9pm where night-time operations are suspended.
When a weather emergency is lifted, normal operations will resume.
Staying Informed of Weather Emergencies
You can stay informed about weather emergencies by connecting with York University online and on social media. You can find an official status update regarding weather emergencies on the York Weather Status page. The York U Safety App also includes a weather updates function, meaning that you’ll never miss a snow day.
York University makes weather-related announcements on Facebook and Twitter, so make sure to like and follow in order to get weather updates. If you are on campus, you can also take a look at the LCD television screens across campus for an update on the weather status.
In the Event of a Weather Emergency
When a weather emergency is declared, and normal operations are suspended, you have some options depending on where you are. If you commute to school and are already on your way in, you can decide to head back home or if you’re lucky, stay at home if you haven’t already left. If you live in residence on campus, the residence team will keep you updated about the weather situation. You can stay inside and study, finish that paper that’s due next week or stay warm and cozy in your room. If temperatures are not severe, enjoy the extra snow and build a snowman! Please keep in mind that depending on the nature of the weather emergency, the specific food outlets on campus that remain open will vary.
Whether you live at home or on campus, you are responsible for catching up on your course work. If your classes are canceled, make sure you do not fall behind by going over the material assigned. Reviewing the content in a study group is a great way to discuss any gaps in your knowledge and answer questions together. If a test or exam was scheduled, get in touch with your professor so you are aware of any rescheduling arrangements.
Also, make sure to check regularly for weather updates so that you know when the weather emergency is lifted. Don’t forget to keep warm and stay safe!
Do you have questions about York University’s weather emergencies? Comment below or tweet us on Twitter at @YorkUStudents.