The Winter term has started, the temperature is dropping and the snow has already started to fall! This time of year the weather can be unpredictable and can sometimes wreak havoc on our schedules. 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 a weather emergency is declared, York 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 what to do in the case of a weather emergency.
Basic Weather Emergency Procedures
York staff continuously follow up-to-the-minute weather forecasts and assess current conditions to ensure that procedures are only followed through when it is determined that travel to and from York is unsafe and when the weather has a substantial effect on the overall operations of the University. A weather emergency can be declared at any time of the day and Weather Emergency Procedures are immediately enacted. This means that classes may be cancelled, exams postponed and other University operations suspended. In other words: it’s a snow day! Note that not every snowfall means there will be a snow day; in fact it’s quite rare. As a proud Canadian university, York is prepared for what Mother Nature has to offer in the winter, but in the event where it does occur, #YUBlog has you covered.
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 evening 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.
All university operations are cancelled when a weather emergency is declared.
Staying Informed of Weather Emergencies
You can stay informed about weather emergencies by connecting with York University online and on social media. The York U Safety App includes a weather updates function, meaning that you’ll never miss a snow day alert.
York University also makes weather-related announcements on Facebook and Twitter, so make sure to like and follow those channels in order to get weather updates. If you are on campus, you can also check the LCD television screens around 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’re still at home comfy in bed, stay put! If you commute to school and are already on your way in, you can decide to head back home. If you live in residence on campus, the residence team will keep you updated about the weather situation and any resources that you may need. 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 – build a snowman or challenge some friends to a snowball fight! Depending on the severity 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 in the syllabus unless told otherwise by your instructor. Reviewing the content in a study group is a great way to discuss any gaps in your knowledge and answer questions together. Check out some our best tips for studying in “The Lion Pride Study and Assignment Guide.” If a test or exam was scheduled, contact your professor so you are aware of any rescheduling arrangements.
Also, make sure to stay on top of weather updates so that you know when the weather emergency is lifted. Most of all, stay safe!
Make sure to stay warm and safe during the weather emergency.
Do you have questions about York University’s weather emergencies? Comment below or tweet us on Twitter at @YorkUStudents.