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Ready for winter weather

In preparation for the full arrival of winter weather Queen’s University has created a new webpage detailing the decision-making process for responding to weather events as well as providing related information, links, and resources for Queen’s community members.

The webpage also features sections with information specifically for students, employees, and department heads and supervisors.

Queen’s has a procedure to assess the impact inclement weather might have on the operations of the university and to determine whether it is necessary to reduce the level of operations.

“We look at a range of factors that could impact the safety of students, faculty, and staff,” says Dan Langham, Director of Environmental Health and Safety, who along with David Patterson, Director of Campus Security and Emergency Services, plays a key role in the university’s inclement weather response procedure. “Deciding to reduce the operation levels at the university and cancel classes is a major decision so it’s vital we provide as much information as possible to the senior administration.”

"Grant Hall in Winter"
Queen's Univeristy has launched a new winter weather webpage with related information, links, and resources. (Queen's Communications)

Factors in the decision-making process include:

  • weather reports from Environment Canada
  • reports of road conditions in Kingston and surrounding areas
  • accessibility of campus roadways, sidewalks, and parking lots
  • status of public transportation
  • status of other local institutions, services, and businesses

When a weather event occurs overnight a decision on operation status is made by 6 am. The same process is followed when the storm develops during the day, with a decision about the status of the university coming no later than 3 pm.

The university communicates its operational status during inclement weather in a number of ways. An updated message is available via the Queen’s status phone line (613-533-3333), and a weather alert notice is posted at the top of the Queen’s homepage. For social media users, a tweet is sent from the Queen’s Twitter account.

When there is a change of status during the day, additional steps are taken including departments communicating the information in their work areas and a list-serv email distributed to all computer users on campus.

Inclement weather may make it difficult for employees to get to work even though the university is maintaining normal operations. Employees are expected to notify their department head if they are going to be late or absent because of the weather conditions. Further information on the Inclement Weather Policy is available on the Human Resources webpage.