Inclement Weather and Emergency Closing Procedures

The University of Georgia (“UGA” or “University”) will operate in accordance with the University Academic and Master calendars except when overriding public safety concerns otherwise require closure. In the event of inclement weather or an emergency, UGA follows a set procedure for announcing operational changes by making one of three announcements:

  1. UGA is open and operating on a regular schedule;
  2. UGA will close early or will delay opening until a specific time; or
  3. UGA is closed; only designated employees report.

Communication

Any changes to University operations will be announced in the following ways:

  1. ArchNews — An all-campus email through ArchNews is the primary means to distribute such announcements. The announcement also is posted to the UGA home page.
  2. Social Media — announcements will also be posted to:
    1. Twitter (@universityofga and @UGAEVENTS);
    2. Facebook (University of Georgia and UGA Today);
    3. Instagram (@universityofga); and
    4. SnapChat (university-ga).
  3. Radio — Up-to-date information is provided to Athens radio stations. Atlanta TV and radio stations that have requested to receive UGA weather announcements also are notified.

Decision Not to Open or to Close Campus

In Athens, inclement winter weather often develops overnight. In such cases and depending on conditions, attempts are made to post announcements and notify media by 6:30 a.m. for the start of the class day. If inclement weather or an emergency develops during morning rush hour or during daytime on a school/work day, the same notification procedures listed above are followed.

When inclement weather or emergency conditions are such that closings occur two or more days in succession, the procedure is followed each day, with an announcement being made each day by 6:30 a.m. Because conditions can change unexpectedly overnight, an evening announcement usually will not be made for the next day except in the most extreme weather circumstances. On days when UGA generally is scheduled to be closed (Saturdays, Sundays and holidays), the University does not usually make blanket closing announcements.

Even when the University is open, there could be unsafe travel conditions in your area. Please exercise caution and gather as much information as possible about weather and road conditions before you decide whether to travel during periods of inclement weather.

Designated Employees. Designated Employees are employees assigned to positions identified by their department or unit as necessary to the maintenance and operations of the University. In the event of closure or delay, Designated Employees are still expected to report on time unless conditions prevent safe travel. Departments and units will coordinate with Human Resources to identify Designated Employees in advance.

Effect of Closure

When UGA is closed, the University is closed for faculty, staff, and students. Designated Employees should report unless conditions prevent safe travel. Delayed openings or early closure announcements will include additional information specific to the closure or delay.

  1. Special Events. Departments and units hosting special events should make their own prior arrangements with employees and participants, notifying them how to proceed in case of inclement weather or an emergency. In unique circumstances, where the safety of the participants and employees are not jeopardized, special events, such as ticketed concerts or athletic events open to the public, may be held upon prior approval by the applicable Dean, Director, or Vice President. All departments and units must ensure adequate University and facility services by coordination with Facilities Management Division, the UGA Police, and other units expected to support such operations. In cases of extreme weather, the University may require and announce a shutdown of all activities, including special events, unless special approval is granted by the President.
  2. Transportation. If UGA is closed, campus transit will not operate. If UGA closes early, vans and buses will operate for one hour after the official closing. Up to date information on routes, schedules, detours and delays may be found at http://transit.uga.edu/.
  3. Dining Services. The five University dining commons will provide meal plan service even when the University closes for inclement weather. However, the department will delay opening on these days by one hour and may opt to close early if weather conditions are extreme. Meal plan participants will be notified by email of any changes in daily operations. Up to date information will also be provided through the UGA Food Services Facebook page. All Food Services retail operations are closed on days when the University is officially closed.
  4. Other Campuses. Announcements for weather closings at UGA campuses in Buckhead, Gwinnett, Griffin, and Tifton are handled by those campus administrators separately from the main campus announcements.
  5. Employee Leave. Information regarding Employee Leave during closure may be found at: http://policies.uga.edu/FA/nodes/view/1172/Inclement-Weather

Additional Resources for Emergencies

  1. University of Georgia Police Department
    1. Emergency — Dial 911
    2. Non-emergencies — (706) 542-2200 / TTY (706) 542-1188
  2. University Office of Emergency Preparedness — oversees the security and emergency management program for the University of Georgia. For additional information on the University’s emergency operations plan, visit www.prepare.uga.edu.

(updated 3/16/2016)

Published Monday,