Emergency Procedures

Weather and Emergency Closing Policy

General Information

The Director of Public Safety in conjunction with the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President of Student Affairs decide if and when the campus will be closed, have a delayed opening, or a mid-workday closing (early release) due to severe weather conditions. The Vice President of Academic Affairs will decide whether or not to cancel day, evening, or weekend classes. Students and teaching faculty should always assume that classes are in session, unless and until a specific announcement canceling or suspending classes is issued. Note: The decision to close or delay nursing classes at Berkshire Health Systems in Pittsfield will be made by the R.N.-B.S. program coordinator.

The Office of Public Safety will work closely with the Emergency Protocol Team should the College need to close due to non-weather-related emergencies.In the event of a closing due to inclement weather, the Alumnae Library will open from 1 to 5 p.m. with resident student workers. The Maguire Center for Health, Fitness, and Athletics will be closed to the public whenever the College is closed due to inclement weather. It will be open to students with staffing provided by resident assistants. Closings or delays for the Maguire Center will also be listed online, or you can call 413-265-2313.

Notification of staffing expectations during weather-related closings or delays should be arranged by the appropriate administrators. Essential employees in the following areas of campus should expect to report regardless of conditions unless otherwise notified: Residence Life, Public Safety, and Facilities.

Notification Processes

The first-updated and most accurate information sources will be the Elms College Web site and telephone system. To access information about weather-related closings or delays through the telephone system, call 413-594-2761 and dial 4 once the automated recording begins. An email will also be sent campus-wide. Closings may also be announced through the following local outlets:

Radio:
WHYN Springfield AM 560 and FM 93.1
WUPE Pittsfield AM 1110 and FM 95.9
WTIC Connecticut AM 1080 and FM 96.5
Affiliate WRCH FM 100.5

Television:
WGGB ABC channel 40
Fox 6 Springfield
WWLP Channel 22 Springfield
WSHM CBS-TV 3 Springfield

Those who live outside the broadcast areas listed above should call 413-594-2761 and dial 4 once the automated recording begins or contact Public Safety at 413-265-2278.

After the initial announcement and based on the type of closing, community members should consult the Web site for up-to-date information on the nature of the closing, possible duration of the closing, specific cautions or warnings, information on campus facilities (Alumnae Library and The Maguire Center) and other details as they develop. Only closing announcements will be repeated daily as necessary. There will not be a "re-opening" announcement; faculty, students, and staff should assume that offices are open and classes are in session unless there is a closing announcement for a given day.

Individual offices may want to develop internal phone trees to supplement the processes above, for employees with long or treacherous commutes.

Early Release

The Director of Public Safety in conjunction with the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President of Student Affairs will make the decision on early release (release from regularly scheduled hours, usually weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.). Elms College email will be used to announce an early release.

Please note that supervisors may not individually institute early release or approve late arrivals as paid time. Vacation time must be used by employees missing regular work hours, in the absence of a closing notice which involves their given area.

Cancellation of Evening Classes

The Vice President of Academic Affairs will make the decision whether or not to cancel evening classes as early in the day as is possible. If cancelled, the college will use the same notification system as is used for college closing announcements.

After Hours and Weekends

Public Safety personnel are expected to report regardless of conditions after hours and on the weekends.

To the extent possible, cancellations of after-hours and weekend special events will be communicated by the Office of Institutional Marketing via the local media and will be posted on the Elms College Web site.