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Inclement Weather Plan

Inclement Weather Plan

With the onset of colder weather, snow and ice will begin to become part of our local weather forecasts. The Facilities Department began preparing for these events in early fall by stock piling de-icing materials and salt. We have also been upgrading and testing our snow plowing and removal equipment.

We would like to share our inclement weather response plan with the campus community so you know what to expect from us during an inclement weather event. Snow and ice removal on campus is prioritized with consideration for safety and maintaining primary access roads for emergency vehicles. Priority areas include:

  1. Main access roads and areas for emergency vehicle response.
  2. Sidewalks between residence halls and the Dining Hall including handicap access.
  3. Parking lots that are designated for commuter and staff parking.
  4. Sidewalks to the main entrances of all academic buildings followed by secondary entrances and exits.
  5. Secondary roads and sidewalks.
  6. All other areas.

Facilities will monitor the weather and respond as conditions require. As you can imagine, it is difficult to plan with precision what an inclement weather event will actually do. However, during a snow event we will generally arrive on campus at about 3 a.m. to begin snow removal activity. With no mechanical difficulties and a full crew we are usually able to have the entire campus ready by 8 a.m. During a continuing snow event, we focus on maintaining priority areas.

Facilities reports snow and campus access conditions to the Vice President for Administration (usually by 5 a.m.). This allows enough time (usually by 6 a.m.) to notify the campus community of university schedule changes utilizing media outlets, Shepherd’s website and switchboard, and the Rave text messaging system.


  1. Facilities will clear empty parking spaces in residential housing lots after all other priorities are sufficiently addressed. Residents can help in this effort by moving vehicles to cleared areas of a parking lot, allowing us to clear vacated spaces. Facilities will not plow or shovel out individual cars. Loaner shovels are available by contacting an RA in your building but it is best to be prepared to address your vehicle needs individually.
  2. Do not abandon vehicles in commuter or staff parking lots overnight. In our efforts to clear the lot, they may become plowed in.
  3. Please use extra caution while driving and walking around campus during inclement weather events. While we attempt to make all sidewalks, walkways, and campus roads passable during an inclement weather event, refreezing, continued snow and changing weather conditions require individual attention, some planning and thought as to how to safely navigate moving across campus.