Plan Provides Details for Emergencies, Essential Employees

November 14, 2019 | UToday
By Christine Wasserman

The University of Toledo’s Continuity of Operations Plan helps to ensure students, faculty, staff, patients and other customers are safe whenever the University must temporarily suspend operations due to weather-related or other types of emergencies.

Although essential services continue and the University and The University of Toledo Medical Center remain open during severe weather and other unforeseen emergencies, classes and campus events may need to be delayed or canceled.

“Protecting our campus community members is our No. 1 priority,” said Matt Schroeder, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We strive to communicate as quickly as possible when campus operations may be impacted so we can ensure everyone is safe and our infrastructure is maintained.”

If a major snowstorm, ice storm or other emergency affects classes, the University will announce this information through the following channels:

• UT Alert text message and email (be sure your cell phone number is updated in Banner);

• Rave Guardian phone app (download free from app store);

• Website – on the myUT portal and the UToledo weather updates web page (provides time-stamped weather updates);

• Social media — UToledo on Facebook and Twitter; and

• Local media outlets, including TV and radio stations.

The SNOW line — 419.530.SNOW — has been discontinued due to very limited use by UToledo’s campus community, whose members have demonstrated they prefer to rely on digital and social media for University notifications.

Decisions to delay or cancel classes due to severe weather are based on the condition of UToledo campuses and area roads, as well as reports from local transit authorities and weather forecasters.

“Even though we weigh multiple factors when deciding to cancel or delay classes, we do our best to make these announcements in three phases whenever possible,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Every effort is made to announce suspension of morning classes by 6 a.m., afternoon classes by 10 a.m. and evening classes by 3 p.m. This gives the University flexibility should conditions improve throughout the day.”

The University’s policy is to remain open whenever possible in order to minimize interruption of teaching and research. Leaders are asked to designate and notify essential employees — those with skills or expertise critically necessary to ensure successful, continuous operations during an emergency.

Essential employees are required to report to work, regardless of the level of emergency, when a temporary suspension of University operations is authorized and the Continuity of Operations Plan is activated.

UToledo areas defined as “essential” in maintaining continuous operations during a temporary suspension of operations include clinical operations; public safety/UToledo Police; Information Technology; Academic and Student Services; Supply Chain Operations (for clinical operations only); Facilities; and Employee Payroll and Human Resources Information Systems.

Employees who work in these areas may be designated as essential personnel and are required to report to work whenever the Continuity of Operations Plan is activated. These employees will be notified of their designation by their supervisors and given UToledo’s essential personnel acknowledgement memo, as well as the essential personnel restricted travel memo. The latter should be carried at all times throughout the year and presented to law enforcement if stopped when traveling to or from work at the University during an emergency.

Throughout the coming winter, all campus community members are advised to be cautious when walking across campus in snowy and icy conditions. If you see walkways that need to be cleared, notify grounds crew on Main Campus at 419.530.1000 and on Health Science Campus at 419.383.5353.

More information about campus operations during severe weather or other emergencies is available on the Human Resources’ website. If you have any questions after reviewing these details, talk with your supervisor.

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