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Secretariat
POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND REGULATIONS

Weather Emergencies

Description:  Deals with decision-making, communications, resumption of normal operating procedures, essential service units, Faculties and departments, special events and limitations. Has associated policy

Notes: 

Created/Authority to Amend:  Vice-President, Finance and Administration

Approved by UEC: 1994/09/12; Approved by BPC: 1994/09/27; Date Effective: 1994/09/27. Appendices referred to below are available in hard copy only. These include the list of contacts with their phone numbers (Appendix A), various greetings for phonemail messages (Appendix B), a chart listing key personnel identified in the decision and communication processes (Appendix C), and various web site messages (Appendix D).  This procedure was revised 1996/01/30,  2003/11/05, 2007/11/16 and 2011/06/15.


Approval Authority: Vice-President Finance and Administration

Signature: "Gary Brewer"


Weather Emergency Procedures

I.          Decision Making

1. Where positions are referred to in the following procedures, the responsibilities assigned may be delegated. There shall be no more than one designated alternate for each office and the name of that alternate shall be reported to the Vice-President Finance and Administration (hereinafter referred to as the VP-FA) and the Director Security Services.

2. The Director Security Services shall be responsible for maintaining the List of Contacts (telephone numbers, etc., see Appendix A) for the “Communications Tree” (see Appendix C), and shall update it at least annually at the beginning of the fall term.

3. The Director Security Services, on the basis of reliable forecasts of potentially bad weather from Environment Canada, shall place the University community on a “weather watch” by ensuring this information is posted on the CSBO Weather Emergency web site (linked to the main page of the University’s web site) and shall apprise the Director, Media Relations and the VP-FA of the “weather watch” status.

4. The Director Security Services shall be responsible for notifying the VP-FA when weather conditions escalate from a “weather watch” to a potential “weather emergency”, which may require the suspension of the University’s normal operations and programs.

5. The Director Security Services shall assess the potential impact on University operations of a weather emergency being declared (at any or all campuses) and shall consult key decision and communications personnel and place them on alert, including the following:

a.  Directors of Maintenance, Energy Management and Grounds & Custodial Services re: plant operations and implications for utilities and services (grounds, caretaking, etc.).
b.  Director, Media Relations re: internal and external communications;
c.  Manager Telecommunications or designate re: appropriate emergency telephone messaging;
d.  University Registrar re: cancellation of classes and postponement of examinations; and
e.  VP-FA (who shall also place the VP Academic & Provost and the VP Students on alert) – the VP Academic & Provost shall consult the Directors of the Miles S. Nadal Downtown Management Centre and the Osgoode Hall Law School Downtown Centre;

6. The Director Security Services shall provide the VP-FA with regularly updated reports on conditions until such time as a decision either to declare a weather emergency or to discontinue the “watch” has been taken by the VP-FA.

7. The VPFA shall make the decision to declare a weather emergency.  Decisions shall be made in consultation with the President and, if possible, with the Vice-President Academic and the Vice-President Students or their named designates for the purpose of this Procedure. The VPFA shall consult the Chair of Senate or his/her designate in a situation where academic classes are to be cancelled and examinations postponed.  

8. When a weather emergency is declared, the decision shall be conveyed by the VP-FA to the Director Security Services who shall determine which phone mail messages to initiate on the University Switchboard as well as the appropriate message for the University web site. The Director Security Services shall record the date and time of the declaration of a weather emergency and ensure the inclusion of this information in the messages. The messages shall be substantially in a form corresponding to the scripted messages included in Appendices B and D hereto.

9.  a. A decision to declare a weather emergency shall normally be made by 5:30 a.m. for the suspension of daytime operations and cancellation/postponement of daytime classes, exams and activities (with locations/campuses specified).
b.  Once a day's operations, classes, exams and activities have commenced, a decision to declare a weather emergency and to suspend operations and cancel/postpone classes, exams and activities (with locations/campuses specified) may be enacted at any time. Wherever possible, a decision affecting evening operations and cancellation/postponement of evening classes, exams and activities (with locations/campuses specified) shall be made by 5:00 p.m.
c. A decision to declare a weather emergency and to suspend night-time operations (with locations/campuses affected) will normally be made by 9:00 p.m.

II.         Essential Service Units

1.   During a weather emergency, designated Essential Service Units are required to continue to operate under their respective emergency operating procedures.

2.   For the purpose of these procedures, Essential Service Units include, but are not necessarily limited to specified sections of:
a. Security Services, including the Security Control Centre which becomes “emergency central” during a suspension of normal operations and programs;
b. Campus Services and Business Operations, including Grounds and Vehicles and Energy Management. 
c.University Information Technology, including Network Operations and Telecommunications.

3. Employees in Essential Service Units who are on duty at the time a weather   emergency is declared shall remain on duty or be excused from duty in accordance with the Emergency Operating procedures established by their respective departments.

4. At the outset and for the duration of the weather emergency, the senior manager of each Essential Service Unit shall be responsible for liaising with and updating Security Control on the status of his/her respective operation and for confirming the name and contact information (e.g., telephone numbers) of those responsible for overseeing Essential Service Unit operations.

5. The senior manager responsible for each Essential Service Unit shall develop  and regularly update written procedures for his/her respective unit in accordance with this Emergency Weather Procedure and distribute copies to:
a. all employees in the unit,
b. the VP-FA
c.the Director Security Services and
d. the Assistant Vice-President, Human Resources & Chief HR Officer

III.        Communications

Decisions concerning the emergency will generally be disseminated in accordance with the communication tree illustrated in Appendix C.  Those so notified shall use their best efforts to communicate with persons in their immediate location and to those persons reporting directly to them until the emergency is no longer in effect.

Communications shall be clear with regard to the status of operations at each of the Keele and Glendon campuses, and the Nadal Management Centre and the Osgoode Downtown Centre.

Key personnel identified in the decision and communication procedure shall:

a) take steps to ensure that they can be readily contacted by the Security Control Centre throughout the weather emergency until the weather emergency is no longer in effect;
b) ensure that they have access to contact names and addresses, evenings, weekends and holidays for situations in which a weather emergency is declared outside of “office hours”; and
c) have a designated, trained “back-up” who can assume their communication responsibilities during vacation or other absence.

The general University community will be informed as follows:
1.   Director Security Services shall convey the decision to the following:
a. Director, Media Relations who shall: · call the radio stations listed in Appendix B with the authorized message;
· arrange supplementary messages on the University web site, as required; and
· notify the Vice-President University Relations and all offices within the University Relations division.
b. Senior Executive Officer, Office of VP Finance and Administration , who shall proceed according to #2 below;
c.On-Duty Supervisor in the Security Control Centre, who shall:
· monitor and provide updates of the Campus situation relative to the emergency (e.g., security, personal safety, weather conditions, etc.) to the Director Security Services.
· as instructed by the Director Security Services, assist in contacting those listed below (d. through k.).
middot; Security Control becomes the University’s “Emergency Central” during the suspension of normal operations and programs.
d. Telecommunications Systems Manager or designate,
· ensure that the approved message is initiated on the University’s central call processing system (e.g., main University message, University Weather Emergency Line, University Student Information Line, TTYTDD Hearing Impaired Line, etc.).
e. Director Custodial & Grounds Services, who shall:
· ensure that essential Grounds and Vehicles services are initiated, restored and/or maintained as appropriate.
f. Director Energy Management, who shall:
· ensure that essential services are initiated, restored and/or maintained as appropriate.

 
 
g.       Director, ICT Infrastructure, University Information Technology (UIT), who shall:
·         ensure essential computing and telecommunications services are maintained.
 
h.       Manager, Library Facilities, who shall:
·         close all Library facilities.
·         inform the University Librarian.
 
i.         The appropriate designate in CSBO, who shall:
·         update the CSBO Weather Emergency web site (linked to the main page of the University’s web site).
 
j.         The appropriate designate of any other institution operating through formal arrangement on the property of York University (e.g., Seneca@York).
 
k.       The Assistant Vice-President, Campus Services & Business Operations, who shall:
·         inform the York University Student Centre.
·         notify campus daycares.
·         notify Seneca@York, Canlan Ice Sports, Tennis Canada
·         notify commercial tenants on campus, including food service operators, as well as major Hospitality groups/conferences.
·         notify contractors engaged in major construction on campus
 
l.         If a decision needs to be made at or after the end of normal University office hours, then the following shall also be notified directly:
 
·         Facilities Coordinator, Miles S. Nadal Management Centre;
·         Associate Director, Osgoode Hall Law School
Downtown Centre;
·         other University units with evening or weekend operations that make appropriate arrangements with Security Services to be so notified.
 
(At other times, these units shall be notified via their regular decanal or Vice-Presidential channel, as outlined in #2 below).
 
2.   Senior Executive Officer, Office of the Vice-President Finance and
      Administration shall notify the following of the decision:
 
a.       The University Registrar, who will arrange appropriate messages on the Registrar’s web site and in other electronic media (re: examination re-scheduling, etc.), as required.
 
b.       University Secretary and General Counsel
 
c.       Office of the President, Chief of Staff, who shall inform all units for which the President’s Office is responsible, including, but not limited to:
 
·         Office of Ombudsperson and Centre for Human Rights
·         Office of Institutional Research and Analysis
 
d.       Executive Director, Employee Relations (Department of Human Resources & Employee Relations) who shall inform:
 
·         CPM employees (via e-mail)
·         YUFA, OHFA and CUPE 3903 (formal union notification only)
·         Non-academic unions (formal union notification only)
·         Assistant Vice-President Human Resources & Chief HR Officer
 
e.       Office of the Vice-President Academic & Provost, Senior Executive Officer, who shallinform:
 
·         All Deans and the Principal of Glendon College
·         All other divisional units for which the VPA&P is responsible, including, but not limited to:
o        College Masters
o        Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-time Students
o        York International
o        York University English Language Institute (YUELI)
o        Centre for Support of Teaching
o        Art Gallery of York University
 
f.         Office of the Vice-President Students, Senior Executive Officer, who shall inform all divisional units for which the VP-S is responsible, including, but not limited to:
 
·         Sport and Recreation
·         Career Centre
·         Office of the Assistant Vice-President Enrolment Management & Services, which shall inform all areas for which the AVP is responsible, including, but not limited to:
o        Admissions
o        Student Financial Services
o        Student Client Services
·         Office of the Assistant Vice-President Student Community Development, which shall inform all areas for which the AVP is responsible, including, but not limited to:           
o        Office of Student Community & Leadership Development
o        Counselling & Development Centre
o        Atkinson Counselling and Supervision Centre
o        Glendon Student Affairs
o        The March of Dimes
o        Office for Persons with Disabilities
 
g.       Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Senior Executive Officer, who shall inform all divisional units for which the VP-RI is responsible, including, but not limited to:
 
·          University Research Centres
·          Office of Research Services
 
h.       Office of the Vice-President Advancement, Director of Advancement Services, who shall notify offices for which the VP-A is responsible.
 
i.         York University Development Corporation
 
j.         Other departments within the VP-FA Division, including, but not limited to:
·         Finance
·         Occupational Health & Safety
·         Internal Audit
 
 
IV.        Resumption of Normal Operating Procedures
1.       The VP-FA shall decide when a weather emergency is lifted and normal operating procedures are to resume.   In making this decision, the VP-FA shall take all reasonable steps to consult the President and the Chair of Senate (in a situation where classes had been cancelled or examinations postponed) and, if possible, the Vice-President Academic and the Vice-President Students or their named designates for the purpose of this Procedure.
2.       The VP-FA shall convey the decision to the Director Security Services, who shall record the time and date the decision is to take effect, and convey the decision following the procedures outlined in Section III above, as appropriate.
3.       When the emergency ends, the Director Security Services shall notify the On-Duty Supervisor in the Security Control Centre, who shall in turn notify all managers/ supervisors of Essential Service Units and direct them to resume normal operating procedures.
 
V.         Faculties, Departments and Operating Units
 
1. All Faculties, departments and other operating units shall develop local
procedures to ensure that, whenever possible, staff, faculty and students are informed of the closure of offices, cancellation of classes and postponement of examinations.
 
2.       Deans, administrative department heads, and the Principal of Glendon College shall ensure that their respective internal communication trees are updated by September 1st each year and copies provided to:
 
a.       VP-FA and
b.       Director Security Services
 
 
VI.        Special Events
 
1.   Notwithstanding the provisions of the Weather Emergency Policy or these
      procedures, the cancellation of special scheduled events is not required and is
      not affected by these procedures. Whether or not special events are cancelled is
      within the discretion of those directly responsible for organizing the event who
shall be responsible for the implications of their decision. 
 
2.   When a weather emergency is declared, each division, Faculty and
      department shall be responsible for notifying organizers of scheduled special
      events (within its respective area of responsibility).
 
3.       Where applicable, organizers shall contact the Security Control Centre to advise that special scheduled events are proceeding and to provide organizers’ names and contact information for follow-up contact, if required, during the weather emergency.
 
4.   Event organizers may contact the Security Control Centre to obtain up-to-date
      information regarding campus road and parking lot conditions.
 
 
VII.       Limitations
 
These procedures are not intended to cover all possible eventualities. It is assumed
that the decision-making and relevant communications will be adapted, as appropriate, to suit the circumstances. It cannot be assumed that all individuals who may be coming to campus or on campus at the time of a weather emergency can be notified of the cancellation of classes and/or postponement of exams.

2. The AVP-CSBO shall be responsible for maintaining the List of Contacts (telephone numbers, etc., see Appendix A) for the “Communications Tree” (see Appendix C), and shall update it at least annually at the beginning of the fall term.

3. The AVP-CSBO, on the basis of reliable forecasts of potentially bad weather from Environment Canada, shall place the University community on a “weather watch” by ensuring this information is posted on the CSBO Weather Emergency web site (linked to the main page of the University’s web site) and shall apprise the Director, Media Relations and the VP-FA of the “weather watch” status.

4. The AVP-CSBO shall be responsible for notifying the VP-FA when weather conditions escalate from a “weather watch” to a potential “weather emergency”, which may require the suspension of the University’s normal operations and programs.

5. The AVP-CSBO shall assess the potential impact on University operations of a weather emergency being declared (at any or all campuses) and shall consult key decision and communications personnel and place them on alert, including the following:

a. Directors of Maintenance, Energy Management and Grounds & Custodial Services re: plant operations and implications for utilities and services (grounds, caretaking, etc.).

b. Director, Media Relations re: internal and external communications;

c. Manager Telecommunications or designate re: appropriate emergency telephone messaging;

d. University Registrar re: cancellation of classes and postponement of examinations; and

e. VP-FA (who shall also place the VP Academic and the VP Students on alert);

 
6. The AVP-CSBO shall provide the VP-FA with regularly updated reports on conditions until such time as a decision either to declare a weather emergency or to discontinue the “watch” has been taken by the VP-FA.

7. The VPFA shall make the decision to declare a weather emergency.  Decisions shall be made in consultation with the President and, if possible, with the Vice-President Academic and the Vice-President Students or their named designates for the purpose of this Procedure.  The VPFA shall consult the Chair of Senate or his/her designate in a situation where academic classes are to be cancelled and examinations postponed.  

8. When a weather emergency is declared, the decision shall be conveyed by the VP-FA to the AVP-CSBO who shall determine which phone mail messages to initiate on the University Switchboard as well as the appropriate message for the University web site.  The AVP-CSBO shall record the date and time of the declaration of a weather emergency and ensure the inclusion of this information in the messages.  The messages shall be substantially in a form corresponding to the scripted messages included in Appendices B and D hereto.

 
9. a.  A decision to declare a weather emergency shall normally be made by 5:30  a.m. for the suspension of daytime operations and cancellation/postponement of daytime classes, exams and activities (with locations/campuses specified). 

b. Once a day's operations, classes, exams and activities have commenced, a decision to declare a weather emergency and to suspend operations and cancel/postpone classes, exams and activities (with locations/campuses specified) may be enacted at any time.  Wherever possible, a decision affecting evening operations and cancellation/postponement of evening classes, exams and activities (with locations/campuses specified) shall be made by 5:00 p.m.

c. A decision to declare a weather emergency and to suspend night-time operations (with locations/campuses affected) will normally be made by 9:00 p.m.

II.          Essential Service Units

1.   During a weather emergency, designated Essential Service Units are required to
      continue to operate under their respective emergency operating procedures.

 2.   For the purpose of these procedures, Essential Service Units include, but are not                necessarily limited to specified sections of:

a. Security Services, including the Security Control Centre which becomes “emergency central” during a suspension of normal operations and programs;

b. Campus Services and Business Operations, including Grounds and Vehicles and Energy Management. 

c. Computing and Network Services, including Network Operations and Telecommunications.

3.  Employees in Essential Service Units who are on duty at the time a weather   emergency is declared shall remain on duty or be excused from duty in accordance with the Emergency Operating procedures established by their respective departments.

4. At the outset and for the duration of the weather emergency, the senior manager of each Essential Service Unit shall be responsible for liaising with and updating Security Control on the status of his/her respective operation and for confirming the name and contact information (e.g., telephone numbers) of those responsible for overseeing Essential Service Unit operations.

5. The senior manager responsible for each Essential Service Unit shall develop and regularly update written procedures for his/her respective unit in accordance with this Emergency Weather Procedure and distribute copies to:

a. all employees in the unit,

b. the VP-FA

c. the AVP-CSBO and

d. the Assistant Vice-President, Human Resources & Employee Relations

III.         Communications

Decisions concerning the emergency will generally be disseminated in accordance with the communication tree illustrated in Appendix C. 

Those so notified shall use their best efforts to communicate with persons in their immediate location and to those persons reporting directly to them until the emergency is no longer in effect.

Key personnel identified in the decision and communication procedure shall:

a. take steps to ensure that they can be readily contacted by the Security Control Centre throughout the weather emergency until the weather emergency is no longer in effect;

b. ensure that they have access to contact names and addresses, evenings, weekends and holidays for situations in which a weather emergency is declared outside of “office hours”; and

c. have a designated, trained “back-up” who can assume their communication responsibilities during vacation or other absence.

The general University community will be informed as follows:

 
1.   AVP-CSBO shall convey the decision to the following:

a. Director, Media Relations, who shall:

  • call the radio stations listed in Appendix B with the authorized message;
  • inform the Chief Marketing & Communications Officer; and
  • arrange supplementary messages on the University web site, as required 

 
b. Senior Executive Officer, Office of VP Finance and Administration, who shall proceed according to #2 below;

c. On-Duty Supervisor in the Security Control Centre, who shall:

  • monitor and provide updates of the Campus situation relative to the emergency (e.g., security, personal safety, weather conditions, etc.) to the AVP-CSBO.
  • as instructed by the AVP-CSBO, assist in contacting those listed below (d. through k.).
  • Security Control becomes the University’s “Emergency Central” during the suspension of normal operations and programs.

 

d. Manager Telecommunications or designate, who shall:

  • ensure that the approved message is initiated on the University’s central call processing system (e.g., main University message, University Weather Emergency Line, University Student Information Line, TTYTDD Hearing Impaired Line, etc.).

e. Director Custodial & Grounds Services, who shall:

  • ensure that essential Grounds and Vehicles services are initiated, restored and/or maintained as appropriate.

 
f. Director Energy Management, who shall:

  • ensure that essential services are initiated, restored and/or maintained as appropriate.

 
g. Director, IT Infrastructure, Computing and Network Services (CNS), who shall:

  • ensure essential computing and telecommunications services are maintained.

 
h. Manager, Library Facilities, who shall:

  • close all Library facilities.
  • inform the University Librarian.


i. The appropriate designate in CSBO, who shall:

  • update the CSBO Weather Emergency web site (linked to the main page of the University’s web site).

j. The appropriate designate of any other institution operating through formal arrangement on the property of York University (e.g., Seneca@York).


k. The AVP-CSBO shall also:

  • inform the York University Student Centre.
  • notify campus daycares.
  • notify commercial tenants on campus, including food service operators, as well as major Hospitality groups/conferences.

  
l. If a decision needs to be made at or after the end of normal University office hours, then the following shall also be notified directly:

Facilities Coordinator, Miles S. Nadal Management Centre;

Associate Director, Osgoode Hall Law School

Downtown Centre;

other University units with evening or weekend operations that make appropriate arrangements with Security Services to be so notified.

(At other times, these units shall be notified via their regular decanal or Vice-Presidential channel, as outlined in #2 below).

2.   Senior Executive Officer, Office of the Vice-President Finance and  Administration shall notify the following of the decision:

a. The University Registrar, who will arrange appropriate messages on the Registrar’s web site (re: examination re-scheduling, etc.), as required.

b. University Secretary and General Counsel

c. Office of the President, Chief of Staff, who shall inform all units for which the President’s Office is responsible, including, but not limited to:

  •  Alumni and Advancement Services
  • Office of Ombudsperson and Centre for Human Rights
  • Office of Institutional Research and Analysis
  • Office of University Events and Community Relations

d. Executive Director, Employee Relations (Department of Human Resources & Employee Relations) who shall inform:

  • CPM employees (via e-mail)
  • YUFA, OHFA and CUPE 3903 (formal union notification only)
  • Non-academic unions (formal union notification only)
  • Assistant Vice-President Human Resources & Employee Relations

 
e. Office of the Vice-President Academic, Senior Executive Officer, who shall inform:

  • All Deans and the Principal of Glendon College
  • All other divisional units for which the VP-A is responsible, including, but not limited to:
  • College Masters
  • Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-time Students
  • York International
  • York University English Language Institute (YUELI)
  • Centre for Support of Teaching
  • Art Gallery of York University

 
f. Office of the Vice-President Students, Senior Executive Officer, who shall inform all divisional units for which the VP-S is responsible, including, but not limited to:

  •  Sport and Recreation
  • Career Centre
  • Office of the Assistant Vice-President Enrolment Management & Services, which shall inform all areas for which the AVP is responsible, including, but not limited to:
  • Admissions
  • Student Financial Services
  • Student Client Services
  • Office of the Assistant Vice-President Student Community Development, which shall inform all areas for which the AVP is responsible, including, but not limited to: 
  • Office of Student Community & Leadership Development
  • Counselling & Development Centre
  • Atkinson Counselling and Supervision Centre
  • Glendon Student Affairs
  • The March of Dimes
  • Office for Persons with Disabilities

g. Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Senior Executive Officer, who shall inform all divisional units for which the VP-RI is responsible, including, but not limited to:

 University Research Centres

 Office of Research Services

h. York University Foundation

i. York Univer