Be ready when inclement weather strikes

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Winter is just around the corner, and with it comes the potential for severe weather. When weather causes a delay at University Park, employees who perform nonessential services are to report at the announced time. Classes and activities that begin before the announced delay time are canceled.

Those classes or activities beginning at or after the announced delay time will be held as originally scheduled. For example, a two-hour delay until 10 a.m. due to snow or ice would mean that all classes that begin before 10 a.m. are canceled and will not be held. Classes beginning at 10 a.m. or later will continue on their regular schedule.

If weather causes the cancellation of classes, employees who perform essential duties are expected to report as normal. Those employees performing nonessential services should not report to work during the time of the cancellation. Employees should clarify their status as essential or non-essential with their supervisors before inclement weather strikes.

For information on inclement weather, the Penn State community should check WPSU-FM and Penn State Live -- the official sources for weather-related delay or cancellation advisories at Penn State's University Park campus. In addition, advisories will be sent directly to cell phones, email, the Penn State Facebook page and Twitter via PSUTXT.

To subscribe to PSUTXT, visit online. Once there, faculty, staff and students should click on the link to login via WebAccess. Existing users then can link their PSUTXT accounts to their Penn State access account ID, and new users can use the form to create a new account.
Members of the community who do not have a Penn State access account can use the public form at to login or create a new account.
Subscribers can select multiple campuses for which they want to receive alerts, and can include both a cell phone number and an email address for notifications. Both phone numbers and email addresses must be validated through the signup process for the subscription to be activated.
PSUTXT alerts for all Penn State campuses also are sent to Twitter. To follow PSUTXT on Twitter, visit online.

Operating status at Penn State Altoona and Penn State DuBois also will be aired on WPSU, which broadcasts in those regions. All other campus locations should identify their preferred method of communication before inclement weather strikes.

WPSU, which airs 24-hour programming, can be heard at 91.5 FM in State College, Bellefonte, Lock Haven and surrounding areas, and 90.1 FM in northern Pennsylvania counties. The station also is at and a complete list of station frequencies can be found at online. Closings are listed at online.

When notified, WPSU will begin its live broadcasting earlier than the usual start time of 5 a.m., and will interrupt regularly scheduled programming to give periodic updates throughout the day or night.

In addition to WPSU, information also will be promptly and prominently issued online at Penn State Live -- -- assuming that power and Internet connectivity are not adversely affected by the weather.

Although classes may be delayed or canceled, the University Park campus never really closes. There are nearly 14,000 students on campus that require meals and warm lodging, and there are critical research projects that require constant attention, as well as livestock that must be fed, watered and sheltered.

Because of this, it is critical that Penn State effectively maintain services that affect safety and health when snow blankets the area. University Police and other emergency services remain operational around the clock regardless of the weather, as do guest services at both The Nittany Lion Inn and The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.

"We look at a number of factors, including the condition of campus parking lots, roadways and walkways, in addition to checking with PennDOT about off-campus road conditions and with various weather forecasters, before making any decisions about cancellations or delays," said Tyrone Parham, director of University Police.
All employees are encouraged to take responsibility for their own safety. In addition, people who are concerned about commuting to or from campus because of severe weather can take advantage of discounted hotel rooms at The Nittany Lion Inn and The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel. Call the hotels to check availability and whether or not the discount is available whenever severe weather and dangerous driving conditions exist or are anticipated.

Faculty, staff and students should use their own best judgment when considering traveling to campus or the need to leave early during times of inclement weather. Faculty and staff also should review "Handling Weather Day Absences" (Human Resources Guideline 10) on the Web at for specific information on how time missed for weather situations is handled.


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Last Updated September 27, 2012