Campus community urged to stay informed during weather emergencies

When severe weather strikes Penn State's University Park campus, individuals can stay informed of delays and cancellations by using Penn State's PSUTXT system, Facebook page and news website. Local television and radio stations also will inform the public.

Employees who perform nonessential services are to report at the announced time, while employees who perform essential services are expected to report as normal. Employees should clarify their status as essential or nonessential with their supervisors before inclement weather strikes.

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.

For information on inclement weather, the Penn State community should check WPSU-FM and Penn State News -- 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 cellphones, email, the Penn State Facebook page and Twitter via PSUTXT.

To subscribe to PSUTXT, visit http://psutxt.psu.edu/. 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 http://psutxt.psu.edu/ to login or create a new account.

Subscribers can select multiple campuses for which they want to receive alerts, and can include both a cellphone 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 http://www.twitter.com/psutxt.

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 http://wpsu.org and a complete list of station frequencies can be found at http://wpsu.org/about/coverage. Closings are listed at http://wpsu.org/closings.

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 News -- http://news.psu.edu -- 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 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.

All employees are encouraged to take responsibility for their own safety. 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 http://guru.psu.edu/policies/OHR/hrg10.html for specific information on how time missed for weather situations is handled.

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Last Updated October 23, 2013