Preparations for Winter Storm This Weekend

 December 7, 2018

TO:  Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers
FROM:  Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President for Administration, Emergency Coordinator
RE:  Preparations for Winter Storm This Weekend

Duke officials are closely monitoring forecasts for a winter storm projected to impact the Triangle area over the weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the western portions of the Triangle, including Durham and Orange counties. A developing winter storm is expected to spread precipitation across central North Carolina Saturday night through Monday with accumulating snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Potential shifts in the storm’s track will impact the type and amount of accumulation. Currently, forecasts project several inches of snow accumulations in the Triangle combined with some ice accumulations. Gusty winds of 25-30 mph with snow/ice accumulation could also result in downed trees and power outages in the surrounding area.

Crews will be pretreating roads, parking garage entrances/exits, and elevated surfaces as a precaution. Students, faculty, and staff should review the priority clearing map to determine the preferred paths of travel during severe weather, which may differ from their normal routines. Members of the Duke community should use extreme caution when traveling to and around campus in case there are icy spots.

If Duke activates the Severe Weather and Emergency Conditions policy, officials will send notification via the DukeALERT system, including text message, email, the DukeALERT website and the web alert bar. A message also will be recorded on the severe weather/emergency conditions telephone line at 684-INFO (4636). Faculty and staff who are not already registered should sign up for text message updates from the DukeALERT system.

Given the possibility of severe weather, please review with your staff Duke's Severe Weather and Emergency Conditions policy so they understand what they should do if the policy is activated.

During times of severe weather, some staff positions require on-site presence to continue operations. All jobs should be assigned a service category by the manager to ensure continuous operations of patient care, student support and research functions. Managers should ensure staff members are aware of the service category for their position and how they will be notified if the severe weather policy is activated. The three categories are:

  • Essential Service: during severe weather/emergency conditions, essential service staff report or remain at work. Transportation service and childcare services may be provided for those required to work during severe weather/emergency conditions.
  • Reserve Service: during severe weather/emergency conditions, reserve service staff are assigned a status at the time of severe weather/emergency condition.
  • Delayed Service: during severe weather/emergency conditions, delayed service staff do not report to work or remain at work.

More information about the policy, including a map of priorities for clearing roads, lots and sidewalks, checklists and answers to frequently asked questions, is available at the DukeALERT emergency website.