Campus News

University follows set procedure for inclement weather, emergencies

Members of the Facilities Management grounds crew continue their work to clear campus during times of inclement weather. (Photo credit: Peter Frey)

The University of Georgia (“UGA” or “university”) will operate in accordance with the university academic and master calendars except when overriding public safety concerns otherwise require closure.

The Office of Emergency Preparedness oversees the security and emergency management program for UGA.

In the event of inclement weather or an emergency, UGA follows a set procedure for announcing operational changes by making one of three announcements: (1) UGA is open and operating on a regular schedule; (2) UGA will close early or will delay opening until a specific time; or (3) UGA is closed, only designated employees report.

• Communication. Any changes to university operations will be announced in the following ways:

(1) ArchNews. An all-campus email through ArchNews is the primary means to distribute such announcements. The announcement also is posted to the UGA home page (

(2) Social Media. Announcements will also be posted to Twitter (@universityofga).

(3) Radio. Up-to-date information is provided to Athens radio stations. Atlanta TV and radio stations that have requested to receive UGA weather announcements also are notified.

• Decision not to open or to close campus. In Athens, inclement winter weather often develops overnight. In such cases and depending on conditions, attempts are made to post announcements and notify media by 6:30 a.m. for the start of the class day. If inclement weather or an emergency develops during morning rush hour or during daytime on a school/work day, the same notification procedures listed above are followed.

When inclement weather or emergency conditions are such that closings occur two or more days in succession, the procedure is followed each day, with an announcement being made each day by 6:30 a.m., including weekends. Unless there is an announced closing for a particular day, the university is open and operating on a regular schedule. Because conditions can change unexpectedly overnight, an evening announcement usually will not be made for the next day except in the most extreme weather circumstances.

Even when the university is open, there could be unsafe travel conditions in your area. Please exercise caution and gather as much information as possible about weather and road conditions before you decide whether to travel during periods of inclement weather.

• Designated employees. Designated employees are employees assigned to positions identified by their department or unit as necessary to the maintenance and operations of the university.  In the event of closure or delay, designated employees are still expected to report on time unless conditions prevent safe travel. Departments and units will coordinate with Human Resources to identify designated employees in advance.

• Effect of closure. When UGA is closed, the university is closed for faculty, staff and students. Designated employees should report unless conditions prevent safe travel. Delayed openings or early closure announcements will include additional information specific to the closure or delay.

A) Special events. Departments and units hosting special events should make their own prior arrangements with employees and participants, notifying them how to proceed in case of inclement weather or an emergency. In unique circumstances, where the safety of the participants and employees is not jeopardized, special events, such as ticketed concerts or athletic events open to the public, may be held upon prior approval by the applicable dean, director or vice president. All departments and units must ensure adequate university and facility services by coordination with Facilities Management Division, the UGA Police and other units expected to support such operations. In cases of extreme weather, the university may require and announce a shutdown of all activities, including special events, unless special approval is granted by the president.

B) Transportation. When the decision is made to close UGA for inclement weather conditions, Transportation & Parking Services will operate vans and buses for one hour after the official closing. Bus service may continue to be provided beyond that time as road and weather conditions allow. The ability to operate in a safe manner will be the primary consideration when determining whether service can be provided. Notifications regarding the service level being provided will be made available on Transportation & Parking Services’ website ( and social media accounts ( and

C) Dining Services. The five university dining commons will provide meal plan service even when the university closes for inclement weather. However, Dining Services will delay opening on these days by one hour and may opt to close early if weather conditions are extreme. On days when the university is closed and buses are not running, the Niche will delay opening for breakfast by one hour and will close at 6 p.m. to serve residents of the Health Sciences Campus. Because the Niche is only open to HSC residents on these days, students living on the main campus should eat in the dining commons on the main campus. If inclement weather falls on a weekend, Bolton and the Village Summit will provide meal plan service. The department will delay opening by one hour and may opt to close early if weather conditions are extreme. Snelling, Oglethorpe and the Niche will remain closed. All retail operations for Dining Services are closed on days when the university is officially closed. Notifications regarding service will be made available on Dining Services’ website ( and social media accounts ( and

D) Other Campuses. Announcements for weather closings at UGA campuses in Buckhead, Gwinnett, Griffin and Tifton are handled by those campus administrators separately from the main campus

E) Employee leave. Information regarding employee leave during closure may be found at

• Additional Resources for Emergencies:

(1) University of Georgia Police Department

a. Emergency: Dial 911

b. Non-emergencies: 706-542-2200 or TTY 706-542-1188

(2) Office of Emergency Preparedness. For additional information, visit