Emergency Weather Closure Procedures
WAYS TO STAY INFORMED
1. Rave Alert, BC’s emergency notification systems.
-Add your personal emails and phone numbers and receive instant notifications as soon as status changes.
-Go to http://bellevuecollege.edu/alerts/ to manage your settings.
2.Visit the BC home page – Closure status will be posted.
3. Call BC’s emergency hotline at (425) 401-6680
4. Visit FlashAlert to subscribe to their emergency email and text message service or view BC’s status.
5. Suspended Operations/Inclement Weather Leave Usage information can be found here.
FOR EMPLOYEES: The following UPDATED frequently asked questions (FAQs) was created to assist in answering common questions related to time and leave reporting during suspended operations due to inclement weather or other emergency. This is a non-comprehensive list and may change in accordance to policy or contractual changes.
HOW WE DECIDE WHEN TO CLOSE
Because closing campus seriously disrupts programs and services for our students, BC makes every effort to remain open despite bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances such as earthquakes, fires or power outages. Puget Sound weather is among the least predictable in the country; for that reason, closure decisions are based partly on predictions but mostly on current conditions on the campus and the roads leading to it. Campus closure occurs only when:
- current local weather conditions severely restrict travel to and from campus, or
- campus roadways, parking lots, walkways and buildings cannot be maintained for public safety
IN WEATHER-RELATED EMERGENCIES
Public Safety initiates the closure decision process as soon as the threat of snowstorms appears in forecasts. The Vice President of Administrative Services and the President are involved in making a decision to close campus. A decision on whether to close the campus will be made by 4:15 a.m. if possible, and student, employee and public notification of that decision will begin immediately.
These procedures will be followed in any sort of emergency that affects campus operations.
On-campus notifications (if a decision to close is made during the day)
The President or the Vice President of Administrative Services sends an email to all BC network users. Public Safety also immediately begins to notify instructors and students in classrooms.
Off-campus notifications (all times of day)
The college will make closure information available to people off-campus the following ways:
- Rave Alert, BC’s emergency notification system – BC will send an e-mail and/or text message alert as soon as possible whenever the college closes due to weather or any other emergency. Sign up for this service at http://bellevuecollege.edu/alerts. This system receives the highest priority among several channels the college uses to communicate emergency messages to students, faculty and staff.
- FlashAlert – BC (and 125 other Puget Sound-area schools) posts emergency communications on the FlashAlert website. This is the source the media use to get their closure information and will be BC’s second priority in disseminating emergency messages. You may visit the site to view the messages and/or subscribe to FlashAlert’s email and text message service. Most TV and radio stations broadcast these messages periodically. (Please remember: TV & radio stations do not name schools that are staying open. If BC is not mentioned, assume that classes will meet and offices will be open as usual.
- BC’s emergency hotline message line – Call (425) 401-6680
- BC’s home page -The College’s current status will be posted on the home page.
The college also highly encourages individual departments to use telephone trees to inform your staff.
PHONE MAIL GREETING
It is helpful for administrators and key support staff to put an alternate greeting on their campus phones during an emergency closure. The message should include the day and date, and the reason for the closure. (For example: “Thank you for calling [___office or department name___] at Bellevue College. On [___day, date___] all college offices and services are closed because of the [___e.g. severe snowstorm___]. We’re sorry to miss your call and hope you will leave a message or call back when the college has re-opened.”) This message will have to be updated, obviously, if BC is closed more than one day.
Instructions for changing your voice mail phone message from home are shown below:
- Dial (425) 564-6245
- Enter your mailbox number followed by #
- When prompted, enter your password then follow instructions.
REASONABLE EFFORTS AND COMMON SENSE
If the college is staying open no messages will be sent/posted and faculty and staff are expected to make a reasonable effort to come to campus and maintain services for students as much as possible. At the same time, however, BC does not expect people to endanger themselves to do so. If there is a weather emergency, use common sense, check traffic advisories and other information resources and exercise your own judgment about your local conditions and circumstances. Be sure to follow your division or unit procedures for calling in absent if you are unable to make it to campus.
Last Updated January 6, 2020