Severe weather and university operations

January 29, 3:30 p.m., Winter Weather Update: 

The University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus issued an emergency reduction in operations effective at midnight tonight through 7 a.m. Friday due to predicted extreme low temperatures and wind chills.

All classes and events occurring during this time have been canceled.

During an emergency reduction of operations, only previously identified critical employees are expected to make a reasonable effort to report to work if operations are being maintained in the employee’s unit, or unless notified otherwise by their supervisor.

Staff with questions about whether they are required to report to work during an emergency reduction in operations are advised to contact their unit supervisor for clarification. Faculty members with questions are advised to contact their department chair or dean’s office.

In a Tuesday afternoon email message sent to students, faculty and staff on the Ann Arbor campus, university leaders said the reduction in operations includes the cancelation of all classroom and laboratory instruction and also extends to all non-critical services and operations.

The message was signed by Provost Martin Philbert; Dr. Preeti Malani, the university’s chief health officer; Laurita Thomas, the university’s chief human resources officer and Eddie Washington, executive director of the division of public safety and security.

The Michigan Medicine (University of Michigan Health System) will remain operational for patient care only. UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint also have suspended classes for at least Wednesday and will continue to monitor conditions for Thursday.

The dining facilities and residential halls will remain open. All non-essential buildings, including the university libraries and recreational sports facilities, will be closed.

“When outdoors, remember to dress appropriately and cover exposed skin. Even brief periods of exposure to these extreme temperatures can be hazardous, and faculty, staff and students are urged to stay indoors as much as possible,” the message says.

Visit DPSS to learn what remains open and closed during U-M’s reduction in operations.

January 29, 9:30 a.m., Winter Weather Update:
University officials are working closely with internal and external partners to monitor the predicted temperature and windchill for later this week.

While a decision won’t come until this afternoon, based upon current projected conditions, Division of Public Safety and Security will likely make a safety recommendation that will impact scheduled classes, programs and events for Wednesday and Thursday.

January 28, 2019, 3 p.m., Winter Weather Update:
The U-M Ann Arbor campus is open and operating. University officials are working closely with internal and external partners to monitor the predicted temperature and windchill for later this week. Please check back later for any updates.

Subject: Michigan Medicine severe weather advisory

With the anticipated snowfall and extremely cold temperatures this week, Michigan Medicine will be implementing several mitigation strategies in order to keep employees as safe as possible.  The emergency team will be following the situation closely and will provide regular updates daily.

Cots and meal tickets

For staff who may need to stay overnight, cots and meal tickets are available. Requests for these tickets will be prioritized and managed through Central Staffing Resources.

Travel and parking

The Brighton Center for Specialty Care building will serve as a respite location for any employee who is traveling and desires temporary shelter. This building will be open 24/7 and open to employees who identify themselves with their U-M badge.

The East Ann Arbor Employee Parking Shuttle will continue to operate and is a good option for off-shift parkers who do not have a permit. Parking at the East Campus gravel lot is free.

Shuttle drivers will circle the lots to assist with picking up passengers in the cold weather conditions. The shuttles run from 5:45 a.m. until 1 a.m., Monday through Friday (until Saturday morning). Between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., return service will be provided by Blue Car and will depart from the Taubman Health Center entrance.

  • Shuttles will pick up parkers from the East Ann Arbor parking lot and drop them off at their parked cars after daylight hours.
  • Employees will be shuttled directly to the Cancer Center circle drive and then the UH South staff entrance. Riders may disembark at either location.
  • Shuttles will service the lot approximately every 5-10 minutes during peak arrival times in the morning and approximately every 15 minutes during off-peak hours.
  • To return to parking, riders can pick the shuttle service up at the Cancer Center circle drive or UH South staff entrance, with service approximately every 5-10 minutes during peak times and approximately every 15 minutes during off-peak hours.

Beginning Tuesday, the Ann and Catherine parking structures will be open to any employee for closer access to the main campus during select times. From 2:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, gates will be raised to allow non-permit parkers full access.

Security will staff the Medical School entrances on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. to ensure staff accessibility. During this time, staff can enter the building at Med Sci 2, level 3 entrance/lobby and Med Sci 1, 4th floor entrance/lobby. Security will also provide assistance with directions to the hospital.

Security units will be staged at the Wall Street parking structure and M-71 parking lot with mobile patrols to help escort employees to the main campus during peak hours.

Campus closures and work attendance

In the event that the University of Michigan cancels classes or shuts down, please be advised that clinical operations will not shut down. All essential employees in the health system and medical school are required to come to work unless released by their manager/supervisor. Michigan Medicine will continue to operate according to its Severe Weather Plan; additional information can also be found in the Medical School bulletin.

The weather can present challenging conditions and the efforts to continue providing high-quality care for our patients are very much appreciated. Please raise any additional concerns to your manager/supervisor.


It is the policy of the university to remain open at all times in order to maintain our commitment to the community by providing services to students, patients and to the public. In the event of unforeseen circumstances or events, the university reserves the right during an emergency to interrupt or reduce services for prolonged periods of time, while minimizing to the degree possible the negative impact on services and people, as outlined in Standard Practice Guide on Emergency Reductions in Operations, SPG 201.27.

In the event of severe weather:

• Campus officials will attempt to keep the university open for classes and maintain regular operations to support the residential student community.

• Students, faculty and staff members are expected to make every reasonable effort to get to campus so that services can be maintained. At the same time they are advised to use good judgment about the risks of travel.

• If university operations are reduced, only critical employees are expected to make every reasonable effort to report to work if operations are being maintained in the employee’s unit, or unless notified otherwise by the university.

Employees with questions about their status of whether they are required to report to work are advised to contact their unit supervisor for clarification.

Read the Standard Practice Guide on Emergency Reductions in Operations, SPG 201.27.

Stay up to date on urgent university messages by signing up for emergency alerts here: http://www.dpss.umich.edu/emergency-management/alert/

New policy guides campus during emergencies, severe weather (University Record, October 2014)

Severe Weather Guidelines


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