Campus Closing Policy for Emergency Events and Weather

The Berea College campus has occasionally faced a serious emergency. In order to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff, guests, and visitors, it has on rare occasions been necessary to close the campus due to such emergencies as crisis, severe snowstorm, tornado, fire, water damage, etc. When an emergency arises, the President of Berea College or designee may decide to close the campus in order to preserve the safety of students, employees, guests, and visitors. This policy specifies how Berea College will respond in such circumstances. This policy also specifies that employees throughout the campus community have a personal responsibility to consider individuals with disabilities in their area.

Policy and Procedures

The President of Berea College or designee will decide as early as possible before or during the work day that the College campus will be closed.

If the decision to close the College is made before or after the regular workday, the Publications and Projects Manager will inform the news media of the emergency situation, who is and who is not to report for class and/or work, and, if known, the expected duration of the emergency. Employees should listen to radio channels or watch Lexington TV channels for official notification of an emergency closing of the campus. If information is not available on these media, the employee should call the head of the department or division, Human Resources (ext. 3050), Public Relations (ext. 3018), or, only if none of these can be reached, a campus operator (985-3000) for appropriate information.

If the decision to close the College is made before or after the regular workday, College faculty, staff, and student employees will also be notified through E2Campus alert messaging system. When the decision has been made to close the College, the President’s Office will immediately notify Public Safety, the Publications and Projects Manager, and the Associate Vice President of Human Resources. and activate the E2Campus alert messaging system. In addition the following actions will occur:

  • The Directors of Facilities Management and Public Safety will notify their emergency response teams and convey instructions on actions to be taken.
  • The Publications and Projects Manager will advise the Phone Center staff on appropriate responses to callers’ inquiries.
  • The Director whose area is primarily responsible for handling the incident will maintain close contact with their divisional Vice President, the Provost, or the Dean of Faculty, who will keep the President’s Office informed about the situation. The President or designee will keep Communications staff informed of developments, and the Publications and Projects Manager will update media information and the Phone Center accordingly.

If the emergency occurs during the regular workday, the President, the Provost, or a designee may direct Human Resources staff to notify all campus departments of the situation and action to be taken. Or the President, the Provost, or a designee may direct the Vice Presidents and Dean of Faculty to notify the various departments and offices within their divisions.

Essential employees, described as those persons involved with the required operations of the campus, will be expected to staff their positions during an emergency.

Revised July 2022