2019-2020 Winter Weather Reminders

December 05, 2019

The Washington, D.C. region can experience adverse weather including snow, freezing rain and ice during the winter months. Members of the George Washington University community are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the university's adverse weather policy.

Adjustments to the University's Operating Status

The university's operating status is evaluated daily. If there is a need to alter the university's operating status because of adverse weather, university officials will do their best to make decisions by 5 a.m. for morning operations and/or classes or by 4 p.m. for evening operations and/or classes. If there is change to the university's status, information will be communicated through the following ways:

  • GW Alerts.  To sign up for GW Alert text messages or to add a cell phone or a secondary email addresses, visit the GW Alert FAQs
  • GW's Campus Advisories
  • GW Information Line (202-994-5050), Virginia Science & Technology Campus Information Line (571-553-8333) and School of Medicine and Health Sciences Information Line (202-994-2196)
  • GW social media via Twitter and Facebook

In addition to the university's operating status, some of GW's campus services such as dining, transportation or library hours may be affected during a winter weather-related event. Updates and changes to campus services will be posted and updated on Campus Advisories. Please check Campus Advisories frequently during adverse weather conditions for the latest updates or check the office/department/division's Twitter account for the latest updates. Example: The Vern Express (VEX) updates passengers via Transloc Rider app.

The severity and duration of weather conditions, the impact on roads and public transportation and the condition of campuses are several factors university leadership considers when determining GW's operating status. 

Preparing for Winter

Please make sure that you plan for adverse weather conditions and continue to take appropriate precautions throughout the duration of a weather event:

  • Prepare a kit containing items such as prescription medication, non-perishable food items, water, flashlight, a change of clothes, toiletries, cell phone and cell phone charger, among other essentials. This is a good tip to practice throughout the year and not just during the winter season.
  • Leave enough time to be able to walk safely from one building to the next. Avoid running, jogging, quickly changing directions or sudden stops to minimize the chances of slipping.
  • Dress appropriately while outdoors especially when temperatures are extremely low.
  • Visit Campus Advisories for additional preparedness tips and resources.

Designated On-Site

  • Designated on-site employees perform specific critical and essential functions during an emergency or adjustment to the university's operating status.
  • Employees classified as Designated on-site are required to report to and/or remain at work. 
  • Know your classification and review responsibilities with your supervisor. If you do not know your classification, please contact your supervisor prior to any adverse weather.
  • Review Preparing for Emergencies and Disruptive Incidents, Employee Handbook or contact your HR Representatives for more information.

Winter Weather Resources