A.4 SEVERE WEATHER PLAN

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1 Page 1 of 5 A.4 SEVERE WEATHER PLAN 1.0 Purpose 1.1 The purpose of this Severe Weather Response Plan is to minimize the impact on the University from a severe weather incident 2.0 Applicability 2.1 This Severe Weather Plan applies to all students, faculty, staff and contractors of Boston University 3.0 Assumptions 3.1 Living in New England, we are susceptible to severe weather, usually in the form of blizzards and winter storms, Nor easters, and hurricanes. It is not unusual to experience periods of extreme hot and cold temperatures. 3.2 In the case of all such possibilities, modern meteorology has allowed us to have advance warnings. 3.3 With such warnings, the University will be able to take such steps necessary to minimize the effect of a severe weather incident 3.4 The one severe weather incident that may occur without much warning is a tornado or microburst. While the region has experienced such events in the past, they are not rated as having a high probability in the city of Boston. 4.0 Definitions: 4.1 Winter Storm WATCH issued by the National Weather Service when there is a potential for heavy snow or significant ice accumulations, usually at least 24 to 36 hours in advance. The criteria for this watch can vary from place to place. 4.2 Winter Storm WARNING issued by the National Weather Service when a winter storm is producing or is forecast to produce heavy snow or significant ice accumulations. The criteria for this warning can vary from place to place. 1

2 Page 2 of Blizzard WARNING Issued for winter storms with sustained or frequent winds of 35 mph or higher with considerable falling and/or blowing snow that frequently reduces visibility to 1/4 of a mile or less. These conditions are expected to prevail for a minimum of 3 hours. 4.4 Severe Weather - a severe thunderstorm as having large hail, at least 3/4 inches (0.75 inches) in diameter, and/or damaging winds, at least 58 mph, or 50 knots. 4.5 Severe Thunderstorm WATCH - when conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms over a large area. You should go about your normal business, but pay close attention to the weather. 4.6 Severe Thunderstorm WARNING - when its state-of-the-art doppler radar indicates that a severe storm is imminent or occurring, or if a timely, reliable report of large hail or damaging winds has been received. You should seek immediate shelter until the storm has passed 4.7 Microburst - a sudden rush of cool air toward the ground that can impact with speeds greater than 70 mph and produce damage similar to that of a tornado. Viewing the damage from the air does not reveal evidence of a twisting motion or convergence toward a central track, like it would for a tornado 4.8 Hurricanes - A tropical system in which the maximum sustained surface wind is 64 knots (74 mph) or greater. This is the worst and strongest of all tropical systems. 4.9 Hurricane Watch - An announcement for specific areas that hurricane conditions pose a possible threat to coastal areas within 36 hours. In New England, due to the rapid acceleration of most of our hurricanes, it is a necessity that you take action during the watch Hurricane Warning - A warning that hurricane conditions, including sustained winds of 74 mph or greater, associated with a hurricane are expected in a specified coastal area within 24 hours or less. Any preparedness measures 2

3 Page 3 of 5 must be rushed to completion once the warning is issued. High winds and coastal flooding will develop many hours before the eye of the storm actually comes ashore Tornado - a violently rotating column of air in contact with the ground and extending to the thunderstorm base. It can be a few yards across to a mile wide 4.12 Heat Advisory Heat Advisory is defined as when the daytime heat index falls between 100 degrees Fahrenheit and 104 degrees Fahrenheit for two or more hours Heat Wave - heat wave is defined as three or more days of temperatures equal to or greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 5.0 Notifications 5.1 Boston University s Director of ning (DERP) will be notified in advance of any possible severe weather incident. This notification may come in the form of National Weather Alerts, NOAA Weather Radio Warnings, or alerts from Boston and Massachusetts Emergency Management Personnel. 5.2 The DERP will notify the appropriate members of the BU Incident Command Response Team of the possible severe weather incident and to take appropriate actions. 6.0 Roles and Responsibilities 6.1 DERP monitor National Weather Service daily forecasts and alerts as well as NOAA weather radio for severe weather. Upon receipt of such alerts, notify appropriate NEIDL and BUMC staff and make recommendations for action. 6.2 Facilities Operations Staff upon notification of severe weather, take appropriate actions to secure the University s buildings and grounds. The 3

4 Page 4 of 5 Facilities Operations Director will ensure that proper staff coverage exists prior to severe weather occurring, whenever possible. 6.3 Bio Safety Officer upon notification of severe weather, take appropriate actions to ensure bio-safety and security concerning research. 6.4 BU ASC Staff upon notification of severe weather, take appropriate actions to secure the Animal Holding Spaces. The BU ASC Operations Director will ensure that proper staff coverage exists prior to severe weather occurring, whenever possible. 6.5 Control Center Technicians The Control Center Technicians will monitor the NOAA Weather Radio for Weather Alerts and report all alerts to the DERP The Control technicians will monitor all BAS and report all problems to the Facilities Operations Director or Manager. 7.0 Procedures 7.1 Upon receipt of a severe weather alert, the DERP shall send an alert to the BU Incident Commanders and upon their direction, develop an incident action plan. 7.2 Depending upon the time to impact, the incident action plan should address mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery issues. 7.3 The DERP will create an incident on WebEOC for incident management. 7.4 At the conclusion of the severe weather event, the DERP shall convene a meeting of BU ICRT, or their designees, for a final After Action Report Report on the severe weather event. 8.0 Key References and Resources 8.1 BU 8.2 ASC s 8.3 Residence Life SOP for Heat Advisory 8.4 Residence Life SOP for Heat Wave 4

5 Page 5 of ERP Revision History Version Section / Paragraph Changed Changes Made Effective Date V.1 N/A None, Original Version 5/22/2019 V.2 Throughout Reformatted 05/02/14 V.3 Sections 4.12 and 4.13 Added definitions for heat Advisory and Heat Wave 6/24/2014 V.4 Sections 8.3 and 8.4 Referenced ORL SOPs for Heat Advisory and Heat Wave 5

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