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Inclement Weather and Emergency Closing Guide

Sign up for UMBC’s E2Campus emergency text-messaging system for alerts on campus emergencies and weather-related campus closures.

Weather-related closings

In the event of inclement weather, UMBC will make every effort to decide by 6 a.m. whether the campus will be closed or opening late. If UMBC is open, classes will be held and no special announcement will be made. All employees should report to work or use appropriate leave, and all classes should meet.

For the most reliable closing and reopening information, members of the UMBC community and visitors should rely on these official sources of information:

UMBC also updates local news media about weather-related closings, but this information may not be complete or up-to-date when it reaches audiences.

Weather and road conditions are not the same in every area where students, faculty, and staff live, so the decision as to whether it is safe to travel must ultimately rest with each individual. Faculty are encouraged to arrange a system for communicating to their students should it be necessary to cancel class, and to be mindful that not all students will attend class based on conditions in their home areas. If the situation appears to be unacceptably hazardous in an employee’s home area, and they are unable to come in while the university remains open, the employee should use accrued annual, personal, or compensatory leave to cover lost time.

Managers and supervisors will notify employees in advance if they are designated “essential employees” and must report to campus under particular emergency conditions. For questions about essential designations, please contact Human Resources at 410-455-2337.

UMBC locations

The decision to close campus, open late, or close early only applies to the UMBC campus (1000 Hilltop Circle and South Campus Technology Center). Students and employees at other sites should follow the inclement weather notices at those sites:

  • bwtech@UMBC (both North and South) determine their closures separately from UMBC. Employees of resident companies are encouraged to email crice@umbc.edu to sign up for the bwtech@UMBC text alert system. Visitors and event attendees should check with their event sponsor.
  • The Universities at Shady Grove has a separate process for inclement weather communication. Please visit their campus alerts website for more information on delays and closures.
  • The Columbus Center follows University of Baltimore policies and procedures during inclement weather, due to its location.

Inclement weather messages

Closing announcements typically take one of three formats:

  • “UMBC is closed.” This message means that classes are cancelled. Employees designated emergency essential must report. All other employees are discouraged from coming to campus and administrative leave will be authorized for eligible employees. Students, faculty, or staff who are scheduled for evening/weekend classes or work shifts should check the above communication channels periodically for up-to-date information. In many cases, conditions will improve from early morning hours to the evening/weekend, making it possible to open the campus.
  • “Classes are cancelled.” This decision is based on the amount of parking available on campus. Although classes are cancelled, campus offices are open. All emergency essential and critical employees must report to work. All others are encouraged to report to work, but may use compensatory, personal or annual leave under the liberal leave policy. Various departmental events and programs may occur.
  • “The campus will open (or close) at ____.” This announcement applies to both classes and offices. Emergency essential employees should follow their assigned schedules. Critical employees should follow the announced schedule. All others report or leave at the announced time or use appropriate leave under the liberal leave policy. Administrative leave will be authorized for eligible employees for hours between their usual work schedule and the actual opening/closing. If a class is scheduled to start before the stated opening of campus and extends more than 45 minutes beyond the opening time, it will be held and will begin at the announced opening time.

Campus activities and events

If UMBC is closed, main campus events are cancelled. However, please visit www.umbcretrievers.com for information about athletics events and www.umbc.edu/athletics/recreation for information about Retriever Activities Center and recreational sports programming. For information on events at affiliated locations (Technology Center, etc.), or within Residential Life, check with the appropriate event sponsor. Information about UMBC Transit shuttles is available at www.umbc.edu/transit.

Exam schedules

In the event of a closing during scheduled exam periods — mid-terms or finals — information on new exam dates will be available via the UMBC homepage and myUMBC.

Parking

In the event of a declared snow emergency, parking will be prohibited on interior campus roadways, including Park Road, Back Road, Center Road, Poplar Avenue and Walker Avenue. Parking will also be prohibited on the top level of all parking garages and decks, and on the center ramp in Walker Garage. Vehicles should be relocated to Lots 3, 23, 24, Stadium Lot, or the middle levels of Walker Avenue Garage and Commons Garage. See our campus parking map for the parking lot locations. Failure to remove a vehicle may result in towing at the owner’s expense.

Gated lots will be open when classes are cancelled but the main campus remains open. Clearing the elevated parking deck of Administration Drive Garage (Visitor Parking) is problematic under freezing weather conditions, so please advise your guests of alternative parking in Commons Garage, Walker Avenue Garage or Lot 7. If the Administration Drive Garage upper deck is closed, parking for the handicapped will be available along Administration Drive in the Service Vehicle spaces and in the Commons Garage.

For more information, please view the UMBC snow removal plan, a campus map showing the approach to clearing campus roadways, parking lots, and walkways.

Emergencies during the workday

When an emergency occurs after the campus has opened, information about early closing will be disseminated through the official UMBC sources noted above. Updates will be posted at www.umbc.edu as available.

Regional media closing information

UMBC distributes closing information to these Baltimore-Washington news outlets:

Baltimore-area radio: WYPR 88.1FM, WBAL 1090AM, WMBC 560 AM
Baltimore-area TV: WMAR Ch. 2, WBAL Ch. 11, WJZ Ch. 13, WBFF Ch. 45
Washington-area radio: WAMU 88.5FM, WTOP 103.5FM
Washington-area TV: WJLA Ch. 7, WUSA Ch. 9