UWG has taken heed from past experiences with extreme weather and has a plan of action for any extreme weather that hits campus.
UWG’s Emergency Management Department gets wind of any severe weather headed towards the state of Georgia from the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.
Michael Nelson, Director of Emergency Management for UWG, is in charge of receiving information about the weather and notifying the UWG administration as well as the varying departments.
As soon as UWG receives word of any weather that might impact the university, Nelson will send an email to weather update group. UWG athletics, the Coliseum, UWG facilities and other major departments are on this mailing list.
If the situation requires drastic action (such as closing the university), Nelson will meet with another group: UWG’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC is a collection of all the major on-campus departments that meet together to discuss emergency situations.
The UWG Marketing and Communications departments will put an alert on the LiveSafe app when potentially hazardous weather is detected. Afterwards, the information will be sent in a mass email to the student body. All of this information is inscribed in the most recent edition of UWG’s comprehensive emergency management plan, which came out in July 2018. This plan details every step that UWG personnel should take in the event of an emergency or closure, from notifications to evacuations.
Last year, UWG had an issue with getting students fed during a campus snow closing. Students would have normally gotten food themselves, but with snow and ice on the roads they were stuck on campus. In response, the Z6 dining hall was reopened so that students could eat. But with Z6 open came another problem.
“They couldn’t really get a lot of employees in here, so people that were available came over and helped. I went over there, several of the VPs were there, Dr. Marrero was there, so we were over there helping serve students food,” said Nelson.
Nelson stressed emergency preparedness when giving advice to students on how to stay safe on campus this winter. He advised students to check the weather, have a plan of where to go in case something happens, and to have a winter kit in your vehicle to keep warm and to get out of sticky situations.