Winter Storm Protocol


Effective 11/17/14
The following protocol is intended to clarify campus snow removal procedures both during and after winter storms. The priority during winter storms is always on the safety of the campus community, including those conducting snow removal operations. Campus roadways, parking lot travel lanes and walkways are cleared and monitored throughout storm events in an effort to provide the safest vehicular and pedestrian travel paths possible given the conditions of each storm.

Each winter storm differs in intensity, accumulation, accumulation rate (inches of precipitation per hour), timing, and duration. Winter storms sometimes occur in succession to each other leaving little time between events to fully clear accumulation. These variations impact the manner in which snow removal is conducted and must be taken into consideration when winter storms occur.
During Storm Events

  1. During storm events, The Physical Plant will begin snow removal as early as possible. The supervisor may delay snow removal if staff safety is compromised by the weather conditions
  2. The primary focus is snow removal from campus roadways, parking lot travel lanes and campus walkways. Physical Plant/Campus Safety are not responsible for shoveling out individual vehicles or parking spaces.
  3. Snow is plowed to predetermined areas in an effort to minimize the impact snow storage will have on the availability of campus parking and pedestrian travel.

Snow Clean Up & Removal
Aquinas College Physical Plant reserves the right to conduct these operations at any time when circumstances dictate:

  1. During the week prior to snow clean-up operations, The Physical Plant will provide a snow removal plan to Campus Safety to include which lots will be plowed and the approximate days and times plowing will begin and end.
  2. Campus Safety will notify the campus community which lots are scheduled for snow removal via:
    1. E-mail
    2. Text Message
    3. Twitter
    4. Aquinas College Website
    5. MyAQ
    6. Campus Safety Facebook page
  3. Notification will occur 24 to 48 hours prior to scheduled snow removal operations.
  4. Campus Safety will barricades lot entrances 12 hours prior to scheduled snow removal.
  5. Campus Safety will try to contact owners of all remaining vehicles between 6pm and 12am the night prior to snow removal.
  6. One hour prior to snow removal, Campus Safety will ticket all vehicles remaining in the lot(s) scheduled for snow removal. Fines will be doubled
  7. Once snow removal operations have been completed, the lot will be re-opened for parking in accordance with campus policy. Any unplowed will be barricaded until snow has been removed.

Plowing Operations
The following criteria will be utilized in determining when the Physical Plant crew will be in to work. Plowing operations start at the discretion of the supervisor/Chain of command.

  1. When ice is evident on roadways by visual observation-salting operations will begin.
  2. When snow depth on roadways/sidewalks reaches approximately two inches, plowing will begin.

A. Campus roads/sidewalks
B. Parking lots

  1. Clean parking lots nearest academic building first (faculty lot and Wege lot)
  2. First priority-Academic lots
  3. Second priority-Commuter lots
  4. Third priority-Residential lots

C. Campus Roads (check again)
Suggestions to Students

  1. Be Prepared: Have a bag of salt and shovel with you in your vehicle. Aquinas College Physical Plant staff and Campus safety Staff ARE NOT responsible for shoveling out or in between cars.
  2. Wear appropriate clothing and winter boots
  3. Make sure your car starts: If your car sits for a while in the cold air the battery will go dead. Make sure to start your car a few times a week and let it run for 5 minutes. Your car is your responsibility. Make sure it runs when Campus Safety calls to have your car moved to clear lots. Otherwise it may be towed at the owner's expense.

General Information
Vehicles that block snow removal routes will be referred to Campus Safety Office and may be towed at owner’s expense. A snow route is a designated area that must be free of vehicles in order to facilitate the removal of snow and for the operation of snow removal equipment.
**In the event of a snow emergency, the supervisor may ask The Physical Plant Director for help from other facilities to remove snow.**