Office of Emergency Management and Business Continuity

Inclement Weather Policy

Biology PhD student Uttam Babu Shrestha took this picture after new snow fell January 16, 2013.

The University of Massachusetts Boston wishes to protect the safety of its community members, research, and facilities during periods of inclement weather or emergency situations. Academic and administrative units are expected to abide by any decision made by senior staff regarding operating status. The following policy applies to students, faculty, staff, and guests* of the UMass Boston harbor campus, for the following locations:

  • all UMass Boston harbor campus buildings
  • the Early Learning Center
  • the Mt. Vernon Street Office Building
  • Massachusetts State Archives+

When the campus is closed, online classes will be held as scheduled.

*For specific information about the library, athletics, or special events scheduled to occur on campus, you should visit the UMass Boston website or call the main university phone line at 617.287.5000.

Campus Closure Decisions

In the event that a snowstorm, other inclement weather, or an emergency situation presents a risk to our faculty, staff, students, and visitors in commuting to or from the campus, the chancellor or his chief of staff, the provost, the vice chancellor for administration and finance and the vice chancellor for student affairs will make a determination of the appropriate campus response. The closing of the campus is a procedure that differs depending on the timing of the decision to close and the expected length and severity of the severe weather or emergency situation. The essential factor in the decision is the safety of our commuting faculty, staff, students, and visitors. However, severe weather affecting only a limited number of commuters generally will not result in a campus closing. 

When a decision to close the campus is made, the decision will be effective until 7 a.m. the following morning unless otherwise stated. Please keep in mind every situation is handled on a case by case basis. Whether the campus is open or closed, please use good judgment in determining whether to travel to campus as conditions will vary depending on the commute involved

Snow and Emergency Notifications

If a major emergency occurs in which the health and safety UMass Boston community are at risk, the university will activate its UMass Boston Alert System to instantly contact students, staff and faculty via email, text messages, and phone calls. All students, staff and faculty are urged to visit the UMass Boston Alert page to sign up for this important notification service. In the event of inclement weather or emergency, the Office of Communications will inform the campus community of closings and delays via the following:

++Radio and Television. Local stations will carry UMass Boston announcements starting at 5:30 a.m. The following is a list of stations that will carry this message. You can also visit the websites for the following stations. Many stations also offer alert services that will text closure information to your cell phone.

WUMB-FM (91.9) WBZ-TV (Channel 4) WCVB-TV (Channel 5) WHDH-TV (Channel 7) WFXT-TV (Channel 25)

+Class cancelations at off-campus sites due to weather conditions will be announced on local radio stations in communities where sites are located and will be posted to the College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS) website at www.caps.umb.edu.

Please do not call public safety to ask about campus closure decisions as their lines must be kept open for emergency calls.

Inclement Weather Policy: Definitions

University Closed / Classes Canceled

  • All harbor campus classes and events canceled.
  • All offices and the Healey Library closed.
  • Essential and assigned snow day personnel to report at scheduled time.
  • The UMass Boston shuttles between the campus, JFK station, and Bayside will continue to operate even though classes may be canceled.
  • Online classes will be held as scheduled.
  • Normal campus operations will resume at 7 a.m. the next morning, unless otherwise indicated.

Delayed Opening / Late Opening / Early Morning Classes and Morning Events Canceled 

  • All harbor campus morning classes and events are canceled.
  • Harbor campus will open for classes and events at 11 a.m.
  • Staff will report at 10 a.m.
  • Essential and snow day personnel to report at scheduled time.
  • The shuttle will operate, as long as the roads are passable, for several hours before the delayed opening.
  • Always use sound personal judgment when determining your commute to campus.
  • Online classes will be held as scheduled.
  • The Early Learning Center will open at 10 a.m. and will accept students until 11:30 a.m.

Evening Classes Canceled

  • All harbor campus classes and events beginning at or after 4 p.m. are canceled
  • Essential and snow day personnel will work their scheduled hours and all others will be allowed to leave by 4 p.m.
  • If there are athletics events scheduled, the Athletics Department, after consultation with public safety, will determine if the event can occur.
  • The shuttle will continue to operate, as long as the roads are passable, for several hours after the closing.
  • Online classes will be held as scheduled.

Campus Closing/Early Dismissal

  • You should leave the campus in as timely a manner as possible, exiting parking lots or boarding shuttle buses as normal. Shuttle bus service will continue as long as roads are passable.
  • The Early Learning Center will arrange with the parents for pick-up times.
  • If there are athletics events scheduled, the Athletics Department, after consultation with public safety, will determine if the event can occur.
  • The shuttle will continue to operate, as long as the roads are passable, for several hours after the closing.
  • Online classes will be held as scheduled.
  • Normal campus operations will resume at 7 am the next morning, unless otherwise indicated.

Evacuation

  • For your safety, you must leave the campus immediately.
  • Only those authorized by public safety may be on campus.
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