When severe weather threatens to affect the Boston area, the Boston College administration faces many decisions about what actions to take in response. The University must consider a wide array of factors and consult with senior officials from no fewer than 10 offices in order to respond quickly and effectively.
During last Wednesday’s snowstorm, the Emergency Management Executive Team (EMET), which is coordinated by the Office of Emergency Management, reacted admirably to keep the campus safe and the essentials functioning for all community members. The EMET’s detailed snow removal plans were implemented successfully, and it appears that the team’s regular emergency drills and exercises that test emergency procedures have been effective. Beyond the immediate members of the EMET, the hundreds of additional personnel working in departments such as BC Dining Services, University Health Services, and the Office of Residential Life, among others, worked efficiently to maintain as much normalcy as possible on campus.
Before last year’s Hurricane Sandy and Winter Storm Nemo, and the two snowstorms thus far this semester, BC had earned the reputation for not closing frequently due to weather. This precedent makes it even more impressive that the EMET has been able to respond so capably during emergency weather situations, seeing as it is not called into action very often.
Further, the University—specifically, Vice President for Human Resources Leo Sullivan—rightly consulted local weather authorities and took note of decisions made by other Boston-area institutions to announce the Wednesday closure on Tuesday night. Throughout Wednesday, communications containing information about the status of various University services such as the Plex, shuttles buses, and libraries were relayed promptly and clearly. The combined efforts of the entire EMET and University community made for a safe snow day, and these efforts will hopefully be maintained in the event of another weather emergency.