Emergency Planning and Preparedness

Emergency Action Plan (EAP)


While the danger from winter weather varies across the region, severe winter weather may impact the HWS community. Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.

Winter Weather Advisories

Should a winter storm impact the HWS community in a manner that necessitates closing the campus and/or cancelling classes, HWS will utilize the appropriate communication methods (e.g., EMNS [text message, phone, email], web updates, verbal instructions, etc.) to keep you informed.

Remain aware and monitor local radio and television stations, the Internet and social media for winter weather and storm information updates.

Please be familiar with the following winter weather advisory terms:

  • Winter Storm Outlook: Winter storm conditions are possible in the next two to five days.
  • Winter Weather Advisory: Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
  • Winter Storm Watch: Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.
  • Winter Storm Warning: Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.

Cold Weather Safety Information

  • Dress for the season.
    • Wear loose, lightweight, warm clothes in layers. Trapped air insulates.
    • Remove layers if necessary to avoid perspiration and subsequent chill.
    • Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded.
    • Wear a hat. Half your body heat loss can be from the head.
    • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
    • Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.
    • Wear appropriate footwear for conditions.
    • Try to stay dry.
  • When walking on campus:
    • Watch for ice on sidewalks, in parking lots and when crossing roads.
    • Do not walk in the roadways utilize our sidewalks.
    • Wear footwear appropriate for conditions.
  • When driving:
    • Minimize travel based on weather advisories.
    • If travel is necessary, keep cold weather supplies in your vehicle.
      • For information on car safety and how to make an emergency kit for your car, go online to www.ready.gov/car.
    • Drive appropriately for weather conditions.

Do not hesitate to contact Campus Safety if you need assistance.

  • Emergency assistance (on campus dial ext. 3333, cell phone on campus dial (315) 781-3333, off campus dial 911).
  • For non-emergency assistance dial (315) 781-3000.

Emergency Resources

Do not hesitate to contact Campus Safety if you need assistance.

  • Emergency assistance (on campus dial ext. 3333, cell phone on campus dial (315) 781-3333, off campus dial 911).
  • For non-emergency assistance dial (315) 781-3000.

Assembly Points for Building Evacuations

Emergency Management Team

The HWS Emergency Management Team is directed by leadership from the Office of Campus Safety and the Office of Campus Life in coordination with core groups from across campus, including information technology, operations, facilities and communications. The team also includes an incident response group and a policy group. The team regularly participates in trainings and drills.

Emergency Action Button


In the event it becomes necessary to notify the HWS community of an imminent emergency on campus, notification will be sent using the Everbridge Mass Notification System. Brief and immediate instructions will be given through the Everbridge system when we use it. All other non-imminent communication will be disseminated through the HWS e-mail system and via the Colleges' Twitter account.

To ensure that Everbridge has the correct contact information for emergency notification, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to update their PeopleSoft accounts.



Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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