Adverse Weather Procedures


Emergency Closures
All employees will be notified by their immediate supervisors or assigned personnel by the Emergency Phone List “Tree” regarding emergency closures.  All staff should become familiar with this process in order to maintain continuity and open communication.  Emergency Closures may occur before the work day begins or during normal working hours.  Emergency Closures implementation would be determined by ranking members of the Administration (President or Vice-Presidents) and/or by the Crisis Management Team (D. Oreiro, L. Robinette, and J. Davis).  Emergency Closures can occur for power outages, water and sewer shut downs, flood conditions, imminent storm or snow conditions, road closures and human or natural disasters.

Extended Campus Emergency Closures
Emergency Closures at the Lummi site do not necessarily pertain to the Extended Campus sites.  Weather permitting extended campus sites will continue normal operations unless directed by their respective Tribal Office Emergency Closure procedures.  NWIC sites will institute emergency closures at respective off campus sites when Tribal authorities announce closures of their respective offices and schools. Distance Learning and Extended Campus Administrative staff must be notified by their respective site coordinators or instructors when closures occur.


Flood conditions
Flood conditions are a regular occurrence in Whatcom County.  The Lummi Reservation is annually flooded due to the close proximity of the mighty Nooksack River.  Marine Drive (road to Bellingham), Ferndale Road and Slater Road occasionally become inundated with water and traffic is rerouted.  Staff should follow detour signs in order to stay out of harms way.  

During the 100 year flood occurrences Haxton Way will become flooded and all traffic will be stopped from entering and leaving the Reservation on this major route.  In past years when this occurred the Lummi Island ferry has been rerouted to take passengers to Bellingham from the Gooseberry ferry landing.  Unless otherwise announced or directed all employees are expected to be at his/her respective work area.  

Travel in Snow and Icy Road Conditions
Occasionally it has snowed in Whatcom County in the lowlands.  In the event of snow and icy road conditions that do not warrant closure of the campus or off campus sites the following procedures are to be implemented and followed:
1.    If safety permits, normal business hours will be maintained.
2.    In the event of inclement weather a grace period of 30 minutes is allowed for safe travel to and from the college.  Each employee is responsible for notifying his/her appropriate supervisor regarding late arrival and early departure to and from the work site.  In extreme weather situations or road conditions supervisors may approve up to four hours of inclement weather travel time for safe travel of an employee or employees.

Snow and Icy Road Conditions resulting in Declared School and College Closures
School and College Closures are very likely to occur during the late fall and winter quarters.  In the event of heavy snows and prolonged cold weather school and college early dismissal and closures will be announced by the College Administration and/or Crisis Management Team.   The following procedures will be followed by all staff regarding Snow and Icy Road Conditions:
            Early Release or Dismissal
1.    Snow and Icy road condition closures may occur during regular work hours.  The College Administration (President and Vice-Presidents) and/or the Crisis Management Team may declare early release of all employees from his/her respective work sites.
2.    The determination for early release of employees will be based on immediate safety concerns for employees as determined by NWIC Administration, announced closures by Lummi Law and Order and Tribal authorities, announced closures by local outlying school districts, and the closure of the Lummi Tribal School District.

Emergency Closure
Snow and Icy road condition closures may occur before the work day begins.  The College Administration (President and Vice-Presidents) and/or Crisis Management Team will declare closures for snow and icy road conditions.

Please see opening paragraphs for closure notification sites.

All employees will be contacted utilizing the “EMERGENCY CLOSURE PHONE TREE” system in the event of a Snow or Icy Road Closure.  All supervisors and department heads should be aware of who will contact them and who they will each be expected to contact during that morning.  Each employee is responsible for updating and informing his/her immediate supervisor of a workable home phone or cell number that will be used for this communication process.
Snow and Icy road condition closures could conceivably last more than one day and all employees should be prepared to stay tuned in and stay home.

The determination for work day (s) emergency closures will be based on immediate safety concerns for employees as determined by NWIC Administration, announced closures by Lummi Law and Order and Tribal authorities, announced closures by local outlying school districts, and the closure of the Lummi Tribal School District.  Faculty are responsible to provide make up work for students based on the recommendations of the Dean for Academics and Vice President for Academics and Student Services.

Administrative Closure Decisions

An Emergency Closure is considered an Administrative Leave decision; therefore full-time employees of NWIC will be compensated during the declared emergency closure for the announced hours or days of actual closure.  Questions regarding employee status are to be directed to the Human Resources Office.

Annual Leave

All employees do not live on or adjacent to the reservation and personal safety may be of special concern for them.  When closures or late starts are not announced these employees may choose to arrive late, leave early or stay home for safety concerns. In these instances the employee may choose to use Annual Leave for the hours or days missed.  It will be the employee’s responsibility to notify his/her immediate supervisor of the hours or day for which leave will be taken.

Residential Housing and Maintenance Staff and other staff

Residential Housing staff and food service personnel are expected to be available at his/her regular work station during emergency closure periods as students will be in the housing during all emergency situations.  NWIC will provide alternative food and transportation services for housing residents if and when emergency situations arise.  If electrical power is disrupted alternation power sources will be provided on site.

Maintenance personnel are expected to be available at his/her work site during emergency closures and available during non-regular hours in order to inspect, fix or maintain campus facilities and property that may be damaged during extreme weather conditions.  Other staff may choose to come to work during emergency closures at the request of his/her immediate supervisor or to complete departmental or job related assignments.