In the event of extreme weather - Emergency Management - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

In the event of extreme weather

Communications during an extreme weather event

In the event of a severe weather warning an alert will be issued to the University community. The alert will advise if classes are suspended and whether students and employees need to make travel plans in the event of a University closure.

Storm updates will be made available to the wider University community on the UC Facebook page and Twitter and will include:

  • Official University instructions regarding class cancellation and University closure.
  • Links to information on progress and tracking of the storm.
  • Links to other council and relevant sites.
  • Updates on when the University will reopen and when classes will resume after a storm.

It is advisable to proactively check current weather conditions at MetService Christchurch Weather.

University Closure

If required, the Vice-Chancellor (or designate) will make the decision to close the University.

Condition 1 – Serious Weather Conditions Suspension of Normal Activity – Campus Remains Open for Access

If conditions warrant it, scheduled on-campus events may be cancelled. Faculty and staff will be advised if normal activity is suspended and advised to make decisions about travel home in conjunction with their managers. Students will be advised if classes are suspended and advised to consider homeward travel. As regularly as possible, advice will be provided on road conditions, public transport notifications and any areas on campus where there are safety concerns.

Condition 2 – Severe Weather Conditions – Closure and Evacuation

If the University closes due to an emergency, all scheduled on-campus events will be cancelled. Faculty and staff will be requested to secure work areas, relocate equipment if flooding is expected, and to then leave the campus.

As regularly as possible, advice will be provided on road conditions, public transport notifications and any areas on campus where there are safety concerns.

When the University is closed, students and non-essential personnel (faculty and staff) are officially requested to leave the University. If any staff member chooses to stay on campus, they are required to notify the Security Control Centre (6888) of their location and intended departure time.

If a full evacuation is ordered, all non-essential staff will be required to leave the University. When the University is officially closed, students are not permitted to remain on campus.

UC Security Services, Maintenance Staff and UC Rescue personnel will ensure that buildings are clear of personnel and secure.

Students are responsible for securing their own lodging and transportation arrangements.

Condition 3 – Exceptional Weather Conditions – Campus Lockdown

If the weather conditions are so severe that leaving the campus is not a safe option, the University will be officially closed and locked down.

All persons on campus will be advised to remain inside the buildings and do the following:

  • Move all people away from windows.
  • Close all curtains, drapes and blinds where possible.
  • Shelter in strongest part of building (e.g., central corridors).
  • Clear large areas with glass atriums or glass roofs.

If any person must urgently leave the campus during a campus lockdown due to severe weather conditions, call Security Services on Ext 6888 for assistance.

Communicating with the campus community during exceptional weather conditions

All Staff and All Student emails will be sent advising of the conditions and the requested/required actions to be taken.

Further information

Returning to normal after a storm

Weather Plan Policy and Guidelines (PDF, 274KB) (UC Policy Library website)

  • Emergency event on campus
    Extn: 6111 (campus landline)
    Direct Dial:  0800 823 637 or 364 2111
  • Emergency Services (Police, Fire, Ambulance)
    Dial: 111 (from any phone)
  • UC Security (non emergency)
    Extn: 6888 (campus landline)
    Direct dial: 364 2888
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