Cornell University is committed to minimizing the impacts of disruptions or emergencies and maximizing the effectiveness of the campus community in responding to and recovering from such events.
When normal university operations are disrupted because of weather or emergency situations, certain services may still be needed to support campus security and safety operations, dining, housing, and health services, utilities and information technology infrastructure and services, care for research animals, veterinary clinical patients, and experimental plants, and other sensitive and critical research operations.
Can be a regular and ongoing need
Provide utilities services, safety and security, IT, medical needs, dining and housing, research animals, plants, or equipment.
Can be situation specific
Must be maintained even when the normal operating status of the University is modified or suspended.
Employees who provide essential services may be needed on campus to meet the needs of students, research programs, or general operations when the university and/or the local roads are closed. Units should identify their essential services, and employees (or employee categories) who may be asked to provide those services, within their respective business continuity plans. Units should provide each employee an opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns, and develop contingency plans to deliver essential services with a reduced number of employees. Managers
can consult with their college/unit Human Resource representative for
assistance in identifying essential services, staffing levels, and the
procedures in support of their business continuity plan.
During a severe weather incident, if a county or municipality announces that people should "avoid unnecessary travel" (travel to and from work is considered necessary travel) and there isn't any accompanying change to the university operating status, employees should make reasonable efforts to report to work as usual, but are advised to avoid undue risks in traveling.
A faculty or staff member who believes it is unsafe to travel, or has unexpected family care responsibilities such as local school closings, should use his or her judgment regarding travel. Employees may choose to use personal or vacation time.
If a municipality or county announces that motorists are prohibited from driving on all or some of the roads, employees are not expected to violate those rules in order to come to work.
All vehicle travel to and from work, regardless of conditions (e.g., unnecessary travel, closed roads), is addressed by the employee's personal auto insurance. Employees are encouraged to contact their insurance providers if they have questions.
Essential Service Identification Cards:
There is no longer a distribution of essential service identification cards. These cards are not a valid form of ID and they have no bearing on enforcement of vehicle and traffic law by state or local police agencies.
Continuity Planning (C-COOP):
Cornell University’s Emergency Management program has developed a web-based continuity tool called C-COOP that allows colleges and major administrative units to create comprehensive continuity plans. The C-COOP tool focuses on the essential functions each unit performs and captures critical information about resources, personnel, facilities, and continuity strategies needed after a disruptive event. More information can be found here.
Policy 8.2, Inclement Weather can be found on the University Policy Office web page. More information can be obtained by contacting Environmental Health & Safety at 607-255‐8200 or email@example.com. Questions about compensation during absences related to inclement weather should be directed to your supervisor or to the local college/unit Human Resources representative.