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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University December 11, 2006 | Vol. 36 No. 14
The Good News About Bad Weather

When a snowstorm is on the horizon, you don't have to lose any sleep worrying about how you'll find out if Johns Hopkins is open or closed: All the information you need to know will be available by calling the university's weather hotline or going to its Web site.

The fastest and most accurate source for snow closings and other weather emergency information at Johns Hopkins is the weather emergency phone line. Call 410-516-7781 or, from areas where Baltimore is a long-distance call, 800-548-9004.

The same information is posted online at

The weather message is recorded and the Web page posted as soon as the university decides what to do, usually by 6 a.m. after an overnight storm. Decisions on part-time evening classes are usually made by 1 p.m. During major storms, both the phone line and the Web page are updated frequently.

On any given snowy day, chances are that you will be confirming what you'd already guessed: The university is open. Johns Hopkins policy is to remain open whenever possible, both because so many employees and students are involved in patient care and because minimizing interruption of teaching and research is a priority.

Even on those rare occasions when there is a late opening or a closure, outpatient clinical services usually remain open. In fact, the oncology clinics never close, even in the worst weather emergency.

Also, all required attendance employees in nonclinical departments of the university have to report to work. (Check with your supervisor if you are not sure whether you are a required attendance employee.)

All that information and much more — about shuttle bus schedules, Peabody Prep, evening classes, and library and rec center operations — will be posted on the phone line and the Web site.

Radio and TV stations, which deal with closing announcements for scores of institutions, do not have time to provide all the relevant Johns Hopkins information. And since they must compress their reports so much, broadcast information can be misleading, or even wrong.

University policy on weather-related closings can be found online at

The sections on the Required Attendance Plan, Liberal Leave Plan and Delayed Arrival Plan explain what happens if those options are invoked by the university.

The hospital's weather emergency policy is also online, at OPS/weather.cfm.


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