Johns Hopkins Gazette: November 27, 1995

When It Snows, Be in the Know--By Phone

     When bad weather strikes, consider going to the phone, not
your radio.

     For the third year in a row, students, faculty and staff
wondering whether heavy snowfalls have canceled classes or closed
university offices can call the university's weather emergency
hot line.

     Callers in Baltimore can dial (410)516-7781. Outside the
immediate area, dial 1(800) 548-9004.

     "The phone line has the best information available on
university operations during bad weather," said Dennis O'Shea,
director of communications and public affairs.

     The university also relays information on closings to
Baltimore and Washington area radio and television stations,
O'Shea said.

     "But the weather emergency line is a better bet for three
reasons," he said. First, if Hopkins is open, broadcasters will
not report that fact. The phone line will. Second, with scores of
closings to report, broadcasters sometimes make mistakes. "There
was major confusion two winters ago when some stations got our
message wrong and gave out bad information," O'Shea said. Third,
broadcasters don't have time to relay all the information
relevant to students and employees of an institution as
complicated as Hopkins. But all weather-related information--
whether for day, evening or weekend classes or offices at any
campus--will be reported on the phone line.

     The system can handle hundreds, even thousands of calls an
hour, depending on the length of the message.

     Home computer users can also access the same information on
JHUniverse at
(Note: the third "e" is missing in "emergency.")

     The university's policy is to remain open for both students
and employees whenever possible, in part because many full-time
students live close to campus and because university employees
provide patient care at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Evening and
weekend classes are more frequent cancellation victims because
adult part-time students tend to have to travel farther to

     Some staff are "required attendance employees," who must
report to work even when university operations are curtailed.
Anyone with questions should check with their supervisor.

Go back to Previous Page

Go to Gazette Homepage