Tuesday, January 5, 2016

When It Arrives ... We'll Be Here

University College [Communications & Public Affairs]
From the book of obvious statements; It has been a mild winter.

Undoubtedly, that means the worst is yet to come. Infact, we will likely be on the verge of cold, blustery weather in the coming weeks - if not days.

Last year at this time, London was buried, digging out of the white stuff at a rate of 20cm every 12 hours. Crews were working in shifts around the clock on campus. As an archive of the event, the following page was maintained to keep the campus informed of Facilities Management's efforts; http://uwo.ca/fm/who/news/snow01072015.html

Should the weather turn south - er, well - north, Facilities Management is on snow removal standby. During a typical snowfall, crews will begin to clear snow in the evening when parking lots and sidewalks are less congested. If accumulation isn't excessive, the snow and ice will be cleared, sanded and salted prior to 8am with maintenance checks operating throughout the day.

If a major winter storm arrives, Facilities Management will follow the strategic Snow Operations Procedure. The Division's high level of preparedness has evolved as a result of battling snow over the decades, but the most valuable lesson remains that weather is a tough beast to tame. There are several variables that can take standard protocol off track. Factors such as, the time of day and duration the snow falls, the total volume of snow, wind and temperature (freezing or thawing) and even campus specific factors, such as the time of year (exams) or the day of the week (fridays can be quieter on campus). All these factors are balanced on the fly and they change constantly, requiring the Snow Operation Procedure to remain flexible - and that's putting it mildly.

As a starting point the crews will follow the priority locations map and priority unit chart, especially when snow is falling faster than it can be cleared. In some cases, this can mean redoing portions of a higher traffic, higher priority location prior to moving on to other locations.

Priority Locations Map, based on safety, provision of essential services, and greatest impact.

Priority Unit Chart, listing most of the cleared surfaces on campus, complementing the map.

The top priority is the safety of our community. Facilities Management encourages people to take time and care when crossing campus and don't hesitate to connect with Client Services if weather is restricting our services. We will do what we can to help; fmhelp@uwo.ca or 519-661-3304.

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