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A Memo on Weather Communications from our President


TO:  The Trinity Community

FR:  President Patricia McGuire

RE:  Weather Communications

We’re all watching the weather forecast and seeing predictions of potentially severe storms tomorrow afternoon and evening.  It’s too early to make the “weather call” for classes and events for tomorrow, but I am writing now to remind everyone in the Trinity community of our communications protocols for weather and other emergencies.

As indicated below and in other weather-related messages, you must certainly use your own good judgment when traveling, and if weather conditions are of concern to you, you have an excused absence.  Faculty must follow the class cancellation protocols if you really cannot meet your classes, and students must follow the standard procedures for notifying your faculty.


We make every effort to send rapid, clear and continuous communications in any emergency situation, including when bad weather might interrupt our normal schedule.  You can get all of the information you need by signing-up for the text message alerts or consulting any one of our communication modalities below:

1.  Text messages:  you can get instant alerts on your cell phones by texting “Follow trinitydcalerts” to 40404  (we do not use this for anything other than emergency announcements — no Trinity spam! — so please sign-up, it’s well-worth it to get the instant text messages when big things happen like cancelling classes.)

2.  Emergency Hotline:  you can call 202-884-9009 to get Trinity’s status at any time

3.  Email:  we send blast emails to everyone with announcements and updates throughout the emergencies

4.  Voicemail:  we also send blast voicemail messages to all voicemailboxes

5.  Website:  weather and emergency announcements appear in a red band at the top of the website

6.  Radio/Television:  we send closing and status announcements to all area radio and television stations

7.  Facebook:  Trinity’s facebook page also will have periodic updates (the page is Trinity Washington University)

8.  Twitter:  stay abreast of the conversation @trinitydc and @trinityprez

A few special notes:

Faculty:  you have received a separate set of instructions from Provost Broaddus concerning protocols and notices if you have to cancel your individual classes.

THEARC:  Trinity’s classes at THEARC are usually cancelled if Trinity’s main campus is closed due to weather or if our main campus classes are cancelled.  On rare occasions if something happens on the main campus that does not affect THEARC (e.g., power outage) then classes might still go on there.  We will make clear in our announcements the status of THEARC classes.

Nursing:  clinical students receive separate instructions from your faculty about proceeding with clinicals even if Trinity is closed

Trinity Center:  the Trinity Center is closed for fitness activities when Trinity’s campus is closed; if events are already underway at the Trinity Center, the staff at the Trinity Center have separate communications protocols for events organizers and their guests.

Absence permissions:  in the event of weather or other emergencies, we expect everyone to use their own best judgment about travel and safety.  We ask all faculty and supervisors to be understanding in the event that students or staff need to be absent during weather emergencies due to safety concerns, child care issues when schools are closed, etc.

Communication with Families and Friends:  During major emergencies in Washington, cell phone capacity often becomes limited and traffic delays are sometimes quite long.  We urge all students, faculty, staff and visitors to discuss emergency plans with your families and to make advance plans for meeting locations, picking up children and other arrangements in anticipation of major regional emergencies that impede communications and transportation.


1.   Trinity maintains emergency supplies sufficient to keep the campus operational for several days even in major utility outages.  However, while Trinity has emergency supplies of food, water, flashlights and batteries, we also urge all members of the campus community to prepare your own supply kits as well.

2.   Every Resident Student should have an emergency kit in your residence hall room, including:  flashlight, batteries, bottled water, nonperishable food items like granola bars, dried soups, etc.  If you need certain medications, you should always be sure you have enough on hand to get through a few days if an emergency arises.

3.   Faculty and Staff should keep flashlights, batteries and bottled water available in your offices.

4.  Everyone — Commuter Students, Residents, Employees, Tenants, Guests — should be familiar with the emergency kit guidelines at for your homes, cars or wherever you might need them.

If YOU see an emergency happening, please call 202-884-9111 (or just 9111 from a campus phone) immediately.  Please be clear about the location and what you see happening.

We review Trinity’s emergency management plan and these communication protocols routinely.  We welcome your feedback to make Trinity’s emergency response system as effective as possible for everyone in the campus community.  Thank you for your cooperation.

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