Human Resources

Emergency Weather Closings and Openings

Policy and Procedures

To the Amherst College Community:

As a residential institution, Amherst College rarely ceases operation due to adverse weather conditions. Occasionally, however, severe conditions may make traveling to and from campus extremely hazardous and difficult. With the safety of members of the Amherst community in mind when such conditions occur, the College will announce temporarily revised business hours. When these conditions occur in the early morning, we will try to make the decision to revise business hours so that it can be broadcast by 6:00 a.m. on the day of the storm.

To access the College’s recorded announcement regarding the weather, please call the Local Weather Line:

542-SNOW (542-7669)

For those who live beyond the local phone area, call the toll-free number:

(888) 289-1049

In addition to announcements on the telephone lines, we will notify two television stations (WGGB TV 40 and WWLP TV 22) and three radio stations (WHYN FM 93.1, AM 560; WFCR 88.5 FM; and WPKX FM 97.9).

In cooperation with the towns of Amherst and Hadley and the Amherst police and fire departments, we have joined the University of Massachusetts and Hampshire College in instituting a staggered departure schedule for employees during winter-related early closings. This plan is part of an effort to provide unimpeded access for emergency vehicles as well as reduce traffic congestion during these storms.  Each collaborating employer will decide when they will close, however all have agreed to stagger departures in accordance with the attached schedule.  When the College closes early, employees (who are not required to remain on campus in a weather emergency) will begin a staggered release (based on an alphabetical ordering of employees’ last names, rotated for each early closing) during the hour prior to the official closing time.  For those completing time-sheets the official closing time (vs. the actual time of departure) would be used. Each early closure announcement will include the rotation number in effect for that day. In addition to being attached to this notice, you will find the schedule on the human resources website at:

Early closings will be announced by updating the emergency weather line (542-7669) and sending voice and e-mail messages to all employees.

On occasion, when the College is operating on a normal schedule, adverse weather conditions may cause some employees to be concerned about safety in traveling to or from work.  Employees should use their own judgment in consultation with their supervisor in determining whether to arrive late, leave work early, or not come in for the day. An employee's decision, based on individual circumstances, will be respected. In these circumstances, hours missed will be allotted from an employee's excused time, vacation time or floating holidays.

Faculty members may choose to hold their classes when the College is closed or when it announces delays due to inclement weather.  At the beginning of each term, professors are encouraged to share with their students the method that will be used to communicate whether or not they will hold classes.  Notification of the status of a class is most commonly made by email, web posting, or telephone. Faculty members are asked to inform the college operator, who can be reached at 542-2000, of their plans. In this way, students who cannot be reached by other methods may be updated if they call Amherst to inquire about their classes.

As you know, even during the worst storms certain essential services cannot be suspended at a residential college. It is important that the condition of campus thoroughfares and buildings be kept safe and basic services, including dining and public safety, required by our students continue uninterrupted. Kindly consult the Staff Handbook regarding compensation for people performing these non-deferrable services.

While we all hope for good weather, it is important that we be prepared for the storms that may occur. If you have any questions regarding these procedures, please contact the Office of Human Resources at extension 2372.

Delayed Opening Announcements

542-SNOW (7669) or Toll-Free (888) 289-1049
WHYN 93.1 FM
WPKX 97.9 FM
WFCR 88.5 FM