Sample Snow Response Plan

A sample snow response plan.








Section I


General Policy Statement


It is the responsibility of the University Square Facilities Department to provide snow and ice control operations for the entire South Campus.


Snow and ice control is considered emergency work and the designated surface areas must be cleared at any time, day or night.  Because of the potential hazard to employees, visitors, students, faculty, and others arriving on site, careful planning and preparation must be done prior to the snow and ice season.  The planning process is made considerably more difficult due to the variable conditions encountered during each storm.  Such things as the rate and accumulation of snowfall, moisture content, temperature, time of day or night, wind direction and velocity as well as duration of the event are all factors that interact to create a unique aspect for each storm with the result that no two storms are ever identical.  The goal of the University Square Facilities Department is to provide a safe surface, free of excess snow and ice on roadways, sidewalks, and parking lots.  U.S. South Campus shall provide all snow removal employees (and/or sub-contractors) color-coded site plans showing areas to be cleared and their priorities.


The University Square Facilities Department must ensure that all campus roads remain passable for emergency vehicles throughout any given snow event.  This is always considered a first priority.  Final clearing, curb-to-curb, may be performed later in the process but initially the roads must be kept passable.


This plan is intended to provide orderly and prioritize methods to fight most snowstorms.  Each storm will present different problems and the onsite Grounds Supervisor must use judgement to alter the plan as needed to achieve the most benefit from the existing personnel and equipment available.  Weather conditions and the time of day a storm hits may require changing priorities.



Public Safety will notify the Chilled Water Plant when snow or ice removal crews are needed.  The Chilled Water Plant will notify Ken Steff for South Campus problems.  Ken Steff will then notify the next designated overtime Grounds person to visit the campus and determine which actions should be taken.  If that person can correct the problem, at that time, he/she will do so.  If more people are needed, this supervisor will review the situation with Gary and/or Ken, and implement the Snow Recall Roster.  Bill Masden will be informed any time a crew is requested to return to campus for snow removal operations.  Bill will also visit the campus whenever possible to observe conditions personally.


The time of day a storm hits, the day of the week, the time of the year, the status of Resident Halls occupancy status, recess or holidays, temperature, type of snow, wind and ice conditions, ground temperature and weather forecast are all variables that will affect snow removal operations.


From the 15th of November to March 29th, we will have a two-person snow/ice removal crew working on campus Sunday through Friday, 5:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.  This crew will also work on Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  They will correct minor problems on both campuses and determine if more people must be called in.


PART I – Major Snow Storms


Major snow storms present serious problems.  Supervisors and crew members must be very alert and check conditions frequently, make on the spot adjustments to the plan, keep the chain of command fully informed and ensure all personnel and equipment available are deployed properly.  If school is in session or recess, and if Residence Halls are occupied or empty, these are major variables that affect the plan.


The following needs must always be considered, but are most important during major storms:


Keep the roads passable for emergency vehicles.


South Campus Heating Plant must be kept open.


If Residence Halls are occupied, call Food Service at 645-2021 to determine which dining areas will require service.  Access for food service will be important.


Animal units on both campuses may require access.  Call George Velas at 555-7892 for service needs at the C/F/S complex.


Service and communication centers are critical.  Coordinate with Public Safety and the Chilled Water Plant for needed access to:


Michael Hall infirmaries

South Campus Service and Warehouse Buildings


Some storms may be so intense that snow removal is too dangerous to continue.  This judgement should be made in consort with the Grounds Supervisor, Public Safety and the Chain of Command.  As the storm subsides, return to the normal snow removal plan modified as needed to reflect whether or not Residence Halls are occupied and whether or not school is open.


PART II – General Parking Lot Policies


Snow removal in parking lots is more difficult and time consuming than roadway snow removal.  Sometimes an overnight snowfall will create a situation where roads have been open, but many parking lots will not be useable before 8:00 a.m.  The senior snow removal supervisor on the campus must continuously access the situation and inform Bill Masden (phone number 555-4549) or Lou Schmitt (phone number 555-3935) at

5:00 a.m. with their recommendation to open, close, or open with limited parking available.


Heavy dense snow requires a major effort to remove.  It takes more time, requires more heavy-duty equipment, leads to more equipment breakdowns, and may require snowblowing or trucking to remove snow from the lots.  For this type of snow, start removal process for parking lots at about two inches of fallen snow.


Light density snow may be deeper, yet less troublesome.  Smaller pieces of equipment may be used.  This type of snow presents less difficulty for driving or walking and may melt after the first day, depending upon the time of year.  For this type of snow, we will start the snow removal process for parking lots at about four inches of fallen snow.


For any snowfall, we will complete parking lot cleanup operations on the following night after the snow has stopped falling and when most cars have vacated the lots.  This is done in order to ensure safety for pedestrian traffic through the parking lots during daytime hours. 


Our parking lots are usually full each night and difficult to plow on the first day of any storm.  While a consorted effort will be made to attempt to keep lanes open, pedestrian safety will be our first priority when utilizing snow removal equipment in residential lots that have cars in them.  When possible, arrange with Housing for alternate parking on the next night so cleanup operations can continue on the night after the storm.  Utilize the 5:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. crew (or a recalled overtime crew) depending upon the scope of work.


Snow that must be trucked, stacked or hauled will be done during off peak hours so as not to inconvenience the faculty, staff or students.


If it becomes necessary to utilize sub-contractors, or any other off site personnel, they will be required to attend a U.S. contractors safety training meeting offered by U.S. Facilities personnel.  Site drawings of each assigned location will display plowing directions, stacking locations, and stockpile locations within University Square property limits.  All sub-contractor operators will be required to check their assigned area for light poles, cars, and any other obstacles when backing up equipment.  All contractors and sub-contractors must provide appropriate insurance certificates before operations commence.


Part III – Call-In Criteria


The following criteria will be utilized in determining when crews should be called in to work.


When Public Safety calls.

When ice is evident on roadways by visual observations – salting operations will begin.

When snow depth on roadways reaches approximately two inches – plowing will begin.

When snow in parking lots is between two and four inches – parking lot plowing will begin.


Part IV – Priorities




Campus Roads


Parking Lots

Clean parking lots nearest academic buildings first, then begin service area and residential lots.  Ideally, all are cleaned simultaneously when enough people and equipment are available.  In the event there are not enough people to begin works simultaneously, the priorities are as follows:

1st Priority – Academic Lots

2nd Priority – Service Lots

3rd Priority – Residential Lots




1st – From Academic lots to Academic buildings, including

         punching out wind rows.

2nd – Handicapped areas (by 8:30 a.m.)

3rd  – Academic Spine walks and interior South Campus walks



Campus Roads (check again)


Service Area Docks


NOTE:  Attempt to perform all tasks simultaneously, whenever possible.


Part IV – Priorities




Campus Roads


Ensure all campus roads are passable for emergency vehicles (same criteria as North Campus roads).


Parking Lots


Whenever possible, schedule a crew of two to have Custodial parking spaces open prior to 11:30 p.m. in Squire, Parker, Diefendorf, Michael, Sherman, Townsend and lower Abbott lots.  Then start cleaning the Maintenance Service area before main snow crew arrives at 11:30 p.m.


Diefendorf/Sherman - #87 highlift & ramp blade

Parker/Main –Bailey - #87 highlift & ramp blade

Michael - #87 & ramp blade




One 4x4 plow - #107 or one Bombardier - #175 to do all campus walks.

Punch through windows to make sidewalks accessible to parking lots.

Clean out Handicap parking spaces – Tractor #70 (Do wheelchair van parking and drop-off spaces first).


 Service Areas and Docks


South Campus, con’t



5.   Campus Roads (check them again)


Clean roads curb to curb – Truck #83.  Apply sand/salt.  Do this normally after 6:00 a.m. (when possible, clean out all nine campus entrances and Allen Loop starting at 11:30 p.m. – Hi Lift Rental loader).


6.  889 Lebrun


Chill Water calls – Dave W.  555-7864


NOTE:  All South Campus tasks are performed simultaneously.


Part V – Other Items





Snow may be required to be moved to designated areas throughout the site.  These areas will be outlined for each individual parking lot and site location so as to provide the best location for drainage and long range storage.  Site maps will be supplied to provide locations for relocating snow.  Additional hauling or relocation of snow must be approved by the University Square Facilities Department prior to beginning work. 


Snow fences may be installed to prevent drifting in areas where locations are vital to maintain safe and clear passage.  Such locations to be determined by the University Square Facilities Department.




A full report on each event, including materials used, equipment, personnel, conditions, and unusual costs will be completed to ensure accurate tracking and event comparisons to previous events and years.  These reports may be utilized in determining budget considerations for subsequent years and/or snow events.




A meeting will be held after each event to discuss actual operations before, during and after the event to review the efficiency and quality of the work force during the storm.  At this time, recommendations, evaluations or suggestions for implementing improvements will take place as appropriate and deemed necessary by the University Facilities Department.




All materials to be used for snow and ice services will be carefully selected to provide slip-free surfaces whether it be concrete or asphalt.  Additional care for wildlife and/or wetlands preservation will also be considered during snow and ice removal operations.  The following materials have been selected for use on specified areas:







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