Oh no! Snow, snow, snow...That time of the year is upon us once again and many remember the record snowfall from last winter. Whether it was the shoveling, plowing, days off from school and work, building snow forts and snowmen or having snowball fights, last winter's record breaking snowfall remains firmly in our minds.
Sadly for those who wanted more snow days there is bad news. The Farmer's Almanac and AccuWeather.com predict less snow this winter. The Farmer's Almanac predicts that "The eastern third of the country (New England down to Florida and as far west as the lower Ohio River and Mississippi River Valley), will experience colder-than-normal winter temperatures." The article 2011 Winter Outlook – The Wait is Over! by Caleb Weatherbee on the Farmer's Almanac website writes "The upcoming winter will be the equivalent of a cold slap in the face."
At Wilson the Physical Plant staff begins preparations for any upcoming snow storms. The physical plant, in charge of grounds, roadways and snow removal, has plans in place. Brian Peters, Grounds Supervisor, outlines the snow removal priorities, "our number one priority here is the childcare center, then the LPN [Nursing Program]." The rest of the plan is listed as, "Sharpe House, Rosenkrans and Disert entrances, CVSM, Prentis steps, Thomson Hall, Alumnae House and Edgar, Warfield," and so on for the rest of the campus.
One problem noticed last winter was the plowing of parking lots. Peters addresses, "I ask that students move their cars within 48 hours to help us with clearing." This seems like a good plan until one thinks about the parking on campus. Where should students move their cars? Last winter South and Riddle residents moved their cars to the Science Center parking lot. However, this only happened after students shoveled cars out by hand, with ice scrapers or a few stray trays from the dining hall. Moving the cars allows the Physical Plant staff to clear the parking lots.
In the Wilson Emergency Preparedness plan online, the snow emergency section merely addresses employees who should show up to work or not. The plan online says "When the weather is bad...essential employees are expected to come to work. Non-essential employees may come to work..." It says nothing about the student's responsibilities during a snow emergency.
My hope is that this year students have shovels and students are given snow emergency instructions in advance, such as where to move cars.