Article - March 1, 2024

Severe Weather Decision Checklist for Schools

lightning on a school

Questions to Ask When Making School Closure or Delay Decisions

Get the Facts

Having a consistent source for weather information is crucial when it comes to making safety decisions for your school district. To make an informed decision, you need to understand how the weather event will affect the most vulnerable areas of your district.

Questions to ask meteorologists and local/regional officials when evaluating weather risk during the school day:

  • Has the event already started and is it expected to continue?
  • Are current conditions poor or likely to deteriorate?
  • Will road conditions deteriorate, or will they improve?
  • Will the weather become more severe or will it clear?
  • Is the event expected to be extended or short lived?
  • Will all areas of the district be affected by the storm?

Consult with Experts

The superintendent is ultimately going to be making the final call when it comes to delays or closures, but don’t feel that you can’t seek recommendations from experienced resources in your district that may have deep knowledge of the problem prone areas.

Have you consulted with these relevant partners?

  • Meteorologist that can provide forecasts and current conditions for specific points across the district
  • Neighboring school districts
  • Police/Fire/EMS
  • Public Works
  • Public Transportation services
  • District directors from the transportation, operations and athletic departments or campus administrators.

Should you schedule a conference call or emergency briefing?

Follow Best Practices

  • If school is in session, consider early dismissal, but realize that it may be hard to get in touch with caregivers.
  • If you know the day before that weather is expect to impact next day operations, then try to announce by 9 p.m. to meet nighttime news deadlines
  • If weather conditions are expected to deteriorate overnight, but may not last throughout the following day, consider a delayed start.
  • If the decision must be made in the morning, try to make the announcement by 5 a.m. to accommodate staff and parents who are first on campuses or may have further to travel.

Weather companies like StormGeo can provide forecasts and alerts based on the unique risk tolerances for specific locations across your district.

StormGeo is known for its best in industry customer service. When your district is threatened by severe weather, StormGeo meteorologists are available 24/7/365 for direct consultation and to guide you through our forecasts— giving you confidence to make critical business decisions and ensure safe and efficient operations.

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