S5E8 - Responding to a Weather Emergency

Doug McKenna | Sarah Reed |
December 19, 2022
  • Collaborative Decision-Making
  • For the Record
  • Leadership and Management
  • business continuity
  • emergency response
  • registrar
  • weather response

Responding to a Weather Emergency 

We are seeing an increase in the frequency and strength of major weather events, or emergencies caused by weather events: Hurricanes, snow storms, wildfires, etc. In this episode, we use the backdrop of Hurricane Ian to discuss preparedness for weather emergencies on campus. 

Key Takeaways:

  • A Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) is a critical document that enables rapid and thorough response to an emergency situation. If you haven’t reviewed your COOP, or if you don’t have a COOP, start there. Your emergency management team should be able to assist. 

  • Registrar’s offices have a specific set of responsibilities that need to be accounted for in the case of an emergency; planning for a worst case scenario is a good idea. Assume no power, no internet, and no system status for some period of time.

  • Designated, authorized individuals in the registrar’s office may need to create a “driveaway kit” that includes information about student class schedules, emergency contact information, and any other critical forms, documents, or information that your institution may need. 

  • Often, the majority of the work relating to a weather emergency happens once the storm (or event) itself has passed. Maintaining flexibility, understanding, and working with compassion with your staff, your students, and your faculty can go a long way to restoring some semblance of normalcy. 

  • Being able to coordinate with other registrars is very helpful! AACRAO and your regional association can help you make those connections.     


Sarah Reed, Registrar
University of California Hastings College of the Law

Doug McKenna, University Registrar
George Mason University


Brian Boyd
University Registrar
University of Central Florida

Additional Resources:

ready.gov - Federal resource for emergency planning

Continuity of Operations Plans - FEMA guidelines

Core Competencies and Professional Proficiencies:

Leadership and Management

Collaborative Decision Making