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Purdue braces for winter storm, asks students to move cars

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. –– Purdue officials Monday (Jan. 31) cautioned students, faculty and staff to prepare for severe winter weather, sign up for text alerts and monitor the Purdue Home Page as well as their university e-mail accounts for announcements.

“The weather forecast is unclear for this area,” said Carol Shelby, senior director of environmental health and public safety. “We could have significant snowfall, freezing rain or sleet – or all three – compounded by high winds. We will be watching the weather as it develops, and our top concern will be safety.”

Police also are asking students to remove their vehicles from the main streets around campus – especially Martin Jischke Drive, First, Third and University streets and roadways surrounding residence halls – which will become emergency snow removal routes from noon Tuesday until noon Thursday. Purdue University Residences has opened the McCutcheon Hall garage to make room for students needing off-street parking. A gravel lot off Nimitz Drive on the south end of campus also will be made available for students who live in that area and need off-street parking.

Locations for parking and snow removal routes will be posted.

Those who have not registered to receive emergency text notifications can go to http://www.purdue.edu/securepurdue, click on “Change My Emergency Contact Number,” enter your Purdue account name and password, click on “Emergency Contact Information” and enter your cell phone number. Scott Ksander, executive director of information technology networks and security, recommends that Verizon Wireless subscribers update the network information in their cell phones quarterly to help ensure they will receive the text messages. To do so, call *228 (“star” 228) and select option 2, “Update Roaming Capabilities.” No action is necessary for other wireless carriers.

Purdue’s weather page at http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/health_safety/weather.html provides links to weather-related information such as the Weather Channel and a wind chill chart, steps to take to prepare for harsh weather, the best ways to dress for winter weather, maps of the Purdue pedestrian tunnels, CityBus routes and more. Students living off campus are urged to make sure they have sufficient food, water, blankets and other necessities if needed.

Should Duke Energy lose power due to icing conditions, the university has the capacity to provide its own electricity for 65 to 75 percent of the campus, with residence halls and critical research receiving top priority.

Should it be necessary for coordinating responses, an emergency operations command has been established at Purdue Police headquarters. Purdue police and fire officials are collaborating with area emergency services to ensure uninterrupted emergency services.

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