Winter Storm Update, 1/2/2014

3:07 p.m.

Dear Columbia Community,

The Emergency Management Operations Team is closely monitoring the approaching winter storm. The National Weather Service forecast predicts heavy snowfall and blizzard-like conditions Thursday evening into Friday morning. We urge all members of the Columbia community to stay informed about conditions as the storm intensifies.

Tomorrow, Friday, January 3, because of potentially hazardous commuting conditions, only essential personnel should report in to work. Consistent with University Policy, essential personnel are expected to work as directed by their supervisors. All staff should check with their supervisors before leaving today to verify whether they are designated "essential" personnel.

As of this time, CUMC and ColumbiaDoctors clinical practices plan on opening on Friday. We suggest however, that patients call their health care provider's office to confirm appointments.

Morningside Campus Service Updates

  • Please note that the main gates of the Morningside campus open at 116th Street, at both Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue will remain open. The following gates will be closed during snow removal – Chapel Gate, Earl Hall Gate, CPSR Gate, NW Corner Staircase.
  • To report an emergency on campus, call Public Safety at (212) 854-5555. For off-campus health or safety emergencies, please call 911.
  • Facilities continues to be available at Morningside to assist with campus and building services. To contact the Facilities Services Center, call (212) 854-2222, 24 hours a day.

Columbia University Medical Center Updates

  • CUMC Facilities Operations and CUMC Public Safety are available to assist with campus, building or other issues that may arise. For Facilities, please call 305-HELP or email For Public Safety, dial 305-8100 for routine matters or 305-7979 for an on-campus emergency. Updates for the CUMC community will be posted and updated at

Before You Leave
In preparation for the inclement weather, Facilities would like to remind everyone to do the following before departing this afternoon:

  • Make sure all windows are closed securely. This single step may be the most important way that you can protect your work area from potentially-damaging high winds.
  • Remember windows in spaces that are not usually occupied. It is often an open window in one of these "forgotten" rooms that causes frozen or split pipes, not to mention wasted energy.
  • Leave all radiator valves and fans coils on to ensure adequate heating and to avoid damage from freezing. Fan coils should be set to the slowest speed setting.
  • Clear clothing or furniture away from heaters to avoid inadequate heating that may cause freeze-ups and damage.
  • Make sure all faucets are off.
  • Report problems, such as leaks or windows or doors that cannot be closed, to the Facilities Services Center by calling the Facilities Services Center, call (212) 854-2222, 24 hours a day.

For More Information
For more information on weather and transit, please visit:

As the situation changes, we will continue to update the Columbia Preparedness website, and the Columbia homepage, The Columbia University Medical Center homepage,, will also be updated. Alternatively, you may call 212-854-1754 for the Morningside campus or 212-305-7300 for the Medical Center.

Again, please exercise caution if you need to travel, and dress in warm layers if you need to be outside.


Joe Ienuso
Executive Vice President, Columbia University Facilities
On Behalf of the Emergency Management Operations Team