Extreme temperature lows this weekend require students and facilities to prepare for potential plumbing and heating breakdowns. With an expected low of -17 degrees on Friday night and winds up to 20 mph, students are being advised to stay in place, avoid spending time outside and ensure that all windows and doors are properly closed.
The Office of Residential Life prohibited all registered events for Friday night, but events will be allowed on Saturday night.
“One of my main concerns is always a student, late at night, walking alone, maybe intoxicated, underdressed and the danger of hypothermia,” Executive Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols said. “We’re asking students to be very aware of that and make sure to step up their game in regard to watching out for one another and reporting any people they see that may be in danger.”
Facilities are prepared for more pressure on the heating system and will be keeping close watch on the heating plant to avoid any breakdowns. A second boiler will be employed to counteract the extra demand and the HVAC system is being checked to ensure levels are accurate before the cold snap as well.
“The most important preparation that can be done needs to be done by the entire campus community,” Associate Vice President for Facilities and Capital Projects Jeff Tuttle wrote in an email to the Orient. “Check to make sure that all windows and exterior doors are completely closed! With the temperatures that are forecasted and along with the wind, it literally takes only a few minutes for a radiator or pipe to freeze, especially if it happens to lie right below an open window.”
If students have minor issues with heating or plumbing before 3:30 p.m. on Friday, they are encouraged to call the work order line directly. After that point, for both minor and severe issues, students should call security.
If a pipe bursts, students are encouraged to move their belongings away from the area and vacate if possible, as the water from the pipe will be hot. Facilities staff will be on campus and responsive.