Snow and Ice Removal. The overriding goal of Facilities Management and Planning in the removal of snow is to make University facilities safe and accessible during the winter season.
Snow and ice are a reality in Nebraska. Conditions vary greatly from one storm to another and from day to day. However, there are several things that you can do to be safe during these times:
1. Exercise additional caution in both driving and walking.
2. Be aware of conditions
3. Notify the Facilities Service Desk, extension 1800, of unsafe conditions.
4. Be patient.
5. Due to weather-related conditions such as piled snow, melting and re-freezing, bare pavement should NOT be an expectation in these areas and motorists and pedestrians should dress and act accordingly.
6. Extra caution is advised at building entrances where hard surface floors come in
Contact with ice melt also resulting in slippery conditions.
General Snow & Ice Procedures
A key element in implementing an efficient snow and ice control program is receiving timely and accurate weather information. At UNK, Facilities Management and Planning monitors local weather forecasts and also draws on information from the City of Kearney and State Patrol.
In those instances where large amounts of snow are received and/or where snow is accompanied by strong winds alternate emergency procedures may be implemented to address the unique circumstances.
Facilities Management and Planning has designated two levels of response to snow removal.
- Up to four inches. All Exterior Area Team members are called upon to address snow of up to four inches.
- Over four inches. For snow fall greater than four inches additional Facilities Management and Planning Team Members may be asked to assist with snow removal. We ask your patience during these times as other facilities services may not be available due to the reallocation of resources.
Additional caution is advised when using University facilities during the winter season because of the daily potential for hazardous conditions caused by snow, ice, wind and freezing temperatures.
During and after a storm some streets may be snow packed and snow can be expected to accumulate adjacent to the streets to the extent that a motorist's sight distance may be greatly reduced or impaired.
In general, snow is removed in the following priority order
- Accessible Pedestrian Areas
- Other Pedestrian Areas
- Parking Areas
- Campus Roads
In practice many of these areas may have snowed removed simultaneously to best utilize resources.
The custodial staff are responsible for removing snow and ice 15' around their assigned building.
Pedestrian Areas. Facilities Management and Planning maintains sidewalks, plaza areas and other pedestrian thoroughfares. Our goal is to have primary access routes into each of our facilities plowed prior to 8:00 AM the morning following the end of the storm, if weather conditions permit. In general, sidewalks and pedestrian areas are cleared in the following priority order:
- Accessible routes (please refer to the Campus Accessibility Map)
- Residence halls
- Academic buildings
- Non academic buildings
Weather and ground conditions can lead to melting snow and re-freezing problems on a daily basis. Pedestrians should dress and act accordingly.
Parking Areas. University parking areas are designed to incorporate landscaping in adjacent areas. This occasionally necessitates the storage of snow in the lots and the loss of some number of parking spaces until the snow can be hauled away.
In general, parking lots are cleared in the following priority order:
- Accessible spaces
- Commuter lots
- Faculty/Staff lots
- Residence Hall lots
- Visitor parking
Every reasonable effort will be made to open parking lanes to allow traffic flow in parking lots.
After the storm, certain parking lots may be closed for cleaning. In these cases, Facilities Management and Planning will work with Public Safety and Residential and Greek Life to notify car owners to move their vehicles temporarily.
Institutional Roads. Our goal is to make all institutional roads safe and accessible for vehicles properly equipped for winter driving conditions during and after a storm if reasonably possible.
Ice. Ice is generally addressed by the application of various ice melt chemicals as well as gravel and sand. Materials such as salt, sand, calcium and magnesium chloride are used to control snow and ice while minimizing damage to the University's infrastructure and landscape.
Exterior Area Team Members are assigned specific areas on the campus. Each Team Member regularly inspects his or her area to assure that proper steps have been taken to provide a safe travel route for our customers. They are assisted by Interior Area Team Members who monitor conditions around their assigned buildings.
However, because of the relatively low number of Exterior Area Team Members and large size of the campus they cannot be everywhere at once. In addition, the frequent freeze/thaw cycle means that there is often ice in locations that were previously clean or had been treated. If you spot ice or other unsafe conditions on campus, please report them to the Facilities Service Desk, extension 1800, as soon as possible.
In Case of Property Damage. During the course of operations any given winter, damage to property may occur. Repairs will be made as soon as weather permits and materials are available.
If University snow removal operations cause damage to property owned by another person, the individual should report the damage to Public Safety and file a tort claim with the University Risk Manager.
In Case of Personal Injury. Despite an individual's best efforts there are lapses in awareness that result in injury. In the case of any student personal injuries, see Student Health. In the case of any faculty or staff injuries, if needed, see your personal healthcare provider and report the incident to Human Resources.
Assistance to Private Property Owners. In general, no University personnel or vehicles will be used to start, push, pull or tow stranded vehicles.
Departure from Procedure. The University recognizes that conditions may be so unusual or unexpected that a departure from these procedures should be authorized. Therefore, when such conditions warrant, the manager in consultation with the Director of Facilities Management and Planning Services, may order a departure from these procedures when, in their opinion, conditions require such action.
No Duty or Right Created. The purpose of these operational procedures is to establish goals and guidelines for University employees regarding snow and ice control. It is not to be construed to create any additional duty to any individual, person or entity. This document does not provide any special protection or service to any individual or group. No additional rights shall be granted any individual or entity simply by adoption of this policy. This document may be affected in total or in part, as a result of acts of God, equipment breakdown, weather conditions, inadequacy of equipment, shortage of personnel, state, federal or municipal regulations and any other unforeseen, uncontrolled or unanticipated acts.
Due to weather-related conditions such as piled snow, melting and re-freezing, bare pavement should NOT be an expectation in these areas and motorists and pedestrians should dress and act accordingly.