Winter Storm Ready

Winter Storm Ready Handout ImageWelcome to Appalachian's Winter Storm Ready web page. The site is a resource for all members of the Appalachian community to provide the most requested information about winter weather in Boone.This site is also one of the campus education efforts for Appalachian's own Storm Ready designation through the National Weather Service.  We all enjoy winter weather, although there are some difficulties and risks that snow and ice create; we hope to make you aware of some of those difficulties and risks. 

Please take a few minutes to explore this page and the rest of the emergency web site.  Have a safe and enjoyable winter season!

Download the Winter Storm Ready PDF for distribution...

Click here to download a one-page PDF with the most important Winter Storm Ready information (PDF, 579 KB). The printable sheet is a great resource to hand out to your colleagues, roommates, or students.

Winter Weather at Appalachian




Winter weather at Appalachian usually includes snow, ice, freezing rain, and sleet from November through April. Those that have spent several years in the Boone area understand how quickly the weather can change from a sunny and mild day to a severe snow storm in only an hour. Appalachian faculty, staff, and students need to become familiar with the Boone climate and check weather forecasts frequently throughout the winter months. Check the forecast often because conditions change often. 

If heavy winter weather is in the forecast, plan ahead! Plan on staying in your apartment or residence hall for a few days. Food Services will provide services as able; however, conditions may not allow for safe travel.

 Class Cancellation and Campus Closure


How the University makes a decision to cancel classes:
Appalachian police officers monitor the campus roads and alert the Physical Plant when the roads and parking lots become icy or snow covered.  Between 5 a.m. and 5:30 a.m., University Police contacts the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, Boone Police Department, and Blowing Rock Police Department for an update of any major road issues that create special hazards for those traveling to campus. Appalachian Police then contacts AppalCart for schedule delays and updates. All information is then forwarded to the Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, who works with the Provost to make a recommendation to the Chancellor. The Chancellor or the Chancellor's designee will determine when Emergency Closing Conditions exist. Other considerations for cancellation and/or closure include forecasts, sidewalk accessibility, and a number of other variables based upon the specific weather event. Faculty, staff,  and students should become familiar with the Adverse Weather Policy for more information.

How the University notifies faculty, staff, and students:
Once the University cancels classes or closes, the information is automatically posted to the University’s homepage, telephone snow line, campus e-mail, and local media. Faculty, staff, and students should monitor campus e-mail, the university homepage, 262-SNOW, and local media for any changes to the university’s operational status. Additionally, faculty, staff, and students should become familiar with the Adverse Weather Policy. Students in off-campus programs should check the Extension and Distance Education cancellation page located here.

Follow on Twitter: Students, faculty, and staff may now follow @appstate on Twitter to receive information about class cancellations or campus closings. This information supplements, but does not replace, the more detailed class cancellation or campus closing information sent via email or posted on the university’s homepage. Twitter allows followers to have information sent via text message directly to a mobile phone.

Winter Driving Safety




What about winter weather creates the greatest risk for Appalachian faculty, staff, students? Driving. Please consider the following recommendations when operating a vehicle in winter weather:

  • Clear:  Remove any snow on your vehicle’s windows, lights, brake lights and signals. 
  • Inspect:  Check your vehicle’s tires, wiper blades, fluids, lights, belts and hoses. 
  • Time:  Allow plenty of time to reach your destination safely. 
  • Limited Visibility: Stay attentive and reduce speed.  Know what’s going on around you.
  • Speed:  The faster you’re going, the longer it will take to stop; take it slow to avoid slipping or sliding.                   Ice and Snow, Take it Slow.
  • Black Ice:  You cannot see black ice on the road. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady areas.
  • Distance:  Leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Brake:  Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly and never slam on the brakes. 

Don't drive unless you must!
*Winter Driving Tips from the Indiana Department of Transportation website, available at

 Winter Heating Safety 



Fires and carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings significantly increase in the winter months because of improper use of heating devices. Students that live on campus should be aware that no portable heating devices are allowed in any of the residence facilities. The University also has an Open Flame Policy that prohibits the use of any open flame devices, including candles. The University's Physical Plant provides heat to all buildings on campus and the use of space heaters is not recommended (safety and sustainability). For the thousands of off-campus students, faculty, staff, the following are some basic heating safety recommendations:

  • Keep anything that can burn and kids at least three-feet away from heating equipment sources.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
  • Install and maintain CO alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning.

Contact the Office of Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management for more fire and heating safety information.

Additional Resources   



AppalCart Route Changes and Announcements

Appalachian State University Adverse Weather Announcements

Appalachian State University Adverse Weather Policy 

Extension and Distance Education Class Cancellation Notices

National Weather Service Winter Weather Safety and Awareness

North Carolina Department of Transportation Travel Information

Weather: Appalachian State University

Winterize Your Course: LTS Workshop for Faculty

AppState-ALERT Registration for Emergency Voice and Text Messages


Student snow tubing on campus

  The bottom line - enjoy your winter at Appalachian - but be safe doing it.
Photo taken by University Communications.


Do you know where to find an accurate forecast? Go ahead and bookmark just a few weather websites that you can easily access. Check the weather forecast every morning because it may have changed. Appalachian State University lists the daily and weekly forecasts, as well as a number of reputable weather product providers, at Oh, by the way, the snow in this block is not necessarily representative of the actual forecast - just a nice looking graphic! You need to check for an actual forecast graphic.

Attention Faculty...Winterize Your Course!

Faculty looking to keep the learning going while classes are canceled should check out "Winterize your Course with AsULearn", a workshop offered by Learning Technology Services.

The workshop provides an overview to several of the tools available in AsULearn that can help keep the class going, even when you cannot meet in the classroom.

Visit this link for workshop information.



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