Q. When are the green, yellow and red group assignments used?

A: Green, Yellow and Red assignments are used only for communications regarding closing UAB for bad weather. Your assignment will help you know whether you need to report to class or work.

Q: Are the Red, Yellow, Green weather group assignments linked to faculty and staff workgroup assignments (A and C)?

A: No. These two assignments for faculty and staff are completely separate. Red, Yellow and Green designations are for weather closings only.

Q: How do I know which group I am in/what if I forget my group?

A: Download the UAB app and click on the WEATHER GROUP tile in the app, or visit the “Check My Group” feature at www.uab.edu/emergency.

Q: What is so complicated about closing UAB for bad weather? Why can’t you just issue closing announcements sooner?

A: Closing UAB for severe weather is not a simple process and can be frustrating for students, faculty, staff, patients and guests, waiting to know what to do. When severe weather is anticipated, decisions must be made for many different entities on campus, and announcements can be delayed or complicated, as “closing” does not mean the same thing for all entities across a complex academic, research and health care organization like ours. UAB administration understands the challenges facing members of the UAB campus community and works to err on the side of caution and provide updates as soon as possible. We have implemented the Red, Yellow and Green groups to expedite announcements to as many people as possible.

Q: How does UAB make decisions about closing for bad weather?

A: If danger is imminent, UAB Emergency Management will issue a B-Alert emergency notification as quickly as possible. When a closing for possible severe weather is being considered, university and Health System emergency management professionals are in contact with the National Weather Service, gathering general information about the weather event and having conversations specific to UAB regarding the time, location and severity of potential impact. Emergency management professionals also work with local meteorologists directly for additional information/opinion/context. Administrators gather information and schedules for campus activities and classes, as well as information about locations to/from which faculty, staff and students travel. Emergency management professionals and key administrators make recommendations to the university president, Health System leadership, and administrators who make decisions regarding the closing of academic and clinical functions. Decisions are communicated as quickly as possible using the B-Alert emergency notification system, social media and uab.edu/emergency, as well as notifications sent to local news media outlets.

Q: I drive to campus from more than a mile away. Does UAB consider student, faculty, staff and patient travel when making decisions to close the campus?

A: Yes. UAB administration seeks to gather and utilize as much information as possible to inform wise decisions when it comes to safety. We now have the ability to review maps that show the density of people who may be traveling to/from UAB, and those maps will be considered in working to provide enough time before or after a closing is announced to allow for safe travel. Because weather can be different among areas surrounding Birmingham, we encourage members of the UAB community to use their best judgment and avoid travel if their area is particularly concerning.

Q: I am a patient who has to prepare for my clinic visit (e.g., take medication, avoid food and drink, travel, etc.), and it would be inconvenient for me to do that only to have my appointment canceled. Does the UAB Health System consider that when they make decisions to close?

A: Yes. While weather closings are unpredictable, we work to minimize inconvenience for patients any time we can. That includes making and announcing appointment cancellations as early as possible.

Q: I am assigned to Yellow, but I have never or will never be asked to stay and work during a weather closing. Why am I a Yellow?

A: Assignments are done at the unit/area level, not by the individual. In the instance described in this question, your unit/area/supervisor’s weather closing plan will likely indicate that you will not stay during a weather closing. However, others in your area may be required to stay.

Q: How can I get my assignment changed?

A: Assignments are done at the unit/area level, not by the individual, so if one person in an area may need to stay during a closing, that unit/area will be Yellow. You may be a Yellow and never be asked to stay during a weather closing, but someone else in your area may need to stay and work. This is why leadership in Yellow areas are required to have a plan to ensure members of their team know who needs to stay and who does not need to stay during a weather closing.

Q: If I am a yellow, does that mean I might have to stay at campus longer than the Green group when a closing is announced?

A: Maybe. Depending on your unit/area/supervisor’s weather closing plan, some individuals in Yellow-designated areas will know that they are not required to stay. Others may have to wait for their unit/area/supervisor to make a decision regarding whether they stay or go. For instance, some individuals in Yellow areas will never stay/report for work during a weather closing. Other units/areas/supervisors may have a rotating schedule for who needs to stay. Other Yellow individuals might always stay/report for work during a weather closing depending on their job duties.

Q: Will this eliminate all confusion around weather closings?

A: No, but it is an important step. In an institution as complex as UAB with diverse academic, research, health care and community service missions, closing for weather will not be simple for some units/areas/individuals. However, this new system will reduce or eliminate confusion for the majority of people, and allow 30,000-plus students, faculty and staff to receive closing announcements and updates sooner and with less ambiguity.