7.04 Weather and Emergency Policy

The Medical School's general position regarding inclement weather is that, short of a declared State of Emergency, the School remains open. The teaching and research activities of HMS continue despite inclement weather. In such weather emergencies, however, the Dean for Medical Education may decide to cancel classes. Unless a message to the contrary is communicated through one of the means outlined below, you should assume that classes are held as scheduled; however, use your discretion regarding travel safety.

In the event that course faculty are not able to make it in due to weather, the Office of Curriculum Services will send a message via e-mail and post an announcement on MyCourses and Canvas and/or on the door of the appropriate classroom.

If the emergency situation is inclement weather, all students at clinical sites are responsible for contacting and following the reporting instructions of their site or clerkship director. Students must use their own discretion regarding the safety of travel to their clinical site.

When a State of Emergency is declared by the Governor or other local governing official, school personnel are expected to abide by those directives, and no classes will take place. Students enrolled in clinical clerkships or clinical electives may be essential to the emergency; therefore, again, those students follow the reporting instructions of the clinical site and clerkship director.

Weather Emergencies

During weather or other emergencies, information is available to the HMS community through the following channels:

  • HMS emergency phone line (listen only),  617-432-6666
  • The HU phone line for info on all Harvard schools (listen only) 866-496-NEWS (6397)
  • MyCourses will have updates about specific courses and sessions
  • The HMS home page
  • An email announcement
  • News stations WBZ, WCVB and WHDH (channels 4, 5 and 7)
  • HMS Facebook page

Emergency Notification System

All students are required to sign up to receive emergency notifications from Harvard University’s Community Emergency Notification System called MessageMe, which allows the University to quickly distribute critical information to you, wherever you are located, during an emergency.  MessageMe helps you stay informed in the event of an emergency by sending alerts to your personal electronic device (cell phone, PDA, smartphone, etc.) through text messaging, voicemail, and/or e-mail. Students can sign up for the Emergency Notification Service by going to https://messageme.harvard.edu/.

Updated 7/11/18