Category Archives: Inclement Weather

Hurricane Sandy – Will this be a “Frankenstorm?”

While it may be late in the season for a storm the size of Hurricane Sandy, we should always make sure we are prepared for any type of storm or disaster.  As of this morning, the two computer models show that the Northern Virginia area will be impacted in one way or another.  If the storm hits closer to the Chesapeake Bay, our area will get heavy rain and high winds.  If it hits further up the coast closer to NY, we will still get some rain but the winds will not be as high.  Either way, you should prepare for power outages and possible flooding.  

If you have not done so already, we suggest that you pull out your flashlights and dust them off.  Make sure you have spare batteries as well.  Also make sure that you have bottled water.

You can go to FEMA’s website for more information on Sandy as well as useful preparedness tips.  Also,  you can go to our OEMP website for more tips as well.

Getting Ready for Inclement Weather

It is always good to be prepared for inclement weather before it happens.  Doing simple things like making sure you have a snow brush/ice scraper in your car and filling up your windshield washer fluid will go a long way to making a safer ride to class or home.  Make certain that your cell phone is charged so if you need to call for help you can instead of having to walk in freezing temps.   Also, make sure you have a few extras in your car in case you have car trouble or are in an accident.  Having a flashlight will help if you get stuck in the dark.  Putting a blanket in your car will help if you get stuck in a terrible traffic jam like the one that happened last winter stranding motorists in below freezing temps for hours.      

Be prepared at home as well by having extra supplies on hand in your house before a storm warning is issued.  You do not want to join the masses waiting in long lines at the grocery store for bread, milk, toilet paper, and batteries 8 hours before a storm hits. 

In the event of inclement weather, NOVA will notify students/faculty/staff via NOVA Alert, the College’s website, and several radio and television stations.  You can find a full list of stations along with important information detailing the College’s inclement weather policy below. 

If the College is closed, a text alert will be sent to cell phones registered on NOVA Alert, a notice will be posted on the homepage of the College’s website, and a message will appear on our cable television station (channel 19, 25, 37 or 59 – check your local listing). Individuals may also call the College Call Center at 703.323.3000, or in Prince William County 703.330.3770. Do not call individual offices.  The homepage of the College’s website will always have the most reliable and up-to-date information about weather closures.

 If inclement weather forces the cancellation of classes or requires a delay in the opening of the College, announcements will be made on the following local radio and TV stations.

WMAL 630 WAMU 88.5 WRC Channel 4
WTOP 820  WFLS 93.3 WTTG Channel 5
WFLS 1350 WASH 97.1 WJLA Channel 7
  WITH 99.5 WUSA Channel 9
  WTOP 103.5 NOVA-TV Channel 19,
25, 37 or 59 (check the local
cable listing for your
  WRQX 107.3

This is how to interpret closing announcements you hear on the media:

Northern Virginia Community College is closed. – The College will be closed until classes begin on the following morning. When this announcement is made, it means no day or evening classes will be held.

Northern Virginia Community College will open X hour(s) late. – The College’s official opening time is 8 a.m.  Delay example, a two-hour delay means that the College will open at 10 a.m. Classes that begin at 10 a.m. or later will be held as usual.  College employees should arrive at the College by 10 a.m. Supervisors of employees who work special shifts should make clear how delayed openings affect attendance expectations.  To avoid confusion, we try to provide the actual time of opening.

Morning classes at Northern Virginia Community College are canceled. – The College will be closed until noon.  The College will open at noon and classes beginning at noon or later will be held as usual. College employees should arrive at the College by noon.

Day classes at Northern Virginia Community College are canceled. – Day classes are those classes that begin before 4:30 p.m.  Classes that begin at 4:30 p.m. or later will be held as usual.  Employees whose normal work schedules extend beyond 6 p.m. should report to work by 4:30 p.m.

Evening classes at Northern Virginia Community College are canceled. – Evening classes are those classes that begin at 4:30 p.m. or later.  The College will close at 4:30 p.m. and no further classes will be held until the next morning.

Please note that in all cases of delayed openings, classes that would have started prior to an opening time and continued at least 45 minutes after the opening time will go on at the opening time.  For example, in the case of a two hour delay, a three-hour class that normally begins at 9:30 a.m. and continues to 12:30 p.m. would start at 10 a.m. and continue as usual until 12:30 p.m.

If weather conditions cause the College to close, all NOVA campuses and off-campus locations will also be closed.

The College makes its closing announcements as quickly as possible. During the workday, please do not call to ask whether the College will be closing.  If the decision is to close, everyone will be notified.  Responding to telephone calls prevents staff from receiving information from police and weather services and often slows down the closing decision.

For more information, please go to: