Extreme weather is relatively rare in central Ohio, but Ohio Wesleyan seeks to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature dishes out.



Ohio Wesleyan is served by American Electric Power (AEP). If campus power outages are tied to an AEP issue, the company will share information in its area outage map.

Ohio Wesleyan will share information, when available, via the OWU ALERT system. Please refrain from calling the OWU Department of Public Safety or the Delaware Police Department (911) for routine power-outage updates. Please reserve calls to these entities for instances when you need assistance. If you have an active emergency, always call 911 first.


If a Level 3 Snow Emergency is declared in Delaware County, Ohio Wesleyan will close for in-person work. Classes will move to remote instruction, and faculty and staff in non-essential service areas will be instructed not to report to campus. (If this occurs, affected employees should contact their supervisors for instructions related to remote work.)

To ensure the comfort and safety of students, workers in Dining Services, Buildings and Grounds, and Public Safety will be asked to report as usual.

Definitions provided by the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association: 

  • Level 1 – Snow Alert: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads are also icy, drive carefully. (Please note: Ohio Wesleyan’s vehicle usage policy prohibits University vehicles from being used if Delaware is experiencing a Level 1 or greater snow emergency.)
  • Level 2 – Snow Advisory: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work.
  • Level 3 – Snow Emergency: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be out during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roadways may subject themselves to arrest.

In addition to using the OWU ALERT notification system to inform the campus community of the weather-related closing, information will be posted on the University Web site and shared with area media including WBNS-TV (CBS 10), WCMH-TV (NBC 4), WSYX-TV (ABC 6), WTTE-TV (Fox 28), and WDLR-FM 96.7.

Winter Safety Tips

Below are winter safety tips from the OWU Student Health Center and information from weathersafety.ohio.gov

Alcohol Consumption During Cold Weather

Alcohol can speed hypothermia by taking blood away from the heart, brain, and other vital organs and sending it to the skin. Be extra careful regarding drinking behavior and watch out for one another so that intoxicated individuals are accompanied by a more sober person to ensure they get safely indoors after leaving parties, bars, or anywhere else alcohol is consumed.

How to Dress During Cold Weather

  • Dress in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Trapped air between the layers will insulate the body. Outer garments should be tightly woven, water-repellent, and hooded.
  • Wear a hat to help maintain body heat.
  • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
  • Wear mittens, snug at the wrist, rather than gloves.
  • Try to stay dry and out of the wind.

What is Wind Chill Temperature?

The wind chill temperature is how cold people and animals feel when outside. Wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by wind and cold. As the wind increases, it draws heat from the body, driving down skin temperatures and eventually the internal body temperature. Therefore, the wind makes it feel much colder. 

What is Hypothermia?

Hypothermia is abnormally low body temperature (below 95 degrees F). Warning signs include: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, apparent exhaustion.

Medical attention is needed immediately. If it is not available, begin warming the body slowly.

What is Frostbite?

Frostbite is an injury to the body when your body tissue freezes. The most susceptible parts of the body are the extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, or the top of the nose. Symptoms include a loss of feeling in the extremity and a white or pale appearance. Medical attention is needed immediately for frostbite. The area should be slowly re-warmed.


Signage is available in Ohio Wesleyan buildings to instruct those inside where to go if tornadoes are forecast. If you need to react quickly and are unaware of designated safety locations, please follow these Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines:

If you are in a large building:

  • Go to the pre-designated shelter area, if available, or to the basement or the lowest building level.
  • If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
  • Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • Do not open windows.

If you are outside with no nearby shelter:

  • Lie flat in a ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
  • Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

Signs of imminent danger include:

  • A dark, often greenish sky
  • Large hail
  • A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
  • A loud roar, similar to a freight train.

Click here for more tornado safety information from FEMA. 

Department Contact Info


Department Of Public Safety
Welch Hall 133
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-2222
F 740-368-3985
E psafety@owu.edu