We'll probably need to update it only two or three more times before winter’s over — fingers crossed — but the MTSU weather page at MTSUNews.com seems to have become one of the busiest websites on campus.
One day last month, MTSUNews.com/weather, a permanent URL that can be updated anytime inclement weather affects MTSU, received nearly 3,000 visitors checking to see whether the university had announced a weather-related delay or closure.
Funny thing about that day: Murfreesboro missed all the rough weather. There was no need for delays or closures here on campus, although students commuting from neighboring harder-hit counties may have chosen not to risk a drive to MTSU.
On that busy day, MTSUNews.com/weather may have saved our always busy campus information operators from answering several hundred extra "is MTSU closed today?" phone calls. They were able to answer other important questions and route other calls across campus instead.
Even if MTSUNews.com/weather only sees two or three visits on bright sunny days, the page is still useful in helping students, faculty and staff learn about weather-related scheduling changes — and how to keep safe when tornado weather arises.
All current MTSU email addresses automatically receive weather alerts, along with the other urgent messages sent by the Rave Mobile Safety system. MTSU users can also sign up, via a link to the Rave system from MTSUNews.com/weather, to receive text and voice messages, too.
MTSUNews.com/weather also includes:
· a list of local media outlets that announce weather closings and delays.
· a link to the current student handbook, which explains what students should do about class attendance in inclement weather.
· information about tornado-siren tests on campus, a link to “safe places” all around MTSU and a list of tips to keep yourself safe during tornado weather.
In short, we’ve done our best to create a “one-stop shop” at MTSUNews.com/weather to circulate information year-round on weather closings, delays and safety tips at the university.
If you’re a student, faculty or staff member at MTSU, you’ll be automatically alerted when any kind of inclement weather affects our operations here. If you need more details, or if you’re an off-campus member of the MTSU community, you can always get more information, fast, by visiting MTSUNews.com/weather.
Gina E. Fann works in MTSU’s Office of News and Media Relations and manages content for the university’s news site, MTSUnews.com.