ANU ACTON campus impacted by hail storm

20 January 2020

ANU campus has been impacted by a hail storm. Regular updates will be provided on this page.

 

Last update 3pm Wednesday 22 January 2020

The ANU Acton campus will reopen tomorrow (Thursday 23 January).  

Safety remains our highest priority. Please take care when you return to the campus tomorrow as there may be some broken glass, water leaks and other hazards present. As we are still cleaning up the campus, please be aware of heavy vehicles and equipment operating on campus. 

A comprehensive inspection of all buildings and facilities is currently underway, with most buildings being reopened tomorrow. A full list of buildings which will be reopened tomorrow can be found here. The list will be updated continuously over the coming days so please check the website for updates to your building.  

If your building is not on this list, it is either still being assessed or needs further work before being reopened to staff. For staff and students impacted, your supervisor or building custodian will make alternative work/study arrangements. We appreciate your patience while we work through assessments.  

Please note that within these reopened buildings, there may be local areas of damage and you should work with your building custodian or supervisor on alternate arrangements.  In addition, some buildings have sustained damage to windows (which are being boarded up) and air-conditioning units. Even if you can access a building and work within it, it may take time for some of these repairs and equipment to be brought back online.  

Some childcare centres will be operational from tomorrow. Childcare centres will liaise directly with parents to update them on opening arrangements.  

We understand that many members of our community have been impacted and we have set up a hotline to assist staff and students. Please call the hotline on 02 6125 3346 (select 'Option One'), if you require assistance with:  

·         hardship you are experiencing  

·         flexible leave options  

·         relocating your damaged vehicle to a safe location  

·         transport to and from campus. 

The Parking Office will not issue fines to damaged vehicles on campus this week, but if your car is undamaged please respect normal parking restrictions. 

If you are concerned about any impact on your research or missing deadlines, including submission of your thesis, please speak with your supervisor and convenor.   

Our Facilities & Services staff are doing a superb job in clearing debris from across campus and ensuring buildings are safe and accessible. To support their efforts, please:  

·         avoid parking next to cars damaged by hail to allow unimpeded access for tow trucks  

·         wear enclosed shoes and walk on sealed pathways  

·         take caution moving around campus as there is still water and debris  

·         consider using public transport or carpooling to campus  

·         report hazards with the online tool, Figtree, or email whs@anu.edu.au

This has been a very challenging start to the year and I encourage you to reach out for support if you need it.  

Counselling is available for staff and family members through Assure - 1800 808 374 (this number operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week) and Relationships Australia - 02 6122 7100.  Appointments can be taken in person or over the phone.  

Students can access support via ANU Crisis Support Line on 1300 050 327 or via SMS Text message service on 0488 884 170. You can find additional information on mental health and wellbeing, as well as links to critical services [go to anu.edu.au/news/all-news/taking-care-of-your-health-and-wellbeing].    

Please visit the FAQ page for further information.

 

Last update 5pm Tuesday 21 January 2020

The ANU Acton campus will remain closed tomorrow (Wednesday 22 January) except for essential staff, those staying in residences and those using the Kambri precinct (including ANU staff and retailers). As the clean-up has progressed, it has become apparent that the damage is more extensive than first thought. The safety of our community is our top priority and we are unable to open campus tomorrow.   

Thankfully there were very few injuries yesterday, but across campus, at least 80 buildings have been damaged, including windows, awnings, skylights and glasshouses. Minor flooding has been reported in several buildings, although as far as we are aware there is no damage to our art or book collections.  

Each building on campus is being individually assessed and we will provide regular updates on the ANU website on their status. The website will also provide you with information about car parking and childcare centres. Please visit anu.edu.au.  

Our Facilities & Services staff are doing a superb job in clearing debris from across campus and ensuring buildings will be safe and accessible when we reopen.  

We understand that many members of our community have been impacted and we have set-up a hotline to assist staff and students. Please call the hotline on (02) 6125 3346 (Option One) if you require assistance with:  

  • Hardship you are experiencing  
  • Flexible leave options  
  • Relocating your damaged vehicle to a safe location  
  • Transport to and from campus. 

The Parking Office will not issue fines to vehicles on campus this week.  

If you are concerned about any impact on your research or missing deadlines, including submission of your thesis, please speak with your supervisor and convenor.   

Once again, I'd like to acknowledge the extraordinary resilience and collegiality of our community in the face of these challenging conditions and encourage you to make use of counselling services if they would help.  

Counselling is available for staff and family members through Assure - 1800 808 374 (this number operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week) and Relationships Australia - 02 6122 7100.  Appointments can be taken in person or over the phone.  

Additional details, including responding to reactions to natural disasters and traumatic events, can be accessed through the following link [go to anu.edu.au/news/all-news/taking-care-of-your-health-and-wellbeing].  

Students can access support via ANU Crisis Support Line on 1300 050 327 or via SMS Text message service on 0488 884 170. You can find additional information on mental health and wellbeing, as well as links to critical services [go to anu.edu.au/news/all-news/taking-care-of-your-health-and-wellbeing].   

 

Last update 10.15am Tuesday 21 January 2020

As a result of yesterday's hail incident, the Acton campus is closed today to all but essential staff and those staying in residences while we continue with cleaning up and repairs. The decision to close the campus was not taken lightly, but safety is paramount and we need time to make the campus safe and assess the damage. Whilst some buildings and grounds appear unaffected there may still be some hazards that need to be assessed and managed.

Our facilities staff and contractors have already made excellent progress with the clean-up of the campus and assessment of building safety and we expect to be able re-open tomorrow, noting some isolated areas may be closed longer.

We will issue advice this afternoon at 3pm via email, the web and social media confirming the campus will reopen and detailing any special arrangements for areas that require further attention before we can use them.

As I said yesterday, these have been a tough few weeks for many of us. I thank staff, students and all in the ANU community for the collegiate manner in which we have adapted to the disruption. We have proved to be a resilient and productive community, but please don't be afraid to seek support, if you need it.

ANU provides all staff with access to support and counselling through the Employee Assistance program which can be reached on 1800 808 374. 

Students can access support via ANU Crisis Support Line on 1300 050 327 or via SMS Text message service on 0488 884 170. You can find additional information on mental health and wellbeing, as well as links to critical services [go to anu.edu.au/news/all-news/taking-care-of-your-health-and-wellbeing].  

 

Last update 5.17pm Monday 20 January 2020

As a result of today's hail incident, the Acton campus is closed and will remain closed tomorrow (Tuesday 21 January) to all but essential staff and those staying in residences while we carry out further damage assessments and repairs. Please work from home, unless directed otherwise by your supervisor.

Assessments are ongoing, but we know there is damage to a large number of buildings. We acknowledge some of you may need to come on campus to make arrangements for damaged vehicles. Water and debris may affect accessibly to some parts of campus. Please do not come onto campus unless it is essential.

We are working to re-open the campus on Wednesday 22 January and will issue advice tomorrow via email, the web and social media.  

We are all feeling the physical and mental health effects of the last few weeks - and today's events are particularly difficult following the challenging times we've all had with fires and smoke. It is important we all care for one another and each other. Please don't be afraid to seek support. ANU provides all staff with access to support and counselling through the Employee Assistance program which can be reached on 1800 808 374. 

Students can access support via ANU Crisis Support Line on 1300 050 327 or via SMS Text message service on 0488 884 170. You can find additional information on mental health and wellbeing, as well as links to critical services [go to anu.edu.au/news/all-news/taking-care-of-your-health-and-wellbeing].  

We want to assure you that we are seeking to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, students and visitors while also making sure we can provide the essential services needed to support our university community.

 

Last update 3.10pm Monday 20 January 2020

If you are in a building that has been damaged, and have safe means to travel home, we encourage you to do so.

Please take care in these difficult conditions.  Your safety is the most important thing.

We understand many cars have been damaged. Do not drive your damaged vehicle.

If possible, please make alternative travel arrangements and the University will reimburse you. If you have no alternatives, we are arranging some buses. If you live on the southside, please go to the Anthony Lowe Building main reception; if you live on the northside, please go to University House. If you need travel assistance for any reason please call 02 6125 0179 - note some mobile networks appear to be experiencing technical issues.

We have extra security rostered on this evening, but if safe to do so please remove valuables from your car or office.

We will communicate with you later this evening about the situation for tomorrow.

 

Last update 1.58pm Monday 20 January 2020

Staff and students should shelter in place if it is safe to do so, and follow instructions of their Wardens. There may be more storm fronts on the way so travelling at this stage is not advised.

We are assessing safety of all buildings and will advise as soon as possible of next steps. Please encourage people to take care and avoid areas of damage. We will advise you when it is safe to leave campus.