Closing Your Office for Inclement Weather? Here’s How to Get the Word Out

— Written By

It’s that time of year again! With temperatures falling below freezing and sporadic precipitation, Mother Nature is sure to deliver a good winter storm (or two). More often than not, these inclement weather events will cause our county offices to close early, open late, or remain closed entirely until safe travel conditions can be restored.

In the past, Extension offices would have to announce their closings or modified hours by making a WordPress post, creating a tweet, posting on their Facebook page, or adding a Google Calendar event. While we still think posting your office closures to social media is a good idea, we now have a new feature in WordPress Admin (launched just this week) that will help you post your office closings whether they are for a holiday, due to inclement weather, unforeseen circumstances, facility maintenance or a special event. You can even proactively add upcoming holiday closures if you want, so you don’t have to constantly enter them throughout the year.

To access the new feature, login to WordPress as you normally would, click ‘Site Settings‘ on the left-hand menu, then select ‘Office Closures.’ You’ll notice at the top of the page your normal Office Hours, and at the bottom is a table of your Holiday and Weather-Related Closings.

Screenshot of Site Settings page in WordPress Admin

Here are the basic rules for how the system is setup to work:

Screenshot of mobile website, with alert message in place.
  • You can enter as many upcoming or current “closures” as you want. You cannot select a date in the past, but you can always select today.
  • If you accidentally enter more than one closure for a particular day, the one that was entered most recently will take precedence.
  • On the public side of things, your website (both on mobile and desktop) will automatically check to see if there are any closures listed for today for your office (either a full closure, late open, or early close) and will automatically display a message on your website if one is found.
  • If no closures are found for today, the website will also check ahead to the next business day to see if there is an upcoming closure we should make the user aware of. If there is, we’ll show it! (i.e. if the user accesses the site on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, they would see that you’re closed on Monday).
  • Closures cannot be edited, you can only add and delete, so if you wish to make a change, you must remove the errant entry and submit a new one.

As an added benefit of this new centralized system, we’ve created a page on the intranet that lists all of the upcoming county office closures.

Written By

Photo of Mike Vysocka, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionMike VysockaBusiness and Technology Application Specialist (919) 513-3362 mike_vysocka@ncsu.eduExtension Information Technology - NC State University
Updated on Sep 11, 2017
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