Commentary by 50th Space Wing
The following is a reminder of the Snow Call process and procedures:
Snow Call procedures
To find out the current road conditions or snow call decisions, call 719-567-SNOW (7669) or check http://www.schriever.af.mil/snowcallprocedures.asp.
Early release, delayed reporting or base closure may be necessary when road conditions are hazardous or impassable. These three conditions are defined as follows:
Non-mission essential and non-emergency personnel may depart their work location at a specified time before the end of the official duty day. Commanders are encouraged to release personnel in phases at 30-minute intervals to avoid heavy traffic.
Schriever is closed. Military members and Department of Defense civilians are not permitted to come or go from the base. Mission essential personnel will remain in place until their replacements can safely make it to the base. All Schriever events are cancelled until further notice.
Non-mission essential and/or non-emergency essential personnel have an additional amount of time to report for duty. Personnel should arrive at their duty station one to two hours later than their normal arrival time, depending on the commander’s recommendation. Mission essential personnel should report for duty per normal schedule. Plan to depart earlier if local road conditions will delay the commute. Wing calendar events will pick up as scheduled at 8: 30 or 9:30 a.m., respectively.
Snow Call process
The 50th Space Wing commander will make weather-related delayed reporting, early release, and base closure decisions for only one reason: Safety. Factors used to determine safety include: road conditions, snow or ice accumulation, visibility, weather forecast and the ability to access Schriever parking lots and buildings.
Road conditions throughout Colorado Springs neighborhoods where Schriever personnel live are taken into consideration. More than 70 percent of Schriever personnel live east of Interstate 25, but elevations range from 5,900 to 7,700 feet. Determining safety starts with the on-duty 50th Security Forces Squadron and 50th Civil Engineer Squadron flight chiefs. The goal is to make a decision by 4 a.m. whether to delay, open as normal or close Schriever. The 50th SW commander makes the final decision based on all information provided.
After making the decision, the Wing Command Post and Public Affairs office get the word out to Schriever personnel via the base Web site at www.schriever.af.mil, the Snow Call hotline at 719-567-SNOW (7669) and local radio and television stations.
In Colorado, weather conditions can change rapidly, making the process challenging depending on the strength of the storm. Safety is priority when making all snow call decisions. It’s always best for critical missions at Schriever AFB to err on the side of caution. Commuters should take their time, drive defensively and always notify their supervisor if road conditions are more severe for the commute to Schriever and they’ll need to arrive work later than scheduled.