Staff Report by
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
With winter weather looming, Schriever personnel need to know how to receive information about road conditions and base closures or delays.
The following is a reminder of the Snow Call process and procedures:
Snow Call procedures
To find out 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 followed:
Non-mission essential and non-emergency personnel may depart their work location at a specified time before the end of the official duty day. The 50 Space Wing commander will specify the phasing intervals based on individual zip codes to avoid heavy traffic.
Schriever is closed. Military members and Department of Defense civilians are not permitted to come on or go from the base. Anyone coming on base while closed will not be permitted to leave until roads on Schriever AFB are safe for travel and are encouraged to remain on base until off-base roads are safe for travel. All mission essential personnel on base will remain in place until their replacements can safely make it to the base. Housing residents on base are not permitted to drive on base until all roads on Schriever AFB are safe for travel and are encouraged to remain on base until off-base roads are safe for travel. 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 no later than two hours later than their normal arrival time. Mission essential personnel should report for duty per normal schedule. All personnel should account for additional travel time when departing for their duty station in order to arrive safely by the required time. Wing calendar events will pick up as scheduled at 9:30 a.m. Occasionally, delayed reporting may be directed to allow civil engineers time to clear on-base roads and parking lots. In that case, the delayed reporting instructions will include to report “no earlier than” a specified time.
Snow Call process
The 50 SW 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 after they have been cleared.
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 50 SW commander makes the final decision based on all information provided.
After making the decision, the 50 SW 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 a priority when making all reporting decisions. Commuters should take their time, drive defensively, and always notify their supervisor if road conditions are more severe for their personal commute to Schriever and if they’ll need to arrive at work later than scheduled.
Finally, while leadership endeavors to make the correct decision each and every time, some areas will naturally be impacted more than others. It is rare that all 8,000 people working at Schriever AFB will be impacted equally so everyone should take responsibility for their personal safety and practice sound operational risk management.