News

Winter is Here

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

As the holidays approach and the temperature begins to drop, it is time to prepare homes, cars and families for times of inclement weather involving extreme cold, snow and ice.

Whether Airmen are getting ready for a blizzard or knowing what to do if your car slides off the road, being prepared is essential during the winter season.

Preparing a house for winter is just as important as preparing a family. Carbon monoxide poisoning happens more frequently in winter than any other season. Inspect and maintain household detectors to avoid any issues. Before heavy snow fall, make sure there are no weak areas in the roofing or supports of the home. Freezing pipes are also common during this time of year and can be very costly when they break.

In addition to snow shovels and salt, Airmen and families are encouraged to prepare their vehicles by putting together a winter survival kit which includes warm clothes or a blanket, gloves, boots, non-perishable food, water and some sand for when vehicles get stuck in the snow.

In the case of snowy or slick roads drivers, regardless of the type of vehicle, should slow down, leave a greater following distance than normal, be prepared for sudden stops and stagger your commute time if possible.

If stranded, individuals should remain in their vehicle for shelter and protection and wait until help arrives. Individuals shouldn’t attempt to travel through extreme conditions for help unless they know where they are going.

While the winter weather can be unpredictable, it can also be an enjoyable time if Airmen stay safe and situationally aware.

Service members and civilians are asked to follow the base operating procedures for their reporting status of mission-essential or non-mission-essential during times of inclement weather. Those unaware of the procedures for their workplace can usually find the information on the Offutt Air Force Base Website’s Inclement Weather page. There is also an inclement weather fact sheet provided to answer any questions one might have. For details not discussed there, individuals should speak with their supervisor.

On the day when inclement weather transpires, check the Offutt Facebook page or Twitter feed for the most up-to-date information. There is also an Offutt Weather Twitter page that will send you a text when information is put out about base delay’s or closures due to weather. To sign up, send a text to 40404 with “Follow Offutt_Weather” in the message.

The 55th Wing Public Affairs office will send the information to the local media for the local news to get out to the community. Lastly is the Snow and Information Line at 232-COLD, this information is updated as quickly as possible but the information is sometimes more difficult to get up due to the lack of available phone lines to the system.

Depending on the circumstances of the winter weather, the installation commander can authorize the following;

EARLY RELEASE: Unit commanders and supervisors are authorized to release non-mission essential personnel according to guidelines of the early release notification. All non-designated personnel will need to pick up their children from the Child Development Center and Youth Center.

DELAYED REPORTING: Delayed reporting is determined by the 55th Wing commander during hazardous weather conditions, and it allows base personnel additional time for safe travel to the base. Delayed reporting applies to military and civilian personnel and leave will not be charged. Non-designated personnel are not expected to be at work until the delayed report time.

DELAYED PERSONNEL REPORTING: Individuals identified by their commanders as designated personnel are to report for duty at their normal report time.

For more information about the Offutt AFB Snow and Information procedures visit http://www.offutt.af.mil/Home/InclementWeather.aspx