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Adapt to winter conditions to avoid injury

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- Freezing precipitation turning to sleet, hail and then snow with a wind chill down to negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Ahhh ... winter on the Great Plains - no wonder buffalo have such thick pelts. Thankfully, your ice and snow removal teams are out working literally around the clock. As many as 20 team members at a time plus facility managers supplemented by contractors are out scraping, pushing, melting and throwing ice and snow from runways, taxiways, main roads, sidewalks and parking lots. But that's not enough to keep people safe during hazardous winter conditions.

There are some precautions you can take as well. First, those spiffy dress shoes may not be the best bet under harsh winter conditions. During cold weather months, Airmen may opt to wear parkas and black combat boots on "Blues Mondays." If you need to look good for the boss, think about wearing some solid all weather boots with traction to get to and from the office and put your dance shoes on after you get inside.

If you see a dangerous-looking slippery spot, rather than waiting to see if your wingman makes it across the ice, make a call so we can get some help on the way to clear the hazard. For help in the housing areas, call Rising View customer service at 991-9820. If you're near the building you work in, your first line of defense is your facility manager. For all other areas, or if you just can't determine who might be primarily responsible, call civil engineering 24/7 customer service at 294-6101.

The first priorities for our base snow team are to keep the runway, taxiways and main roads clear so folks can get to their work sites. With limited resources, unfortunately, sometimes you may get to the parking lots before they do so caution and a good pair of boots could be the smart ticket.

As always, the phone number for inclement weather is 232-COLD (2653), which provides the best source for the latest information on the base operational status.

Here's a list of points of contact to help you survive Nebraska winters: 

Inclement Weather Line: 232-COLD (2653) 

civil engineering 24/7 customer service (ice & snow removal): 294-6101 

Rising View service request (ice & snow removal): 991-9820 

Your facility manager 

A good pair of boots!