2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

School open but base closed? Here’s why

Published: December 4, 2013, 1:10 pm, by Tom Roeder

aflogoWednesday’s storm put Pikes Peak region military bases on delayed reporting and drove Fort Carson to give non-essential workers a day off.

But thousands of area students, from kindergartners up, had to trudge to class on time as troops got a break.

We asked Schriever Air Force Base, which had delayed reporting Wednesday, how they make their call. Here’s their answer:

“The intent of our snow call is to get our people safely to and from their home and duty location during inclement weather conditions. When road conditions are hazardous or impassable, delayed reporting, base closure, or early release of personnel may be necessary.

In order to make this decision, base leadership takes input from multiple sources.  First our civil engineers provide the status/requirement for on-base snow removal based on current conditions.  Our Security Forces will then confirm on and off base road conditions.  Then local and national weather information is analyzed.  All of this is fed to senior leadership who will then compare notes with the other local installations on their conditions, status and intended posture.  Ultimately, leadership makes a decision based on all available data and relays that information to our Command Post and Public Affairs teams.  The Command Post announces phased early release, base closure, delayed reporting and road condition changes through its emergency notification system and base public address system. The message is also recorded on the Schriever Snow Call Line. If required, the wing conducts a unit recall notification.  The 50th Space Wing Public Affairs office also notifies local media outlets of the base conditions and reporting procedures as well as updates the Schriever Facebook message.

During inclement weather, the safety of our people is our utmost concern.”