Time to prepare for SNAIR Print E-mail
Thursday, 26 October 2017
By Marti Yoshida
Public Affairs Office

The Farmer’s Almanac predicts winter in Missouri “will be milder than normal, with above-normal precipitation and snowfall.”

That said, crews on Fort Leonard Wood and in the surrounding community are preparing for whatever Mother Nature has in store this year.

“We begin coordination for Snow and Ice Removal, or SNAIR, as early as August or September,” said Becky Haas, Installation Operations Center chief. “SNAIR is a cooperative effort between the installation’s garrison directorates and mission/brigade assets, and is facilitated by the Installation Operations Center.”

“The purpose of SNAIR is to keep personnel aware of current road conditions, manage removal of snow and ice, and get the installation back to normal as soon and as safely as possible, with minimal impact to training and other missions,” Haas added.

One of the most important actions in preparation for SNAIR is that major activity directors and commanders identify critical and essential personnel. Critical and essential personnel need to receive written notification from their supervisor if they will be required to report for duty during inclement weather delays.

Throughout the winter season, SNAIR action officers at the IOC keep watch to determine when there    is a potential for severe weather or hazardous road conditions affecting Fort Leonard Wood, and based on this potential, will notify all on-post activities.

 “No winter is ever the same, and we remain vigilant to respond to all types of situations,” Haas said. “Communication and awareness are key to safety during an event, and for successful recovery following a winter storm.”

“First-line supervisors and their employees, including all permanently assigned personnel or students attending courses on post, need to plan ahead for what to do and who to contact when winter weather hits,” Haas added. “In the past, people have called the IOC to get information regarding their individual report status. The IOC does not have that information, and individuals need to contact their first-line supervisor.”

Haas explained, “Fort Leonard Wood never fully closes during winter weather,” making it important for supervisors and employees to understand safety actions that will be issued.

Safety actions include unscheduled leave, curtailed operations and suspended operations.

According to Maj. Crystal Batey, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence operations chief, “If Fort Leonard Wood command issues ‘unscheduled leave,’ supervisors may grant leave to non-mission-critical personnel.”

“For example, even though main roads may be clear following severe ice or snow conditions, side roads may not be drivable, so an employee may need to request unplanned time off,” Batey said.

“Curtailed operations” mean there is a delayed start time or early release.

“Curtailed operations, such as a two-hour delay, allow road crews to clear the roads safely and efficiently,” Batey said. “A two-hour delay does not mean personnel may report to work anytime they want within a two hour period; it means they should plan to arrive two hours after their normal start time. So, an employee with a normal start time of 7:30 a.m., should plan on arriving at work at 9:30 a.m. during curtailed operations.”

“Suspended Operations” signifies that only mission critical personnel report for duty.

“Mission critical personnel may include military police, first responders, Directorate of Public Works and designated members of the SNAIR support team. All others, including training units, must obtain approval from their authorized delegated officer before reporting to duty,” Batey said.

Planning ahead for winter weather conditions is easier with the availability of many resources for receiving local, state and national weather alerts, warnings, delays and closures.

“Desktop alerts, along with text, email and phone alerts through the AtHoc Mass Notification System, are our preferred method of publishing severe weather-related information,” Haas said. “Personnel on the Fort Leonard Wood domain (Enterprise email), as well as contractors, Family members and tenants, are encouraged to sign up to receive AtHoc alerts by following the directions on the Fort Leonard Wood website at: www.wood.army.mil/newweb/documents/weather/AtHoc_Alerts.pdf. Instructions are provided for Common Access Card and non-CAC holders.

The Public Affairs Office provides SNAIR updates, safety actions and facility closures on the Fort Leonard Wood Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/fortleonardwoodmissouri/.

Local radio and media outlets, along with resources like the National Weather Service (www.weather.gov), and the Missouri and Department of Transportation Traveler Information Map (http://traveler.modot.org/map/), provide up-to-date notification of weather and road conditions.

“The Traveler Information Map is a great feature to help those who may be commuting to post from areas outside of Fort Leonard Wood,” she said.

Haas said a daily online weather report is available on the Fort Leonard Wood website at www.wood.army.mil/newweb/weather.html, or by calling “The Wood Line” weather phone at 573.563.4141. The weather phone is updated 5 a.m. daily, and as weather conditions change.

“When winter weather affects the area, we appreciate everyone’s support to return conditions to normal as quickly as possible,” Haas added.

For more information, contact the Installation Operations Center at 573.563.5045.

(Editor's note: Yoshida is on a 120-day assignment with the Installation Operations Center.)