Daily Dose: New Snow Policy for Feds Announced

Growing up in Syracuse, New York, one of things I very quickly became use to was snow. Syracuse and Upstate New York are always prepared for winter, with snow plows running 24/7 if needed, salted roads and things rarely shut down completely. DC is not like this at all, and the Washington Post has reported a new snow policy to help keep feds safe.

In the first overhaul of its bad-weather policy in 14 years, the government is vowing to avoid the chaos that unfolded Jan. 26, when thousands of drivers were trapped in gridlock for as long as 12 hours. Most workers left the office just as snow began falling at rush hour. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) now makes a 4 a.m. announcement about whether the federal government will close for the day or open late. But it’s planning to make the decision even sooner, sometimes as early as the previous evening, depending on the forecast.

OPM also plans to change the time they announce the federal government is closing down. Currently, the policy calls for agencies to close two hours early, but with employees starting work at different times, there is always some confusion about what workers can leave and who can stay. The change is policy is that a time will be announced when the government will close, and workers could either leave by the announced time or are encouraged to stay at the office until the weather clears. The Post states:

“Our basic point is, it’s a recommendation we strongly suggest,” said Dean Hunter, OPM’s emergency management chief. “You’re not going to have security guards go through the building and tell people, ‘You’re going to have to leave now.’ ”

These are some small changes that will make a big difference if the government needs to shut down.

What have you done in the past?

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