By GUIDON StaffNovember 27, 2013
With winter weather always a concern in Missouri during January, February and March, travelers and commuters need to know the latest road conditions before hitting the highways. For employees on Fort Leonard Wood, the post has a program in place to keep drivers informed of treacherous travel and weather-related information.
During winter weather conditions, the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood Installation Operations Center conduct Snow and Ice Removal operations in order to ensure minimal impact to training and other missions, said Becky Haas, Installation Operations Center chief.
Haas said the purpose of SNAIR is to make the road safe for travel, and the IOC has several ways drivers can check road conditions before operating their vehicles. The program is a cooperative effort between the installation's garrison directorates and mission/brigade assets facilitated by the Installation Operations Center.
Road conditions on post are broken down into color-coded definitions to tell drivers quickly what to expect as the weather changes. This information is available through a variety of means.
"The Fort Leonard Wood Weather Alerts page is updated at 5 a.m. every day (year-round) and as weather conditions change. It can be accessed from the Fort Leonard Wood home page or at www.wood.army.mil/snair/snair.pdf," Haas said.
"It's an open source, and we update it every day, sometimes twice a day and sometimes three times a day as conditions change," Haas said.
By going to the webpage, drivers can access facility closures, current road conditions, status of primary parking lots, and more.
"We put (information) out on our weather page to raise awareness of the road conditions," Haas said.
The Weather Phone is also updated daily at 5 a.m. and as weather conditions change and the recorded message can be heard by calling 563.4141, Haas said.
A new feature allows commuters to get the information pushed to them, rather than having to access the information.
"The Desktop Alert is our preferred method of publishing any severe weather related information. For personnel on the Fort Leonard Wood domain (Enterprise email), they can set up their personal profile on Desktop Alert to receive emails and text messages directly to their phone or their personal email accounts. This service is not available to all carriers. Information on this feature can be found under the 'IT Tips' banner on the Daily Blast. Setting up the service requires CAC logon," Haas said.
In addition, several local radio stations and Channel 59 on CableAmerica will carry information on road conditions and post operations.
Another feature to help those commuting from areas outside Fort Leonard Wood is the Missouri Department of Transportation web page at, http://traveler.modot.org/map/. Click the icon for traffic cameras on the left of the webpage and then select an area on I-44 to view.
"If you go to the MODOT web page, they have cameras all over the state, and there are cameras on I-44, so you can actually get a visual right outside Rolla and a visual right outside Lebanon," Haas said. "We use that as a resource to look at storms coming because most of our storms come right up I-44."
While getting weather information out to the public is the IOC's main priority, they are also responsible for clearing the roads on Fort Leonard Wood.
Officials said every road on Fort Leonard Wood is mapped out and given a priority by the IOC, and each SNAIR asset, such as LB & B, DPW, military units and others are given an area to clear.
However, the city of Waynesville is responsible for clearing Polla Road, which leads out of the West gate, Haas said.
A problem the IOC has dealt with in the past, during critical SNAIR operations, are people calling the IOC office in order to get information regarding their individual status. Haas said, the IOC does not have that information.
"If people do not know if they are critical and essential, that is something that supervisors need to put in writing to their staff members," Haas said. "The IOC cannot tell a staff member or employee what their status is -- that is their supervisor's responsibility.