By USAG Benelux Public AffairsJanuary 19, 2018
CHIÈVRES, Belgium -- Although Belgium has a milder climate compared to other areas in Europe, it is wise to be informed when inclement weather hits the area. Garrison officials at U.S. Army Garrison Benelux installations at Chièvres, Brussels and Schinnen will do everything they can to keep services running, but some weather conditions may result in changes in road conditions, school closures, work delays or temporary shutdown on some of the garrison services.
-- Go to the garrison's official website for updates at www.usagbenelux.eur.army.mil. In the center column, there is a section called Emergencies and Weather. There is a link for IMCOM-Europe Road Conditions and School Closures page, on which USAG Benelux has a specific section. You can see what the road conditions are at any of the USAG Benelux locations. If road conditions remain the same, the date it was last updated will remain the same as well.
-- Like the USAG Benelux Facebook pages: USAGBenelux (SHAPE and Chièvres), USAGBeneluxBrusselsCommunity (Brussels) and TriBorderCommunity (Tri-Border area).
-- Listen to Armed Forces Network, or AFN, Benelux at 107.9 FM (Chièvres and Volkel Air Base), 101.7 FM (Brussels), 106.2 FM (Kleine Brogel Air Base) 106.5 FM (SHAPE), 99.7 FM and 96.9 FM (Tri-Border area). You can also stream AFN 360 Radio at http://benelux.afneurope.net.
-- Make sure you are registered in AtHoc, the garrison emergency messaging service. AtHoc alerts will be sent by phone and on your computer in case of closures or delays.
-- For traffic updates, forecasts and traffic jams in Belgium, checkhttp://trafiroutes.wallonie.be/trafiroutes/maptempsreel/#. The website provides updates in French, Dutch, English and German.
KNOW ROAD AND DRIVING CONDITIONS TERMS
On the IMCOM-Europe Road Conditions & School Closures website page, the road conditions are set at green, amber, red and black. These levels apply to military vehicles. For instance, the garrison shuttle will not run during red or black road conditions.
Next to the color-coded road conditions are the driving conditions. These are an advisory to drivers of privately owned vehicles and are set as follows:
Non-hazardous: Normal vehicle operations.
Hazardous: Drivers are likely to encounter snow, slush and patches of black ice. Caution is advised.
Dangerous: Drivers are likely to encounter snow, drifting snow, black ice and limited visibility. Extreme caution is advised.
Extremely dangerous: Drivers are likely to encounter snow, heavy drifting snow, extreme sheet ice, limited visibility and potential "whiteout" conditions. Only emergency travel should be conducted.
Driving and road conditions do not dictate whether you should come to work, they are indicators that you should practice extra caution. Military Police evaluate road conditions at the most deteriorated spots on-post and in the surrounding communities, per defined factors. As a result, the road conditions for Chièvres may be different than the road conditions at SHAPE.
For SHAPE driving conditions, visit SHAPE2Day.com.
UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS
The garrison commander and respective garrison managers determine work delays, early dismissals and closures. SHAPE and Brunssum officials decide on closing the schools.
Delayed reporting or garrison closure announcements will be made after 5 a.m. Upon notification, the IMCOM-Europe Road Conditions and School Closures website is updated. Information is aired on AFN, posted on the Facebook pages and sent via the AtHoc messaging service.
When a delay is announced at any of the USAG Benelux communities, employees in the affected area have extra travel time to report to work safely. All garrison support services will delay opening by the same time frame. This allows the Directorate of Public Works, or DPW, time to clear the roads and parking lots on posts.
Employees are responsible for their own safety and should make a conscious judgement prior to hit the road. They should contact their supervisor if they choose to request leave.
Unless specific information is issued on the Facebook pages or via the AtHoc messaging service, the community should expect work report times and services to start as usual.
Child Development Centers and School Age Centers are open to the children of mission-essential personnel only during work delays or closures. If an early closure is announced, non-mission essential personnel must pick up their children immediately. All other CYS facilities and programs will be closed in accordance with the garrison closure plan.