Information sharing is key during inclement weather

By USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Public AffairsDecember 13, 2022

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Snow, ice, rain and fog are a big part of the winter and fall season in Germany - especially in the Baumholder Military Community. To make sure all of our community members stay safe on the roads, there are a few things to pay attention to so you can play an important role of staying informed and making safe decisions.

Stay informed

- Sign up for the ALERT! Mass Warning Notification System. Go to the garrison's official website and click on the red banner at the top of the homepage. U.S. Army personnel stationed at or on assignment in Europe are required to register.

- Like and monitor the garrison’s Facebook pages: U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz at and Baumholder Military Community.

- Listen to AFN. In the Kaiserslautern Military community, AFN is broadcasted on 105.1 FM or 106.1 FM, and in the Baumholder Military Community AFN is broadcasted on 107.9 FM. Or, listen to AFN anywhere in Europe with the AFN Go application. Another useful source for road conditions is AFN’s Facebook Group, KMC Traffic by AFN, which offers crowd-sourced updates on off-base road conditions.

- Keep an eye on road conditions and learn the definitions. Road conditions throughout all IMCOM-E sites can be found by going to the garrison’s website and clicking on “Road Conditions” in the “Top Links” menu. Understanding the terms is key:

·        Green: Ideal road, temperature, and visibility conditions exist.

·        Amber: Ideal road, temperature, and visibility conditions do not exist.

·        Red: Road, temperature and visibility conditions are dangerous.

·        Black: Road, temperature and visibility conditions are extremely dangerous.

·        Road conditions at amber, red and/or black may result in operational delays, early releases and/or closures. Please note that the garrison does not determine closures for mission units and tenant partners.

It’s also important to note that posted road conditions reflect on post circumstances only; however, they can be an indicator of existing road conditions outside the installation. Additionally, on-post road conditions can change quickly depending on the weather and how quickly roads can be cleared.

It is possible that Ramstein Air Base could have different road conditions than Rhine Ordnance Barracks or another Army Kaserne depending on how quickly roads are cleared and then reevaluated.

On-post road condition definitions can be found here.

Keeping up with road closures and knowing what the terms mean are keys to safe driving during inclement weather.
Keeping up with road closures and knowing what the terms mean are keys to safe driving during inclement weather. (Photo Credit: Graphic from IMCOM-Europe's website) VIEW ORIGINAL

Understand the process

- In Baumholder, the garrison commander and respective garrison manager determine work delays, early dismissals and closures.

- In the Kaiserslautern Military Community, Army and Air Force commanders make coordinated school closure decisions. Weather conditions are a moving target. School closure decisions are made as early as possible.

- If an early closure is announced, non-mission essential personnel must pick up their children immediately at Child Development Centers and School Age Centers. All other CYS facilities and programs will be closed in accordance with the garrison closure plan.

Unless specific information is issued via the ALERT! System or on official garrison social media platforms, expect work report times and services to start as usual.

Snow and ice removal

In accordance with host nation law, snow and ice has to be removed from public sidewalks, in front of buildings and from trails, entrance ways and steps into all facilities that are adjacent to and abutting the garrison street system. There are certain time limits and procedures you must keep in mind when removing snow and ice:

- Removal has to be done by occupants of those buildings or facilities between 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. on workdays. On the weekends, snow removal will be limited to occupied buildings and starts at 9 a.m. When in doubt, contact the building’s facility manager.

- Snow removal must begin within 30 minutes after snowfall has stopped or if the snow reaches an accumulation of 5 cm or about two inches, or if the ice has formed on the paved surface. In extreme weather situations, the cleaning procedure has to be repeated as often as necessary to maintain safe walkways. According to DPW, the general rule is to first sweep off the snow, then throw de-icing or abrasive material such as salt, sand or gravel onto the area. Snow removal should never impact traffic so don’t throw salt on the street while there are pedestrians and vehicular traffic.

- Snow and ice removal will be done to the extent that two people can pass while abreast. Appropriate abrasive material will be spread over the entire surface of irremovable snow or ice which remains in the sidewalk, to the extent necessary to keep the sidewalk in a safe condition for public travel.

On-post self-help stores offer the tools and de-icing materials needed for the ice removal. On Baumholder, visit Bldg. 8665 or Bldg. 335 on Rhine Ordnance Barracks.