OPM to Change Snow Policy

Leave when told or 'hunker down'

By Kelvin Robinson
|  Thursday, Nov 3, 2011  |  Updated 3:13 PM EDT
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The federal government wants to prevent another car-pocalyptic situation on the roadways this winter, so for the first time in more than a decade, officials are revising the snow and bad weather procedures.

Part of the new proposed plan would have federal employers telling their workers to "shelter in place" in the case of another major storm.

The Office of Personnel Management is considering a menu of options to tackle the problem of snowstorm gridlock.  The agency explains in a statement:

Potential options under consideration by OPM include additions to our dismissal guide to incorporate a staggered dismissal, with a "leave no later than" departure time, as well as a "shelter in place" option. OPM is in the process of closely coordinating this draft policy with our partners at the federal, state and locals levels, including chief human capital officers and Federal unions.

The change comes following a major debacle in January. During a snowstorm, it seemed that nearly all of the more than 300,000 federal workers in the Washington region were on the roads at the same time, creating gridlock that lasted up to 12 hours in some areas.

The OPM says it's reaching out to local government and federal unions on the plan before they make final decisions on putting it into practice.

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