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By Tech. Sgt. Hailey Staker
JBER Public Affairs
Each year, many questions are asked on social media and through official channels regarding a myriad of winter weather, snow removal and reporting status topics. The Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Public Affairs office has compiled a list of frequently asked questions for personnel and their families to utilize throughout the winter season.
If you do not see your question here, send it to email@example.com and it will be added to the list.
Q: How do I find out what the current road conditions are?
A: Road Conditions updates can be found on the JBER Connect App, JBER Facebook page and phone line at (907) 552-4636.
Q: How often is the decision made to delay reporting or close the installation?
A: Historically, the decision to delay reporting or close the installation occurs twice a year.
Q: When will road conditions change to green?
A: The 673 MSG/CC, with recommendations from 673d Security Forces Squadron and 673d Civil Engineer Group, will determine appropriate road conditions. One such condition considered is the removal of gravel from the roads after the weather improves.
Q: Who's responsible for clearing Elmendorf (JBER-E) and Richardson (JBER-R) Roads?
A: The 773d Civil Engineer Squadron heavy repair flight is responsible for clearing the airfield, base roads, parking lots on JBER-E and Bryant Army Airfield on the Richardson side. All roads and parking lots on Fort Richardson are under contract for snow removal.
Q: What are the installation’s priorities for snow removal?
A: Priority One - primary runways, taxiways, alert facilities, and emergency and munitions routes
Priority Two - the remainder of airfield taxiways, petroleum, oil and lubricants access roads and primary base roads
Priority Three - all other facilities and parking lots
Housing and Residential Questions:
Q: Who’s responsible for clearing residential roads and driveways?
A: Residential roads are covered under an Aurora Housing contract, and residents are responsible for clearing their driveways.
Q: What can I do to help increase the speed and effectiveness of snow removal efforts?
A: Anything that can be done to reduce the number of vehicles parked on the road will assist the snow removal teams. We announce all snow events prior to dispatch of the plows. Please remove vehicles from the roads until your neighborhood is completed. Additionally, please report all abandoned vehicles to JBER Security Forces using the JBER Connect app or visiting the abandoned vehicle reporting form on www.jber.jb.mil.
Q: Why does the contractor sometimes push snow into rows in the middle of the street?
A: These are referred to as wind rows. These are created to prevent large berms from forming at the base of driveways and allow for easy hauling of snow. Rather than pushing the snow off to the side, into driveways, lawns, and sidewalks, our contractor turns the blade inward and creates rows in the middle of the street. A blower (a large snow thrower) follows behind the plows and picks up these rows and places the snow in trucks to be hauled to a snow dump.
If you encounter a wind row, know that it will be removed and do not attempt to cross it! To access the other side of the street or drive in the opposite direction, you will need to drive until there is a break in the wind row, like at intersections, and turn around there. In most cases, wind rows are removed shortly after they are formed, however in instances of high accumulation, this may take longer than normal as the contractor prioritizes opening up rows versus hauling snow.
Q: Where can I go to get shovels and ice melt for my driveway in housing?
A: Residents can obtain shovels and ice melt from at the Aurora Self Help Center located in the rear of our 6350 Arctic Warrior Drive office Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ice Melt and Sand Aggregate are available in limited quantities starting Nov. 1. Most self-help center items can be requested online and placed in an after-hours locker outside of the facility. These lockers can be accessed 24/7 and are a great way for individuals with busy schedules or alternative work shifts to get the items they need.
Q: How much snow removal equipment am I allowed?
A: The winter is split into two periods; bag allowances will not roll over into the next period:
Period 1 (November to December), Period 2 (January to April)
1 Bag of Ice Melt, 2 Bags of Arctic Grip per period
Q: What are the average response times during a snow event?
A: The average time for completing a full snow removal event is 48 hours after new accumulation reaches 2 inches. Any additional accumulation more than 2 inches after removal has been completed restarts this clock and is treated as a new snow event. Further cleanup, additional hauling of snow, sanding, and ice removal utilizing our new ice breaker will occur periodically or as needed and without announcement.
Q: Who do I report information to if my street hasn't been plowed?
A: Since it can take up to 48 hours to remove snow, there is no need to report progress to us unless removal does not occur in the targeted time frame. We recommend checking auroramilitaryhousing.com/blog for updates on the status of snow removal efforts. We will share relevant updates here. Reports should be submitted electronically at auroramilitaryhousing.com/contact. Select “Comment/Complaint” as the subject and fill in all requested information.
Q: What information is required to report street status?
A: We require your name, address, contact information, and as many details as you are able to share. Pictures can also help us determine the scope of the issues and quickly communicate discrepancies or concerns with our contractor.
Q: What are the guidelines for removing snow and ice from my sidewalk? Is there a timeframe it needs to be removed by?
A: Snow and Ice must be removed from your driveway and home’s walkway within 24 hours after snowfall has stopped. Public sidewalks are the responsibility of our contract team. When removing snow and ice from your driveway, please place it in your yard. Placing snow or ice in the street is prohibited unless otherwise specified in handbook section 3.6.
Q: Where can I go for information regarding snow removal status?
A: We recommend signing up for our email list, liking or following our Facebook page, and checking our blog periodically. All snow related announcements are shared on all three channels.
Work Center Guidance:
Q: What does delayed reporting mean?
A: All members report for duty while exercising caution and arriving as soon as conditions permit. Expected reporting time will be specified, but will normally be 10 a.m. Child Development Centers, Youth Centers, and School Age Programs will open 1 hour prior to report time.
Q: What is mission-essential reporting?
A: Only mission-essential people, as determined by unit commanders and supervisors, are required to report for duty. Unit commanders must specifically identify who they determine as mission-essential in advance. If you have not been told, ask your supervisor. CDCs, Youth Centers, and School Age Programs will be closed.
Q: Where can I go to get shovels and ice melt for my work center?
A: Your GPC holder can purchase shovels and ice melt from the GSA store or Arctic Issue. Snow blowers are available for issue at Bldg. 5329 every Tuesday and Thursday starting Oct. 18. Call (907) 552-0496 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Q: Who is required to clear ice and snow within work center jurisdiction?
A: Facility managers employ a facility snow plan, and employees of the work center are required to clear snow from walkways, emergency exits, sidewalks and around fire hydrants, fences and gates. For fire hydrants, fences and gates, snow must be cleared at least five feet around these items. Additionally, snow must be removed around electrical boxes. Snow blowers are available for issue at Bldg. 5329 every Tuesday and Thursday starting Oct. 18. Call (907) 552-0496 or email email@example.com for more information.