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HAZARDOUS WEATHER AND EMERGENCIES PLAN

 

 

January 2015

 

 

HAZARDOUS WEATHER AND EMERGENCIES PLAN BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN AREA FEDERAL AGENCIES

 

 

Ref:  U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Guidance

 

 

I.  PURPOSE

The Baltimore Federal Executive Board (FEB) has established a coordinated Hazardous Weather and Emergencies Plan to uniformly and equitably address adverse weather or other emergency situations affecting the majority of the Baltimore Metropolitan commuting area .  The plan follows OPM guidance referenced above.  (Agencies in the Washington, D.C. National Capital Area are governed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Emergency Group Dismissal/Closure Plan).  

 

II.  SCOPE

     a. FEB Member Agencies - The decision to participate in this Hazardous Weather and Emergencies Plan is at the discretion of the Federal agency head or commander.  Over 100 agencies currently participate in this plan.  These agencies should verify that they are plan participants.

 

    b. The Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), located in Woodlawn and the Baltimore District, US Army Corps of Engineers in Baltimore City maintain their own plans.

 

III. GENERAL:

    a. The decision to participate in this Hazardous Weather and Emergencies Plan is at the discretion of the agency head.  Each agency must decide what its internal plan will be in advance of a given situation and make it known to all employees including those physically separated from the base of operations.

 

    b.    If an agency is participating in this Hazardous Weather and Emergencies Plan, all employees should be instructed to listen for announcements broadcast over the radio & TV stations identified on page 4 of this document.  

 

     c. All employees are to presume, unless otherwise notified, that their office or agency will be open each regular workday regardless of weather or other conditions that may develop.

 

     d. Critical federal operations, which cannot be suspended or interrupted, are to be identified by the agency concerned and identified in an internal agency directive outlining its specific plan.  All agencies should identify those employees who perform duties that are vital to the continuity of computer or medical facilities, public safety, national defense or other crucial operations and who, of necessity, must be at work regardless of emergency situations or any general dismissal authorization.  Such employees should be identified and informed in writing that they have emergency status. (OPM guidance).

 

    e. This Hazardous Weather and Emergencies Plan concerns itself with employees working the agency's basic work hours.  For those agencies with employees working other than the basic hours, an internal plan should be developed by the agency for notifying these employees of hazardous weather policies. No provisions of the guidelines set forth in the plan may be applied in contravention of contractual agreements, Comptroller General rulings, or other pertinent controlling policies.

 

    f. Treatment of leave in all cases is at the discretion of the agency head.  It is recognized that unscheduled leave (as used in this weather plan) is a result of the emergency weather condition and applies only to that condition and timeframe.  Uncheduled Telework is also now an option for those employees who have an approved telework agreement in place.  Agencies should follow their normal leave policies and any special guidance issued by OPM which may be appropriate to a particular event (e.g. Hurricane).

 

    g. FEB Voice Message Service: Agency heads or their designated official only will be provided the FEB Voice Message Service.  Funds are not available to purchase a system large enough to accommodate all employee calls.  If it is abused, we will receive a very large phone bill or the system will crash.  Once the agency head has the information, he/she may initiate their agency’s internal notification system.  Some agencies have voice mail; small agencies may use a cascade system.  

 

    h. The purpose of the voice message service is to give agency heads an early official notice.   In addition, WBAL Radio 1090, WTOP FM 103.5, 103.9 & 107.7 ,WBAL TV 11 and WJZ TV 13 will be notified.  (See page 4).  These stations normally begin announcing the weather notices at 5 am.  The notices should read “Federal Executive Board (or FEB) Agencies are _________________”.  It should not say ‘Federal Agencies’.

    
IV. PROCEDURES:

 

    a. This plan was established to address inclement weather at any time of the year, snow, ice, hurricane, a State emergency, or any other conditions, which may adversely affect the majority of the Baltimore Metropolitan commuting area.  Weather plan information is posted on the FEB website:  www.baltimore.feb.gov  & is the last page of this plan.

 

    b. A Hazardous Weather Committee consisting of senior officials from the following agencies will serve as the joint recommending body.  They are:

    Chair:  Executive Director, Baltimore Federal Executive Board (FEB)
    Members:
      Department of Veterans Affairs Baltimore Regional Office
      Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
      General Services Administration (GSA)
      Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) Maryland
      Veterans Benefits Administration - Veterans Professional Development Academy
      Department of Homeland Security Elements (ICE and USCIS)

 

    c. Once a situation or condition has been predicted or occurs, the FEB Executive Director will coordinate as necessary with the above individuals either individually or by conference call.  When sufficient information is available about a pending storm and the situation warrants, the FEB Executive Director will contact the entire committee via a conference call, at 4:30 am but no later than 4:45 a.m.  The weather situation will be discussed.  The committee will then arrive at a consensus regarding remaining open, code yellow or code blue and/or unscheduled leave.

 

    d. The Committee will try to arrive at a consensus no later than 4:50 a.m.   Agencies participating in this plan should call the pre-recorded, updated voice message service – See Footnote 1/ below - provided by the FEB, which will provide the committee’s official recommendation.  Internal agency plans are then implemented as appropriate.    As a secondary source of information, the FEB provides the same advisory information to the designated radio & TV stations shown below

 

    e.    Early Dismissal.  During duty hours the FEB will monitor the weather conditions and confer with the committee members individually or by conference call for a course of action consensus.  The FEB will then post a message on the voice message service.  Agencies may then notify their employees.  In the event of questionable conditions, agency officials are advised to periodically call the voice message service for updated information. 

 

    f. Radio and Television Stations:

        Radio AM                                            Television Stations                      

        WBAL 1090                                         WBAL - Channel 11 & cable equivalent
        WTOP 103.5;103.9;107.7                     WJZ - Channel 13 & cable equivalent
    
Messages from the above stations will identify agencies as “Federal Executive Board Agencies” or “FEB Agencies”.  (The SSA HQ and CMS HQ located in Woodlawn will be announced separately and are not included in the Federal Executive Board notices).

 


Footnote: 1/ The FEB has established a pre-recorded Voice message service to which only designated agency officials have access.   The agency head or his/her designated official must call the FEB Executive Director for the access number.

 

Dr. Chris A. Heidelberg, Acting Director

This web site is designed to provide you with as much information as possible about the many programs, events, and initiatives in our Federal Executive Board area. All federal agencies and installations are considered “members” of the FEB.

To learn more about the FEB and Maryland area federal agencies, see our Vision, Values, and Mission Statement.

We look forward to your participation and input!

Dr. Chris A. Heidelberg, Acting
Executive Director
Baltimore Federal Executive Board
(410) 962-4047



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