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Snow Emergency Follow Up Measures

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
Chief Human Capital Officers
From: 
John Berry, Director
Subject: 
Snow Emergency Follow Up Measures

Thank you all for all your efforts over the past two weeks in dealing with the record snowfall in the Washington, DC, area. Working together to encourage telework, utilizing work schedule flexibilities and communicating via teleconferences and other means, we demonstrated the Federal Government continues to meet essential mission requirements in difficult conditions.  

While recovery from the largest snowfall in our history has progressed to reopening Government today on a normal work schedule, the impact of large amounts of snow is still evident. Blocked lanes, limited visibility around snow piles, and limited use of sidewalks is continuing to cause problems for pedestrians and commuters alike, and this will likely continue for at least the rest of this week.

As the largest employer in the DC area, the Federal Government can play a significant role in minimizing traffic gridlock by continuing to encourage maximum use of telework and adjusting alternative work schedule days off and credit hours (if available). Within the bounds of any applicable union agreements, agencies may want to allow their employees to adjust their start and stop times to further stagger arrival and departure times in order to further ease traffic congestion. Agencies may also accommodate requests by employees who do not currently do so to utilize alternative work schedules. Temporarily increasing the number of employees operating under these flexible work schedules may also cut down on gridlock.  

You may want to also remind your employees of the advantages in commuting cost and time they may have by using carpools and DC area mass transit.

I encourage each of you to maximize use of these flexibilities and be creative in helping your employees adapt to these unusual conditions while still doing the work of the United States Government.

Thank you again for your continued efforts in making the best of this difficult weather situation.