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Washington, DC, Area Emergency Dismissal or Closure Procedures

Wednesday, November 15, 2000
Human Resources Directors
Janice R. Lachance Director
Washington, DC, Area Emergency Dismissal or Closure Procedures

Each year, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issues "emergency dismissal or closure procedures" for agencies and employees in the Washington, DC, area. These procedures, which are designed to apply not just in adverse weather conditions, but in all kinds of emergency situations, were developed over a period of many years in consultation with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. As in the past, the attached procedures are based on the principle that the business of the Federal Government is vital to serving the public everywhere.

The attached procedures will apply in any situation that prevents significant numbers of employees in the Washington, DC, area from reporting for work on time or which requires agencies to close all or part of their activities. For example, the attached procedures will apply during adverse weather conditions (snow emergencies, severe icing conditions, floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes), air pollution, disruption of power and/or water, interruption of public transportation, and other emergency situations. Federal Executive Boards (FEBs) and Federal Executive Associations (FEAs) have established similar emergency dismissal or closure procedures in other major metropolitan areas. A copy of the current proceduresmay be downloaded from OPM's website at

Agencies should avoid independent action in the event of area-wide work disruptions because any changes in the working hours of Federal employees in this area must be coordinated carefully with municipal and regional officials in order to minimize disruption of the highway and mass transit systems.

Designating "Emergency Employees"

Agencies are responsible for identifying "emergency employees" and notifying them in writing that they are designated as "emergency employees." The term "emergency employee" is used to designate those employees who must report for work in emergency situations.

Communication with Agencies

OPM will use the attached emergency dismissal or closure procedures for any disruptions caused by adverse weather conditions or other emergency situations in the Washington, DC, area. Announcements of the current weather status and/or the status of Government operations will be available on OPM's home page. Recorded messages on operating status also will be provided by OPM's Office of Communications on (202) 606-1900.

For More Information

You may download a copy of the newly revised "Emergency Dismissal or Closure Procedures for the Washington, DC, Area" from OPM's web site at http://www.opm/oca/compmemo/2000/dismissal.htm.

For further information about the attached emergency dismissal or closure procedures, please contact OPM's Office of Compensation Administration on (202) 606-2858 or by FAX on (202) 606-0824 or email at