Garrison provides inclement weather notifications for safety

by Mary Davis
U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Public Affairs Office

Cold weather can create hazards affecting road conditions, duty reporting and school closings, and the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz is ready to make the tough calls in regard to safety.

“We want to ensure our Army Families are safe by making prudent decisions when the weather creates dangerous driving conditions,” said U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Commander Col. Keith E. Igyarto. “Gathering information and making decisions early can sometimes be difficult, because bad weather can change very quickly. The safety of our Soldiers, family members, civilians and local national employees is always our top concern, so making careful, judicious decisions is

Adverse weather can happen anytime, but when it occurs overnight, driving conditions can be negatively affected. In these instances, military police units report worsening road conditions between 2 and 3 a.m. to the garrison’s Director of Emergency Services Lt. Col. Steven Kane.

In the early hours of the morning, the DES director informs the garrison commander of the inclement weather conditions, they review reports and also take into account the forecasted weather for affected installations.

“After reviewing all the information, the commander determines the necessity of school closings and delayed duty reporting for Soldiers and civilian employees,” Kane said. “If there are delays or closures, the information is communicated to the USAG RP community between 4 and 5 a.m. via the AtHoc emergency messaging system, USAG RP Facebook page ( and AFN-Kaiserslautern Radio at 105.1 FM.”

When weather conditions begin worsening in the morning after people are already at work and children are in school, the garrison commander determines whether early release or school closures before noon are feasible so children can be transported home safely.

In regard to school closures, Baumholder school decisions are made solely by the garrison commander based on DES recommendations. School closure decisions impacting Kaiserslautern schools are made jointly in a coordinated effort between the Army and Air Force commanders. Additionally, if one school in the Kaiserslautern Military Community is closed, then all Department of Defense Education Activity facilities in the KMC will close as well.

“If the weather becomes severe in a particular location, parents can make a judgement call whether to send their child to school or not,” the commander said. “Always choose the safer option.”

When the garrison commander initiates early work release in instances of adverse weather, all garrison facilities will close as soon as they are able. Army Child Development Centers and School Age Centers will remain open to accommodate mission-essential personnel only. Non-mission essential personnel will be contacted for early pickup of their children.

According to the garrison’s inclement weather policy letter, mission-essential personnel are determined by mission and will vary. Garrison directors will notify their employees if they are considered mission essential. In general, mission essential garrison employees may include emergency services, emergency repair, snow removal and Emergency Operations Center operations personnel. Depending on mission needs, other agencies and personnel may be included as essential personnel. In any case, when inclement weather makes driving hazardous, everyone (to include mission essential personnel) should refrain from driving until the roads are safe to do so.

Staying informed is critical when adverse weather hits. That’s why it’s important for people to sign up to receive AtHoc notifications via phone and email. To sign up, visit the USAG RP website at and click on the “AtHoc Mass Warning/Notification System Registration” on the left side of the page.

For current road condition information 24/7, community members can access the most up-to-date road conditions and weather warnings for all garrison installations via the IMCOM-E Road Conditions and School Closures site at:

The site is updated by the DES based on their military police patrols on the various installations. It’s important to note, however, that the driving conditions reflect the designations for on post only and not the local communities surrounding the installation. The road conditions outside the gates can vary widely from better to worse than what is indicated for government vehicle travel on post.

Knowing post road conditions is always important. The Installation Command-Europe site displays road conditions with designations of Green, Amber, Red or Black.

Green – Road conditions are normal.

Amber – Road conditions vary from normal to dangerous. Vehicle operators should exercise additional precautions. Most installations should be open, but stay tuned for possible late reporting or early release.

Red – Road conditions are hazardous. Exercise extreme caution. Individuals are discouraged from driving privately-owned vehicles unless absolutely necessary. Possible late reporting or early release of personnel and closure of services.

Black – Road conditions are extremely hazardous. Government Owned Vehicles used off base or off post are at the discretion of the owning commander. POVs should not be on the road. Installations will likely be closed.

Again, motorists should drive more cautiously off-post, because roads may be more hazardous in the local communities surrounding installations, especially at higher elevations such as Baumholder and Sembach.

“Conducting early assessments and notifications are critical in keeping our USAG RP community safe,” the commander said. “We do our best to ensure transparency when it comes to our garrison processes so people will understand how decisions are made to keep our Army Family safe.”