SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
For many, the commute to Schriever Air Force Base is long, and with winter in full swing, dangerous road conditions are possible anytime.
In light of Colorado’s rapidly changing weather, the 50th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management and 50th Space Wing safety office are reminding personnel how to stay safe this winter.
“Driving in Colorado can be an issue during the winter season due to icy roads,” said Airman 1st Class Curerah Kopsho, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management technician. “It is important to know the hazards of winter weather and to practice safety measures.”
According to Master Sgt. Michael Hawkins, 50th SW occupational safety manager, approximately 80 percent of off-duty fatalities are caused by motor vehicle accidents.
“Commuting to work is typically the most dangerous thing you do on a daily basis,” Hawkins said. “Issues we see the most here are driving too fast for conditions and not having the proper tires on vehicles. Sometimes it’s a combination of both. It’s important to slow down, make responsible decisions and communicate with your supervisors if road conditions are more severe and you'll need to arrive to work later than scheduled.”
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, it is important to have an emergency kit and winter weather items in the car, which could end up saving one’s life.
“I would recommend taking your vehicles to auto shops to be serviced, especially since we are in the winter months,” Kopsho said. “Things that should be checked or replaced are the wipers, fluids, tires and batteries. It is also a good idea whenever leaving the house, to check the weather to see what the conditions are like and prepare accordingly.”
Schriever offers various ways for Airmen to stay informed on weather conditions.
During inclement weather, the 50th SW commander will make weather-related delayed reporting, early release and base closure decisions for safety reasons. Factors used to determine safety include road conditions, snow or ice accumulation, visibility and weather forecast.
For weather warnings and weather reporting instructions, call the snow line at 567- SNOW (7669), visit www.schriever.af.mil or check the Schriever Facebook page.
“The key to safety is patience, planning and prudence,” Hawkins said. “If you’re patient, you won’t be in a hurry. Planning appropriately, especially for poor weather, is important. Remember to be cautious and have good judgement. If you practice the three P’s, you will avoid mishaps.”
Items the Colorado Department of Transportation recommend to include in your winter vehicle kit are:
Flashlight and batteries
Warning devices, such as flares or reflective triangles
Kitty litter or sand for traction