Who declares a winter weather emergency?
When severe weather affects any part of the state, the Continuity of Government Planning Director confers with the Duty Officer and Homeland Security and Emergency Management in the Department of Public Safety, and may receive input from the State Patrol, Department of Transportation, and local law enforcement. If conditions warrant a state office closure, the Continuity of Government Planning Director will provide the information to the MMB commissioner, who will then declare a weather emergency.
What conditions are assessed?
A number of conditions must exist to warrant Executive Branch state office closure. These factors are considered to determine whether an emergency should be declared in the affected areas:
- Are state highways open and snowplows operating?
- Are local transit systems running?
- Is wind, cold, or ice a factor?
- Are power or heating systems affected?
Where are weather emergencies declared?
Weather emergencies can be declared statewide, or may be limited to specific portions of the state. Weather emergencies are declared wherever a number of conditions exist to warrant Executive Branch state office closure.
When and how will I know an emergency has been declared?
Agency heads (or appointed designee) will be notified. All state agencies should have an internal procedure developed to relay office closure information to their employees.
If an emergency is declared during the night, the media will be notified prior to the start of the normal work day. An announcement detailing the date, time, and geographic location of the closure will be given by MMB to WCCO radio (830), KSTP, WCCO, FOX-9, and KARE TV for broadcast. The announcement will also be forwarded to radio stations in greater Minnesota through the Associated Press. Broadcast stations will announce updates in the emergency declaration.
Employees can get basic information about MMB-related weather emergencies and Executive Branch state office closures 24-hours per day by visiting MMB’s Office Closures Website: www.BeReadyMN.com
In addition, MMB will “tweet” information via www.twitter.com. Employees are welcome to sign up voluntarily from their personal computer and/or cell phone devices to receive information in this fashion.
Which state employees are affected by MMB-declared weather emergencies?
All state employees in Executive Branch Offices EXCEPT:
- Minnesota State Colleges and University (MnSCU) employees. MnSCU has statutory authority to close their campuses;
- Employees who are required by their agency to work during a weather emergency
What if a weather emergency is NOT declared, but I cannot get to work?
There may be unique individual situations due to an employee’s location that makes it impossible for that employee to get to work even though an emergency has not been declared for their area. In those circumstances, supervisors are encouraged to allow the employee to make up the lost time or use compensatory time or vacation leave. For weather essential employees, special circumstances may warrant alternate work options, which will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the supervisor. Minnesota Management and Budget may be consulted relating to weather essential employees.
What if a weather emergency is declared in a county, and I work from a home office in that county?
If a person works from a home office and they have work to do without having to travel, they should continue to work their normal work day.