When County facilities close due to severe weather conditions, numerous County employees stay on the job to maintain essential County operations, and keep Arlington going. Here’s a sampling of the many ways County staff work throughout major storms:
- Employees staff the Water Pollution Control Plant 24/7/365, ensuring we are protecting the Chesapeake Bay.
- Public safety employees — Police, Fire, Sheriff, Emergency Management — remain on the job around the clock, keeping us safe.
- The 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center (ECC) brings in extra staffing to handle spikes in the volume of calls received during extreme emergencies. Additionally, Watch Desk Officers are on hand to monitor all weather related information, the volume of calls for service, trees and/or wires down, power outages and other emergency information. These watch officers then send out critical Arlington Alerts when necessary to further alert the public.
- Trash and recycling services and the Customer Call Center follow the County’s operating status.
- If County offices are closed, trash and recycling services will be postponed. Services will resume when County offices reopen and continue until all trash and recycling is collected.
- If County offices are on a delayed opening or early closure schedule, trash and recycling collection will occur as normal but collections may run a day behind.
Keeping the County Moving
- When weather emergencies close down County offices, work crews are still out clearing streets, sidewalks, parking lots, trails, and trees that have fallen.
- County officials participate in regional and County conference calls in the early morning hours — or whenever needed — to determine delayed opening or closure.
- Community centers are opened as needed for emergency shelters.
- In the event of severe emergencies, we activate a 24/7 Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to coordinate the emergency response.
Public and Targeted Outreach
- Keep the public informed through Arlington Alert, County’s social media accounts and County website. Maintain the County’s Snow & Ice Central and keep it updated.
- Information on snow removal phases, trash and recycling, and ART service impacts are communicated through a variety of channels, including Dept. of Environmental Services’ Facebook and Twitter.
- Send notification to registered volunteers, encouraging them to reach out to civic associations to help with sidewalk snow clearing for those who need assistance.
- Notify homeless persons of impending storms and encouraging them to move to the Emergency Winter Shelter or use other resources.
- Assess, triage, and meet emergency needs of vulnerable adults who are over 60 or have a disability.
- Contact priority (isolated, at risk) residents and, as necessary, make home visits and/or provide medications.
- Call residents to reschedule medical, health, counseling and therapy appointments.
Behind the Scenes
- Our many technology tools and cloud-based services enable us to work from anywhere. Staff can continue to access email, videoconferencing, social media, and make updates to County websites. For example, during the month of Feb. 2015 (several snow events), the web page through which employees can access the telework portal had nearly 15,000 views.
- Code enforcement inspectors stay on the job to enforce the County Snow Removal Ordinance that requires that property owners remove snow and ice accumulations from public sidewalks adjacent to their properties.
- Arlington Public Library staff will brave the elements to keep book drops from overflowing when the buildings are closed by weather.
- Staff in our central Human Resources department keep the payroll moving by ensuring time sheets are completed and funds are deposited in time.
Also visit County Snow Prep, to learn how County staff prepare for an impending storm.