A Level 3 snow emergency, doesn’t necessarily mean employees must stay home

action shot of a snow plow

I live in Ohio. We have winters with snow storms and ice. We also have what are known as Snow Emergencies.

Basically, law enforcement officials in the various counties can issue Snow Emergencies to protect the public and help in the clearing of roads during and after a storm hits.

There are 3 Levels.

Level 1 – Snow Alert: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads are also icy, drive carefully.

Level 2 – Snow Advisory: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work.

Level 3 – Snow Emergency: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be out during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roadways may subject themselves to arrest.

Seems pretty clear cut. If the level is 3 then you should only drive to work if you are absolutely needed or have a job that is considered emergency related like a nurse, firefighter, or police.

Well I guess in Findlay, too many workers heeded the level 3 that happened during the storm that hit before Christmas and stayed home. Findlay Mayor Tony Iriti, Hancock County Sheriff Michael Heldman and Chamber of Commerce President Doug Peters met with about 25 local employers and business owners to clarify what the snow emergencies mean.

As the Courier reported:

A Level 3 snow emergency, for example, does not necessarily mean employees must stay home.

During storms, the fewer emergencies that law enforcement and ambulance services are required to respond to the better, and that means keeping people off the roads — preferably without jeopardizing the city’s economy.

“The last thing we want to do is hurt your business in any way,” Iriti told the employers and business owners Tuesday. “At the same time, we want to consider the safety of people on the roads.”


The city officials said that employees must still call their employers before deciding to stay home. I always thought that was obvious.

At least with a Level 3 you had an argument if you couldn’t make it into work. Is your job really more important than your life or the risk of getting arrested?

I had a boss who fired someone who couldn’t get to work after a 10″ snow buried his car. He said that if he could get to work then everyone should be able to.

In Findlay, it seems the city agrees.

Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”

See Related article: Snow Emergencies – An Update