On this page you will find details on what action various States of Guernsey Services will undertake in the event of snow and severe weather.
Schools - Advice for Parents/Guardians
- How do Education Services decide to close schools or keep them open in the event of snow or severe weather?
- We act following release of a 'Red Warning' from the Guernsey Met Office
- We assess the risks to children and young people travelling to and from school and their attendance at any school sites badly affected by conditions
- We try to make an early decision based on advice received from various agencies including Guernsey Police
- We will try to keep schools open if it is safe and possible to do so, however, parents may use their discretion to keep a child at home if they believe that conditions are bad enough that it would be unreasonable or unsafe for their child to attempt to reach school.
- Schools should remain open in severe weather conditions unless:
- Travel to and from the site is impracticable and/or too hazardous and advised as such by the Police; or
- The forecast or prevalent weather conditions are such that the Department is concerned for the health, safety or wellbeing of those using its sites; or
- The number of staff able to reach a particular school is inadequate to run it, even on an emergency basis with severely restricted curriculum delivery; or
- School buildings are unusable through damage to, or failure of, core building components, essential on-site heating or sanitation services; or
- Education Services has been requested by a multi-agency co-ordination group to close one or more schools in the interests of protecting the Island's infrastructure, or other significant reason.
- How will Education Services notify Parents/Guardians?
- When severe weather conditions happen overnight, we will advise parents initially through announcements on BBC Guernsey and Island FM - we will state:
- All schools open
- Named schools closed
- All schools closed
- We aim to make these announcements by 7.15am or earlier if possible and will ask for the messages to be repeated at regular intervals
- When severe weather conditions happen during the school day, announcements will be made as soon as decisions are taken and regularly afterwards.
- We will try to post information about any school closures on our social media pages Twitter: @GovEducation and Facebook: www.facebook.com/goveducation Schools may also use their own social media networks and contacts to help get the messages to parents.
Snow - What roads will be cleared and when?
- Traffic and Highway Services aims to help road users move safely in wintry conditions by spreading de-icer on several key routes at the most effective times.
- The States of Guernsey's snow and ice procedures will be activated when a RED Snow Warning is issued by the Jersey Meteorological Department although a state of readiness will be actioned on receipt of an ORANGE Snow Warning. Unless exceptional circumstances apply, the procedures will not be activated at weekends.
- Specific announcements will be made by BBC Radio Guernsey and Island FM on whether all schools will be open. Please refer to the 'Schools' section above.
- What roads do Traffic and Highway Services clear?
- Traffic and Highway Services focuses its resources on the clearing of snow and ice on selected critical roads and some major pedestrian areas like Town during periods of severe weather conditions in order to keep the roads safe to the general public.
- These de-icing materials are very expensive and so the States of Guernsey has a limited stock. Therefore, these will only be used when absolutely necessary.
- For further details on the routes cleared please see the map in the download section.
- Before snow or ice
- If you have to make a journey when snow is forecast, make sure you have warm clothes, boots, and a drink
- Try to wait until the roads are clear before travelling
- Check on vulnerable neighbours.
- Clearing snow and ice yourself
- There's no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your home, business or from public spaces. It's unlikely you'll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries if you have cleared it carefully.
- Do not use hot water. This will melt the snow, but will replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury.
- Removing the top layer of snow from your path will allow the sun to melt any ice beneath. However, you will need to remove any ice to stop it refreezing overnight.
- During snow or ice
- Avoid travel if possible.
- Put simply, if you don't go out, you can't come to any harm on the road. It might be better to stay in and have a cup of tea.
- If you must drive check the Highway Code for advice on driving in adverse weather.
- Take care around gritters - don't be tempted to overtake;
- Slow down when driving - it can take 10 times longer to stop in snowy or icy conditions, so allow extra room. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Manoeuvre gently and avoid harsh braking and acceleration. If you start to skid, gently ease off the accelerator and avoid braking. If braking is necessary, pump the brakes don't slam them on.
- If you go outside wear several layers of clothing and keep dry to prevent loss of body heat;
- Watch out for signs of hypothermia - uncontrollable shivering, slow/slurred speech, memory lapse, drowsiness and frostbite, loss of feeling in and pale appearance of fingers, toes, nose and ear lobes. Keep moving your arms and legs to help the blood circulate.
- When very stormy conditions are expected along with high tides and stormy conditions to try and minimise debris being washed up onto the coastal roads:
- Storm Boards are installed at slipways around the island prior to high tides and stormy conditions to try and minimise debris being washed up onto the coastal roads.
- Where a flood warning for the west coast is issued by the Met Office storm barriers will also be placed out at Perelle coast road (Route de la Perelle). These will block the road between the Biloterie Road Junction and the Perelle Garage during the stormy conditions.
- Where significant amounts of debris has been thrown over by the sea, Traffic and Highway Services will clear this debris from coastal roads. This is often undertaken in adverse condition in order to keep the roads safe to the general public.
Trees (Fallen and Dangerous)
- A tree in a garden, or other private land, is the responsibility of the owner. If a tree has fallen or is in a dangerous condition it should be reported to the landowner in the first instance. If you cannot contact the landowner, fallen or dangerous trees on or over the public highway should be reported to the Guernsey Police on tel: 01481 725111
- If you are the landowner, please contact the Guernsey Police to advise them of the action you are taking to remove the tree or make it safe.
- If required, the Guernsey Police will organise for States Works to place out temporary road signage to warn motorists.
- Please note that the landowner is responsible for any costs associated with works to the tree and any traffic management required to make the road safe.