DoDEA Advises Sending Evacuation Questions to DSOs, Plans FAQs Section For Its Site
NOTICE: PENTAGON CONSIDERING EXTENSION OF PCS TRAVEL BANStars and Stripes reported April 8 the Pentagon is considering an extension of the current PCS travel ban into summer, though no decisions have been made yet. Read the Stripes article here
posted April 6, 2020
Association members in foreign areas understandably have a lot of questions about the evacuation option announced last week.
DoDEA has created a page on its site with information on the evacuation option, https://www.dodea.edu/COVID-departures.cfm. That site advises employees to send questions to "Resource Management and Human Resources points of contact at your respective District Superintendent Offices."
In response to a request from FEA's Washington office, the Agency has told us it is committed to developing a specific email address for employees to send questions about the evacuation option. We will share information about the email address whenever we learn it has been created by DoDEA.
DoDEA has also indicated they will be adding a "Frequently Asked Questions" section to the DoDEA Web page referenced above. Those FAQs will be based on questions from FEA's Washington office, from FEA members in the field, and other questions submitted directly to DoDEA.
FEA will continue to pass along to DoDEA management common questions that we receive and urge DoDEA to release information to answer those questions.
A number of Association members have sent questions about where they would be required to work if evacuated.
To the best of our knowledge, based on the information put out so far by management, all employees who evacuate will be assigned to Arlington, Virginia, as their "safe haven" and required to physically relocate to that area, though the Eligible Family Members of those employees may evacuate to Arlington or to another location in the U.S. We continue to ask DoDEA to provide additional information on the "safe haven" issue, as we know employees have many questions about this requirement.
There are also many questions about things like LQA, storage of household goods and services associated with moves. Those questions will have to be addressed by DoDEA, presumably on the FAQ page it is developing. FEA will continue urging the Agency to put out additional information to clarify such issues.
Many members want to know "what should I do?". FEA cannot make that decision for any member or their families but we will continue to urge DoDEA to provide as much information as possible to make sure employees are well informed about their options.
We advise anyone considering evacuation to read about the health care and social restriction situation in the United States, particularly in Virginia and in any location your family members might be evacuated to. Be aware there are shortages in Virginia and many other locations for some groceries and staples such as cleaning supplies and toilet paper. Be aware also that some locations are also concerned that their health care facilities may be overwhelmed if projections for severe virus cases come true. We emphasize these things not to influence any employee's decision about possible evacuation but only to encourage those employees to be fully informed about the situation to which they would be relocated.
We will continue to share any information we receive and urge DoDEA to expand on the information it provides to employees. We remind members that some decisions affecting moves and services to be provided to evacuees are beyond the control of DoDEA, so it may take the Agency time to get answers to some questions.
Thank you for understanding and continue to take all possible precautions to protect your safety and that of your families.