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Are You Prepared for Snow in Washington DC?


Despite the last couple of years of freakish storms, snow is still relatively rare in DC.   Even a few inches can result in school closings, the shut-down of the government, and the tacking on of "emergency" surcharges from taxi drivers.  Snow removal crews typically lack the expertise many transplants from colder states have come to expect from crews in say, Ohio or Colorado. Unfortunately, this lack of familiarity with snow extends to drivers as well.  How will you prepare for snow emergencies in the area? Here are a few quick tips: 

Snow Removal

As a property owner, you are required to clear the snow and ice from sidewalks, steps and handicap ramps within the first eight hours of daylight after it snows. Rock salt and some sort of de-icing mixture are key in assuring your public walkways are safe for you and other passers-by.

Emergency Preparedness for Driving in Snow

  • Avoid driving in the snow and ice whenever possible.  Beware of the number of drivers in town who simply aren't used to driving in snow or ice.
  • Add weight to the trunk if your vehicle is rear wheel drive.
  • Carry a bag of kitty litter in case you get stuck.
  • Keep a shovel, blanket, flashlight, ice scraper and emergency food and water in your vehicle.

Metrorail in the Snow

If there's a large snowstorm of eight or more inches, the metro rail service may not be running.  Make sure you stay current on the weather alerts so you can plan accordingly if the trains aren't running.

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