6 Suggestions to Prepare for Thursday’s Snow
Posted at 2:42 p.m.
Winter Storm Watch Thursday, Jan. 17
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm watch, which is in effect tomorrow morning through late Thursday night. A winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow accumulations that may impact travel. The NWS forecast says accumulations could be in excess of 5 inches in Fairfax County.
Snow may mix with rain at the onset of the storm Thursday morning before changing to all snow late Thursday morning and afternoon. Snow also is expected tomorrow night. Snow may be heavy at times during the afternoon and evening hours.
As we prepare for the snow possibility, we encourage you to remember these suggestions:
- Get Where You Need to Be Before the Weather Gets Bad. Roads may become snow covered, especially during the evening rush hour.
- By staying off the roads, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews are more easily able to access roads that need treatment, snow plows can more freely clear roads and get to areas needing plowing.
- By staying off the roads, our public safety officials can respond more quickly to residents in need of emergency services.
- Getting where you need to be instead of staying at work during the height of the storm may require you to take a couple of hours of personal leave, but leaving early enough to avoid bad weather and traffic gridlock caused by slippery road conditions is worth the investment.
- Consider teleworking tomorrow if that’s an option for where you work. The fewer vehicles on roads tomorrow the easier it will be to get them cleared.
- VDOT is responsible for plowing the public roads including interstate, primary, secondary and residential roads in Fairfax County. Clearing is done on a priority basis, with interstates and high volume roads cleared first. Call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (1-800-367-7623) (TTY 711) 24 hours a day to report any unsafe and hazardous road conditions. VDOT Snow Plowing Status Map
- Pack a couple extra items in your car tonight, just in case you must get out and get stuck in tomorrow’s snow. Pack an extra bottle of water and a couple of snacks. Throw in an extra blanket and be sure you have your cellphone charger so you can stay informed of weather forecasts and media reports. A snow shovel or a bag of sand for traction could also be included. Only about 33 percent of respondents to a recent county emergency survey indicated they have supplies in their cars.
- Register for emergency alerts from CEAN, the Community Emergency Alert Network. Not only will you receive emergency alerts on your cellphone and email, but you can also sign up for weather alerts.
- If you feel the need to buy an extra gallon of milk and some bread, do that today so you’re not out in the storm tomorrow. And if you do go out today, be sure to top off your tank with gas.