Be Prepared for Winter Storms
Keep a three-to-five-day supply of non-perishable food and water on hand, along with a non-electric can opener, battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
Plan to Stay Informed
- Cancellations, Closings & Delays
- Sign up for Arlington Alert, Arlington’s free service that sends text messages to your mobile device during an emergency.
- Check the County website, become a Facebook Fan, and follow us on Twitter.
- Watch the cable channel for updates (Comcast 25/74 and Verizon 39/40).
- Tune battery-powered radio in case of power outage.
- Print list of important contact telephone numbers and addresses (PDF)
Did you know the County has a snowblower loaner program? Find out more.
- Stretch first! Shoveling snow is definitely a workout, so take a couple minutes to stretch and warm up before grabbing your shovel.
- Shovel early and often. This keeps the amount of snow that has to be removed to a minimum. Plus, getting at the stuff quickly keeps it from freezing or partially melting and becoming harder to remove.
- Shovel snow into the yard instead of into the street. Under Arlington's Snow Removal Ordinance, it is illegal to push snow from private property onto public property, including streets and sidewalks. Shoveling into your hard also minimizing the problem of the snow plow covering your driveway with snow after you've just shoveled it. Snowplows try not to push snow onto sidewalks or driveways, but sometimes it is unavoidable.
- Protect your back. Use your leg muscles as much as possible - push snow when you can, and use your legs to lift when you can't push it. Keep your back straight as you move to the upright position, and avoid twisting your upper body.
- Pace yourself, and take frequent breaks. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unaccustomed exercise such as shoveling snow or pushing a car can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.
- If you must use de-icing chemicals, follow these suggestions.
- Check on your neighbors. Especially check on those who are elderly or at risk, to ensure they are safe, and consider offering to help shovel snow.
Protect Your Home
- Clear snow from fire hydrants, storm drains, and downspouts on your home.
- Be mindful of roof safety and the impact of snow accumulation and weight.
- Conserve fuel during a storm by keeping your house cooler than normal. Lower the thermostat and close off unused rooms to save energy.
- Beware of carbon monoxide. If using generators, kerosene heaters or gas fireplaces, read the owner's manual on maintaining proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep heaters at least three feet from flammable objects.
Be Safe if the Power Goes Out
- To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, use generators, pressure washers, grills, and similar items outdoors only.
- If the power is out longer than two hours, throw away food that has a temperature higher than 40°F.
- Check with local authorities to be sure your water is safe.
- Wear layers of clothing, which help to keep in body heat.
- Avoid power lines and use electric tools and appliances safely to prevent electrical shock.
Drive Carefully (or Not At All) & Watch Where You Park
- Do not drive unless necessary, so roads will be open for emergency and snow-removal vehicles.
- Do not park vehicles on snow emergency routes during a snow emergency.
- Park vehicles in driveways where possible, so plows can clear the street.
- Beware of black ice when driving — melting during the day can give way to freezing at night.
- Clear snow from the roof of your car before driving.