Hey, did you hear it might snow?

Hey, did you hear it might snow?

You might have heard somewhere these past few days, but we’re expecting a bit of snow this weekend. We’ve seen what happens when we under-prepare, as well as what happens when we over-prepare. But the bottom line is we just don’t know how much snow we’re going to get – so it’s best to be ready.

Side note: For those of you who want to learn more about the surprisingly fascinating world of weather forecasting, Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise has a great chapter on the topic that I recommend while you’re sipping your hot cocoa this weekend.

Since the Snowpocalypse of 2010 the City Sanitation Department and the City Council have done a lot to make sure NYC is ready for whatever winter weather comes our way.  New York City has set up a great Severe Weather Update website which is the best source for up to the minute information on city operations (and you can even track the progress of City snow plows).

The Sanitation garages across the City are gearing up and will go into Snow Alert mode once precipitation begins. Citywide they’ll be pre-deploying 579 salt spreaders tonight, and activating more than 1,650 plows if more than two inches accumulate. NYC Sanitation workers, NYPD officers, firefighters, and other City workers will be on the streets keeping us safe. A big thank you in advance to all of NYC workers who will be deployed during this storm (and an especially big thank you to our Park Slope neighbor, NYC Commissioner of Sanitation Kathryn Garcia).

If you have problems with unplowed streets, downed tree limbs, or unsafe conditions, please report them to the City. Your first call should be to 311 (either by phone or online) so the request can get to the relevant city agency as soon as possible. If you would like my office to follow up on a request, you can use the online form on the council website or call my staff at (718) 499-1090 on Monday morning. We’ll also stay in touch via e-mail over the weekend, my websiteTwitter & Facebook, and email at lander [at] council [dot] nyc [dot] gov.

A few other things that may be helpful to know.

  • We don’t anticipate any closure to mass transit.
  • All scheduled Saturday trash, recycling and organics collections are suspended because of snow clearing operations.
  • Alternate Side Parking will be suspended for Saturday to facilitate snow removal. Parking meters will remain in effect.
  • The Department of Education is cancelling all DOE events for Saturday and Sunday, including Gifted and Talented testing, Middle School Applicant Interviews, SAT administration and more. Full information here. As of now schools are scheduled to be open on Monday
  • Make sure you stay out of all parks until after the storm is over.

And of course, if you can possibly stay off the streets during the blizzard, please do so (Remember how many cars got stuck in the middle of the road during the big blizzard of 2010, making plowing impossible)? And while you are shoveling your sidewalk, check in on elderly neighbors and see if they need a little help.

For more information, check out these winter weather safety tips from the NYC Office of Emergency Management. Stay warm and stay safe!

- Brad

P.S. My office occasionally hears from senior citizens looking for help shoveling snow during storms like these. We’re hoping to be of more help during the next storm, but if you’d like to volunteer to help seniors shovel this winter during any coming storms, email Susie Charlop, scharlop [at] council [dot] nyc [dot] gov, so we can make sure you’re on the list. 

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