Residents Urged to Prepare for Winter Storm

February 23, 2007

Madison - With this weekend's winter storm approaching, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, the Madison Fire Department's Emergency Preparedness Office, and the Madison Streets Division want to help ensure that families and businesses are prepared for the weekend weather. Forecasters are predicting heavy snow and very windy conditions.

"This could be the most significant winter storm we've had for several years," said Cieslewicz. "So we're asking everyone to use common sense, take reasonable precautions, try to stay off the roads if you can, and have a fun weekend enjoying traditional Wisconsin winter weather."

According to the Streets Division, plowing crews will be working throughout the storm, mostly focusing on main arterials, thoroughfares, connector streets, and bus routes. Most work on residential streets will be done after the bulk of the storm has subsided. Residents should try to take care of their errands today, because travel over the weekend could be difficult.

In addition, downtown area residents should be aware that a snow emergency will likely be declared in the wake of the storm. During that time, no on-street parking in the snow emergency area is permitted. More information about snow emergencies, including information about free parking at City-owned ramps, is available by calling 266-9111, or by visiting http://www.cityofmadison.com/streets/streetEmegencySnow.cfm.

The Madison Fire Department's Emergency Preparedness Office offers these additional tips for winter storm safety:

Snow Removal
1. Dress appropriately for the weather.
2. Shoveling is strenuous work. Avoid overexertion and take frequent rest breaks. The snow is predicted to be wet and heavy, so consider shoveling several times during the snowfall.
3. If your snowblower gets plugged with snow, turn it off and do not stick your hand into the auger to clear the obstruction.
4. Clear snow and other obstructions within a 5-foot radius of the fire hydrant nearest to your home.

Be a Good Neighbor
1. If you are able, offer to help a neighbor who may need assistance preparing for the storm. They may need someone to pick up necessary medications or food for them.
2. Check with these neighbors after the storm to be sure they are okay and ask if they need help shoveling.

Drive Safely
1. If possible, allow the snow plows to clear the roads before driving.
2. If you must drive, slow down and increase your following distance.
3. Be sure your car is in good mechanical condition and has a full tank of fuel.
4. Have a blanket, shovel, cell phone, and winter safety kit in your car, in case you get stuck.

Be Ready at Home
1. Make sure that your heating equipment is in safe working order.
2. If you must use a space heater, allow 3 feet of clearance around the heater and be careful.
3. Have a home safety kit including food, water, and other basic needs items.
4. In the event of a power outage, do not use candles. Keep several flashlights around the home.

Monitor News Reports For Updates
1. Stay tuned to radio or television for the latest information on the weather conditions.
2. Observe any snow emergency declarations and parking restrictions.

Additional information on home safety kits and emergency preparedness can be found at: www.redcross.org

Contact:
  • George Twigg, 266-4611