Oklahoma City street crews prepare for still-possible ice and snow

Jan. 10, 2020 – Oklahoma City street crews are preparing to clear the City’s snow routes (https://www.okc.gov/residents/prepare-okc/know-what-to-do/winter-weather) if ice or snow affects driving conditions overnight Friday January 10-11) and this weekend.
Rain and thunderstorms in the forecast before the snow means crews will not pre-treat bridges and overpasses like usual – the rain would wash it away. Salt and plow trucks will be loaded and on call, ready to clear City snow routes around the clock until road conditions improve.
Crews limit their salting efforts to the City’s snow routes, which you can find at  okc.gov/prepare. 

Remember to turn off sprinklers at your home or business whenever the temperature is below freezing to prevent more ice from forming on sidewalks and streets.
Forecasts and conditions for winter storms can change quickly, so be sure to have a way to get updated information from the National Weather Service (https://www.weather.gov/oun/ ) or another reliable source through the weekend.

Preparation tips

The Office of Emergency Management (https://www.okc.gov/residents/prepare-okc/emergency-management) offers these tips and more at okc.gov/prepare :

    •  Know the snow routes (https://www.okc.gov/residents/prepare-okc/know-what-to-do/winter-weather) in your area. There are interactive maps at okc.gov/prepare and data.okc.gov . 
    •  Items for winter storms to add to your disaster kit include additional non-perishable food and water for one or two weeks, extra blankets, coats, gloves, winter hats, and water-resistant boots.
    •  Keep your pets safe. Go here (https://www.okc.gov/Home/Components/News/News/2015/5124 ) for winter tips from Oklahoma Ciyt Animal Welfare. 
    •  Keep your cellphone charged.
    •  Open cabinet doors below sinks and let faucets drip if temperatures remain below freezing for a day or more. Call (405) 297-3334 if your pipes burst so City crews can shut off water to your home. Visit here for more information about protecting your pipes in winter (https://www.okc.gov/departments/utilities/protect-your-pipes/frozen-pipes)
    •  Turn off your automatic sprinkler systems.
    •  Make sure elderly family members, friends and neighbors are prepared for the storm, and check on them during and after the storm.
    •  Visit here for more winter safety tips (https://www.okc.gov/residents/prepare-okc/know-what-to-do/winter-weather 
Driving safety tips

       1. Use extra caution when driving over bridges and overpasses.
       2. Remember that posted speed limits are only to be followed during ideal weather conditions. Slow down while driving on snow or ice.
       3. Give salt trucks plenty of room – stay at least 100 feet behind them so salt won’t get thrown on your car.
       4. Plan ahead by getting up and leaving the house earlier.
       5. Keep at least a three-car distance from the car in front of you
       6. Steer and brake more slowly than usual.
       7. Keep warm shoes and clothes in your car.
       8. Clear all snow and ice from your vehicle before setting out.
       9. Proceed carefully through intersections.
       10. Have a plan if you slide off the road – who are you going to call?
            11. Don’t use your automatic speed control

Safely use alternative heating sources

Fires at home are common in the winter because of improper use of dangerous heating sources. Here are some tips from the Fire Department: 
    •  Make sure working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are properly installed in your home. Alarms should be installed outside each separate sleeping area. Test your smoke alarms monthly and install fresh batteries annually.
    •  Give space heaters their space. Keep combustible material at least three feet away from the heater.
    •  Keep all combustible materials off of floor furnaces.
    •  Remove any combustibles from central heater closets.
    •  Use a metal grate to hold logs inside fireplaces.
    •  Use an approved metal or glass screen in front of fireplaces to prevent embers from flying out of the firebox.
    •  Remember to open the damper before lighting the fireplace.
    •  Never use your oven to heat your home.
    •  And visit here for more winter safety tips (https://www.okc.gov/departments/fire/fire-life-safety/safety-tip-sheets).