Community members are urged to subscribe to Alert Montgomery at https://alert.montgomerycountymd.gov to stay updated on the latest important information. Alerts can be sent to one or more electronic devices, including cell phones, text pagers, wireless PDAs, and home and work emails. For information during the storm, go to the County website www.montgomerycountymd.gov, check the County’s Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/MontgomeryCoMD or Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com. The MC311 County informational call center remains open for extended hours during periods of emergencies and can be reached at 3-1-1 or 240-777-0311. Questions can also be asked of MC311 through their website: www.MC311.com.
Preparing for the Storm Check with neighbors or elderly family members who may require special assistance, to see if they need help in stocking up on supplies or medications, and call them during the storm. If there is a power outage, be prepared by having enough food, water, medication (if needed) and batteries to last two days. Make sure portable radios, smoke detectors and flashlights are working properly. Make shelter, food, water and medication preparations for pets and livestock. Car owners are urged to help clear the way for snow plow operators. When parking on-street, pull close to the curb on the even numbered side of the street. Park vehicles in driveways or off the street whenever possible. Plan where you will park if a State or County Snow Emergency is declared, making parking illegal on those roads. Drivers may park in County garages and lots. Fees are waived during a snow emergency. Be sure your vehicle(s) are ready to drive after the storm by filling the gas tank; checking tires to make sure they have an adequate tread and are fully inflated; checking oil, antifreeze and windshield washer fluid levels; and ensuring windshield wipers, lights, flashing hazard lights, exhaust system, heater, brakes and defroster are all working. Keep a windshield scraper, small shovel and broom in the car for ice and snow removal, and a small sack of sand or kitty litter to improve wheel traction.
During the Storm Power Outages: Treat all “dark” intersections as four-way stops. Stop – then proceed cautiously. During a power outage, relying on battery-operated lights, rather than candles, is much safer. Using candles increases the risk of a fire. Refrigerated food will remain unspoiled only about four hours if the refrigerator is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. Use ice to keep your refrigerator at 40°F or below and the freezer at 0° or lower if there is a prolonged power outage. It can be fatal for those without power to use gas or charcoal grills, propane heaters and stoves, kerosene space heaters or generators indoors. These items are a source of carbon monoxide, which can build up indoors and cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Snow Shovel Law: County residents are required by law to clear sidewalks in front of and alongside their properties within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm. Everyone is encouraged to help seniors or others who may not be physically able to shovel. Remember not to shovel snow over fire hydrants and make a point to shovel hydrants out. Snow Removal in Parking Lots: Parking lot managers are reminded not to block disability parking spaces and their adjacent striped areas when removing snow from adjacent areas. Also not to pile snow on sidewalks and to clear adjacent sidewalks. Owners of adjacent properties are required to keep sidewalks clear by law.
Snow Treatment and Removal from roads: State-maintained roads, which are the numbered roads in the County, are cleared by the Maryland State Highway Administration. Snow clearance of County roads begins with pre-treating major County roads with salt brine, a solution of salt and water, before snow begins falling unless there is rain to wash the solution away. Plowing of County roads begins when three or more inches of snow accumulates with a temperature below freezing. The County’s Department of Transportation clears emergency and primary routes before it begins clearing neighborhood streets. Neighborhood streets are not cleared to bare pavement, but are made passable. Residents are asked to remain patient. There are approximately 1,000 lane miles of primary (arterial roads connecting subdivisions or business districts) and secondary roads (main collector streets through subdivisions) which are continuously treated with salt and sand and kept in “bare pavement” condition. Once the snow stops falling and major roads are clear, crews turn their attention to making streets passable for the more than 4,100 miles of neighborhood streets. For more information about snow removal operations visit the county’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/snow or call 3-1-1 or 240-777-0311. Visit the County’s snow map at http://www7.montgomerycountymd.gov/snowmap/. Snow Emergency Routes: Both the State of Maryland and Montgomery County have designated certain roads as SNOW EMERGENCY ROUTES marked with red and white signs. When the State and/or County initiates its snow emergency plan, it is illegal to park on these designated roads or drive without snow tires, all-weather tires, mud/snow radials or chains. Vehicles without the proper type of tire or chains that block snow emergency routes during an emergency may be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense. m commercial or residential parking lots.
Stay connected with MoCo Government:
Social Media Directory: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/OPI/socialmedia.html
Web News: http://montgomerycomd.blogspot.com/
To subscribe to Social media alerts to to: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/MDMONTGOMERY/subscriber/new?qsp=CODE_RED
If you have any questions or comments, please visit the MC311 Portal at www.mc311.com or call 3-1-1 (240-777-0311 if outside the County) to speak with a Customer Service Representative.