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DC Snow Team Suggests Adding a Snow Shovel to Your Black Friday, Cyber Monday Shopping List

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The DC Snow Team is encouraging District residents and businesses to begin preparing for snow season. While the long-range forecast does not include a major storm, the District averages about 15 inches of snow a year.

“We want to have a safe snow season, and that means taking the necessary steps to be prepared,” said Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Christopher Shorter. “If you are planning to do some Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping, consider buying a shovel, abrasives for your steps and sidewalk, and other items to make sure you and your home are ready for winter.”

Here are some tips for your advance preparations:

  • Check your shovel and make sure it’s ready for another snow season.
  • Check your supply of abrasives—deicer, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter—and get more if necessary. Pet friendly deicer is also available.
  • Have a sufficient supply of over-the-counter and prescription medications for your family and pet(s).
  • Do your gutters need to be cleared of leaves? You don’t want leaves to block the flow of water that may freeze.
  • Check your car’s windshield wipers and make sure your fluid tanks are full (especially antifreeze).
  • Have a flashlight, blankets, and scrapers in your car before a storm begins.
  • Sign up for the District’s emergency notification system—AlertDC—to have emergency alerts sent straight to your device.

During a winter weather event, the website is an excellent resource for information about snow closures, warming centers, where to park in a snow emergency, and to view live maps of where plows are deployed throughout the District. Go to for more detailed information about how to prepare your family, home, and car for snow season.

As a reminder, when clearing snow/ice from sidewalks, residents are asked to shovel it into the tree box or the grassy area next to the sidewalk. If there is no tree box or grassy area, snow/ice should be placed next to the curb away from the street and bike lanes. Residential and commercial property owners are required to shovel their sidewalks within 24 hours after the end of a storm.

“While you are preparing for the snow season, please do not forget to sign up for Serve DC’s DC Volunteer Snow Team,” said Serve DC Director Delano Hunter. “As a volunteer, you will help build a safer, stronger DC by removing snow for District seniors and those with access and functional needs.”

Residential property owners may be exempt from sidewalk shoveling enforcement if they live in their home and are 65 years old and/or a person with a disability. Any resident who did not apply for and receive an exemption last year will need to submit an application (please call 311 for more information). Mayor Bowser and Serve DC are looking for volunteers to help clear entryways and sidewalks for our seniors and residents with disabilities. To join the DC Volunteer Snow Team, please visit or call Serve DC at 202-727-7925.