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When Back to School Shopping, Don’t Forget Supplies for Winter Weather Prep, Says District Snow Team

Monday, August 26, 2019
School openings this month mean winter isn’t far behind!

(WASHINGTON, DC)– The District Snow Team, led by the Department of Public Works, is getting ready now for winter snow and ice storms, and the District government is asking residents taking advantage of the back-to-school shopping season to also get an early start on their winter weather preparations.

“School opens this month and summer is fading fast,” said DPW Director of Christopher Geldart, “So, when you and your family are shopping for school supplies, clothes and boots, add a new snow shovel, ice scrapers and batteries to your list. That way, you can have a head start on being prepared if wintry weather strikes early.”

The District’s first measurable snowfall usually occurs in December, but earlier snowfalls are not unheard of. More than 15 inches of snow fell October 10, 1979. In 2011, about an inch of snow fell October 29, the day after the snow team’s Dry Run systemwide practice session.

Director Geldart encourages residents to visit for more detailed information about how to prepare your family, home and car for snow season. He also offers the following tips:

  • Find your snow shovel and make sure it is adequate for another snow season.
  • Check your supply of abrasives – deicer, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter – and get more if necessary. The District has used pet-friendly deicer on its pedestrian bridges for several years and found it to melt ice effectively and be easy on pets’ paws.
  • Have a sufficient supply of over-the-counter and prescription medications for your family and pet(s).
  • Make sure your gutters are cleared of leaves. You don’t want leaves to block the flow of rainwater that may freeze.
  • Before the first frost, turn off all outdoor water faucets.
  • Keep your vehicle’s fluids tanks – gas, water, antifreeze and windshield wiper – full.
  • Have a flashlight, blankets, and scrapers in your vehicle before a storm begins.


DPW provides essential city services in two distinct program areas: environmental services/solid waste management and parking enforcement. Both contribute to making District streets and public spaces clean, safe, attractive and accessible for residents, businesses, commuters and visitors.