A fast-moving snowstorm in January of this year brought into sharp focus the problems that the region can see during a snowy commute.
Snow is in the forecast for the Washington area today and tomorrow, just in time for 'Winter Preparedness Week,' which has government and public safety officials talking winter weather.
Today's steady rain is expected to change over to sleet and even snow as temperatures drop tonight, according to the NBC Washington weather forecast. NBC meteorologists predict a dusting for the District and the close-in suburbs, with a possible accumulation of 1-3" farther north and west of the city.
Governments both big and small have been preparing for winter's potential snowy onslaught. The federal government and the District of Columbia have said they will now encourage workers to "shelter in place," after a certain point in the development of a snowstorm. And a U.S. House Homeland Security subcommittee is holding a hearing today on whether the Washington region is adequately prepared for major snowstorms and other natural disasters, according to the Associated Press.
Several Maryland counties and the District have held snow scenario drills or tested new mapping equipment for snow plows, and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management released a whole list of ways to prepare for winter weather Dec. 6.
Those include preparing an emergency kit containing three days worth of food and water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, and a family emergency plan. Other ways include keeping space heaters at least three feet from other objects, installing a smoke detector, in every bedroom and on each level of your home, and making sure outdoor pets have adequate shelter, unfrozen water and food.