Happy Snowquester everyone! Hopefully this is the last of winter before spring finally comes around! The snow is expected to continue throughout the day so here are some important websites to bookmark, articles to read, and twitter feeds to follow so you stay safe and happy through this winter storm. I am recommending Twitter because it is a great resource in a storm- people, companies, and organizations can get information out quickly and keep you up to date as the storm progresses. Here’s the information you need to know.
Weather: Looks can be deceiving. While everyone is scoffing at the overreaction to an inch of snow, the storm is going to pick up starting at 9:00 AM and continue all day. Conditions are going to be changing throughout the morning and into the afternoon so stay updated! Follow the capital weather gang on twitter at @capitalweather or check out their blog as they give you constant updates and real time posts on how the storm is looking. Also check out NOAA who issued a winter snow warning until 3:00 AM on Thursday.
Closings: The federal government, DC government, and most of the area schools are closed today including DC public schools. Follow the Office of Personnel Management on twitter at @USOPM for updates, as well as check in on your specific school district.
Transportation: Be careful on the roads! DC already has the worst traffic in the country and unusual weather makes people act crazy, so please stay safe. Check out Washington Post’s blog on transportation and keep the radio on in the car for changing traffic conditions. If you’re planning on taking public transit, we all know how great WMATA is about communicating (insert sarcasm). WMATA is on twitter at @wmata, but also @unsuckdcmetro retweets real commuter issues, as does @dcmetrosucks. Expect delays if you are flying today as Dulles International and Reagan National airports- they are both open as of this morning but keep checking their snow website or follow them on twitter at @dcairports.
Power: Pepco is standing by and ready. Follow them on twitter for real time updates at @PepcoConnect. Dominion is now offering easier updates on power issues, read their press release for more details. If you do lose power, please stay safe and calm. The CDC gives tips on how to prepare and cope with power loss, including food and water safety and hypothermia prevention. The Washington Post also lists good advice for power outages like having extra batteries on hand and unplugging unnecessary electronics.
Bars: Just because the federal government is closed, doesn’t mean everyone else is, too. Your favorite neighborhood bar might be open and offering warm specials to keep you from the cold! Just like during Sandy, keep safety a priority and stay close to home. The Washington Post and the WCP is already listing bars open and snowquester deals for today!
Help: DC has a way of pulling together in times of need. If you see someone who needs immediate help, call these emergency numbers. For the hypothermia, call the Hypothermia Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 1-800-535-7252. For more information on hypothermia and the homeless, check out SOME’s information page and advocacy network. Check on your neighbors, friends, and family, especially the elderly and those with young children. For more tips, see FEMA winter storm safety guides and the American Red Cross information pages.
Another way to stay up to date on things happening in the district is to sign up for alerts for your area. You can get them delivered to your email or cellphone. Sign up for Alert DC, Arlington Alert, Fairfax County’s Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN), or find one for your area.
Keep us up to date with what is happening in your neighborhood! How will you be spending your Snowquester? Let us know!