Seattle mayor says city is preparing for winteron November 1, 2012 @ 12:20 pm (Updated: 2:42 pm - 11/1/12 )
"Whether it's heavy rain, snow and ice, or strong winds, winter weather can cause significant disruption to our lives and our economy. Now is the time to start to prepare for storms, and the city is here to help support the public as they get ready for winter," McGinn said.
McGinn said Superstorm Sandy should be a good reminder for people to be prepared for the worst with a three-day supply of water and food that does not need to be cooked on hand, along with extra blankets and other supplies in case the power goes out and you're stranded.
"You can just turn on the news and we know, bad things can happen to a city in an instant," McGinn said.
The city said it's continuing to improve online tools available to the public to help track storms and their impact on services.
McGinn touted the Seattle Public Utilities' Rainwatch and Snowwatch programs, developed in partnership with UW meteorologists, which track and predict storms at the neighborhood level. Seattle City Light's Windwatch provides the same function for forecasting high winds. The Outage Map tracks power outages across Seattle.
According to McGinn, the city now has 40 snowplows of various sizes and configurations and four anti-icing vehicles available in case of a winter storm. The city has purchased and is installing 11 new roadway surface temperature sensors to help the Department of Transportation improve their ability to deploy resources as needed. SDOT currently has 3,800 tons of granular salt and 47,000 gallons of anti-icing storage capacity, roughly three times more granular salt storage than last season.
But officials said even though the city has done all it can to prepare for winter, it's up to the rest of us to do our parts.
"Even if the electric power goes out, there's power in personal preparedness. There's power in connection, there's power in you talking with your family and friends and neighbors and getting yourselves ready to deal with impacts of severe weather," said Barb Graff, Seattle Emergency Management Director.
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