(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that members of the District’s Snow Team –led by the Department of Public Works (DPW) – will host a multi-agency simulation to ensure the team is prepared to respond to snowy and icy weather conditions this winter.
“Fall and winter are especially busy times for our Snow Team agencies and today’s exercise gives us an opportunity to evaluate every aspect of our winter weather response to make sure we are ready,” said Mayor Bowser. “We also want to ensure that District residents know how they can pitch in, through the Volunteer Snow Team, to help their neighbors keep sidewalks and stairways clear when it snows.”
The Snow Team is made up of more than 800 employees from across DC Government, operating more than 250 snowplows to keep DC streets clear when it snows. DPW oversees the team, with the Department of Transportation (DDOT), the Department of General Services, the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, and ServeDC all have roles to ensure cross-agency collaboration and staffing.
Today’s simulation will allow the Snow Team to carry out a live mock response to a winter storm. Throughout the day, snowplow drivers will travel their predetermined routes, getting familiar with the traffic patterns and potential obstacles they may encounter this winter. Additionally, employees in administrative, supervisory, logistics, and IT roles will all simulate their action items during the exercise.
“It has been two seasons since we’ve pulled out our snowplows,” said DPW Director Timothy Spriggs. “Throughout the week, our mechanics have been testing out our physical equipment, we’ve been communicating daily with our snow team partners from local and federal agencies to make sure we’re all on the same page, and we are working with our communications staff to ensure they have the ability to fully communicate critical messages to the DC community.”
Ahead of winter, residents are reminded that they can call the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 to request free, accessible transportation to a shelter for themselves or someone else, including individuals experiencing homelessness. Residents are also encouraged to join Serve DC’s Volunteer Snow Team, which helps clear sidewalks for registered seniors who are 65 and older and residents with access functionality needs. Volunteers can learn more and sign-up here.
DPW was recently honored as “Public Fleet of the Year” by the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition and continues to deliver services with the goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions. This includes using snowplows and vehicles that run on biofuels and using alternative materials to treat DC roads for winter weather.
For more information about DC’s snow program, preparing for winter weather, or to see where District Snow Team snowplows are during a storm, visit snow.dc.gov.