As we gear up for a season of snow, we want to remind residents about Upper Merion Township’s winter weather protocols and resources.
Before the Storm
- Brush up on our snow removal guidelines.
- Familiarize yourself with our storm safety tips.
- Make sure you are able to receive emergency updates and storm information. View this list of ways to stay in touch with the township during emergency events, which includes links to our eNewsletter, social media pages, and more.
- Receive Montgomery County and Upper Merion Township alerts about emergencies, severe weather, and other disasters by signing up for ReadyMontco. You will receive time-sensitive messages wherever you specify, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages, and more.
- Test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Review some of the pre-storm checklist items below (provided by Montgomery County).
- Reconsider travel plans – Roads will likely be a mess once the snow begins falling. Fewer cars on the road mean more room for snow plows!
- Fuel up your vehicles – Make sure you have at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicles. It keeps the lines from freezing.
- Fuel up your generators and snow blowers – This is especially important if you already used your equipment this winter and fuel may be running low.
- Restock your batteries – Your battery-operated radios and flashlights may have gotten a good workout in past storms throughout the year. Swap them out with fresh ones just in case they’re called to duty again.
- Plug away! – Make sure your portable electronic devices are fully charged before going to bed the night before a storm. If the power goes out, you’re going to need a way to stay connected to what’s going on.
- Go shopping – Be prepared in case you lose power. Grab some non-perishable food and bottled water to have on hand.
- Ice, ice baby – While at the store, snag a bag or two of ice that you can stick inside the refrigerator or freezer in case the power goes out. If temperatures are cold enough the night before, you can store that ice in coolers or plastic storage containers outside.
- Think “Margaritaville” – Don’t be like Jimmy Buffett! Make sure your shakers are full of rock salt, ice melt, or whatever your preferred method is to prevent and remove slippery surfaces. Cat litter can also work in a pinch … just not in your margarita. Yuck!
- Hire some help – If you know someone in the neighborhood who has access to a teenager or young adult, get a hold of them before the storm and ask if they’d be willing to help shovel your snow. If it is heavy, wet snow, consider outsourcing the shoveling job.
- Hit the ATM – You might need the dough to pay the neighbor’s kid for digging you out. It’s also a good idea to have cash on hand.
During the Storm
- Stay off the road if possible. If you must travel, get traffic information from 511pa.com.
- Check the Upper Merion Township website, social media pages, or television channel (UMGA-TV can be found on Comcast Channel 22 and Verizon Channel 33) to learn about closures, snow emergency declarations, meeting cancellations, and more.
- Check Upper Merion Area School District’s website for information about school delays, early dismissals, and closures.
- Do not call 9-1-1 to ask about school closings/early dismissals or to report power outages. If you experience an outage, contact PECO at 1-800-841-4141 or www.peco.com
- Check PECO’s new Outage Map to see the cause, geographical impact, and estimated restoration for your area. Learn more.
- If you have an emergency, please dial 9-1-1.
- Please check on friends and neighbors who live alone or those who you think might need assistance. If you see someone on the street who is dealing with homelessness, there are resources in Montgomery County available to help them find a safe place to escape the cold. Connect them with Your Way Home by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-866-964-7925. If it’s a life or death situation, call 9-1-1.
- While you’re home, download movies, books, and more from Upper Merion Township Library‘s eLibrary.
After the Storm
- Adopt a hydrant and save a life. Make sure all fire hydrants near your property are clear of snow. Citizens should clear a 3-foot wide path from the street to the fire hydrant, and a 3-foot circle around the fire hydrant to provide easy access by firefighters. Remember, this could save precious time when firefighters need additional water to fight a fire.
- Review the township’s snow removal guidelines. Make sure a 2-foot wide path of the sidewalk abutting your property is cleared within 24 hours after the end of the snow emergency.
- Shovel safely! Be sure to take it slow, push snow instead of lifting, take breaks, and drink water. If you experience any heart attack symptoms, immediately stop and call 9-1-1.
- View the Upper Merion Township Public Works Snow Plowing Map for snow removal progress information. Keep in mind, the updates of the plowing progress will only begin after the snow stops falling and the crews are in final clean-up mode. The status will be updated every 15 minutes and will continue until the cleanup is completed.
- Did you capture a beautiful picture of our township blanketed in snow? Share it with us on social media by tagging @umtownship!
- Upper Merion Township’s Snow Removal Guidelines
- Adopt a Hydrant – Save a Life
- Upper Merion Township Public Works Snow Plowing Map
- Montgomery County Department of Public Safety’s Pre-Storm To-Do List
- NFPA’s Generator Safety Tips