Sometimes, there's nothing more frustrating than being snowed in. Howard County's snow crews offered tips that residents can follow to help them speed up the road-clearing process:
• Stay off the roads when it's snowing. Stalled cars and weather-related accidents block snow plows from reaching the areas that need clearing.
• Keep trash and recycling bins away from the curb. The county posts information about weather-related trash and recycling collection delays on its website and sends out notices via its emergency notifications text and email service, NotifyMe Howard. Residents can also call 410-313-6444 for updated information.
• Park cars in the driveway or garage when the forecast spells snow. Cars parked along the curb make clearing streets more difficult and can result in plows being forced to block vehicles in with snow drifts. Added bonus of parking in the driveway: less snow to shovel!
• Wait until the plow driver's finished his or her work. Sometimes the plow has to circulate two or three times before the road is fully cleared – a process that can take 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the length of a street.
• Keep an eye on the weather. Even if the weather is clear in the morning, it could change over the course of the day. "Look ahead, err on the side of caution, don't wait until the last minute to cancel or go home," recommends Miller.
• Follow the progress of the snow plows online. When it snows, residents can track plows online as they move through the county at a link found at howardcountymd.gov.