NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City has issued a snow alert for Wednesday ahead of the approaching winter storm.
The alert, issued by the Department of Sanitation, starts at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. AccuWeather is predicting some snow for the city on Wednesday into Thursday, but accumulations are expected to be on the low side in the city.
In preparation for a snow event, DSNY personnel begin initial equipment readiness, including loading its salt spreaders, attaching plows when necessary, preparing tire chains and notifying supplementary personnel as needed.
DSNY is coordinating with the Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Transportation on snow clearing protocol in accordance with each agency's written snow plan.
Additionally, the New York City Office of Emergency Management issued a travel advisory. A total of 3 to 5 inches of heavy, wet snow is possible across the city, creating dangerous driving conditions throughout the day Wednesday.
Drivers who have to hit the road are urged to exercise caution and allow for additional travel time.
OEM encourages New Yorkers to take the following precautions:
--If you must drive a vehicle, monitor weather and traffic reports for the latest road conditions. Use mass transportation whenever possible.
--Use major streets or highways for travel whenever possible as these roadways will be cleared first.
--Drive slowly. Posted speed limits are for ideal weather conditions. Vehicles, including those with 4-wheel drive, take longer to stop on snow and ice than on dry pavement.
--If you skid, steer in the direction you want the car to go and straighten the wheel when the car moves in the desired direction.
--Keep the name and phone number of at least one local towing service in your car in case you break down or become stuck in the snow.
--Try to keep your vehicle's gas tank as full as possible.
--If you get stuck on the road stay with your car and contact a towing company.
--Exercise caution and avoid slippery surfaces; some ice may not be visible.
--Wear layers including a hat, gloves and scarf to stay protected from the cold. And, keep clothes and shoes dry.
--Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered if you go outside.
--Have heightened awareness of cars, particularly when approaching or crossing intersections.
Winter Storm Preparations
The NYC Department of Sanitation has 424 salt spreaders loaded and ready to use. Should accumulations warrant, plows will be dispatched. The NYC Emergency Management Situation Room will activate in the early morning hours Wednesday to monitor and coordinate the City's response to the winter weather event. NYC Emergency Management remains in close contact with agency partners including the NYC Department of Sanitation, NYC Department of Transportation, FDNY, NYPD, MTA, Con Edison, and others to coordinate storm preparation and response efforts.
Winter weather information and information about City services and storm response can be found by visiting the City's Severe Weather website at www.nyc.gov/severeweather or by calling 311. New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City's free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can receive phone calls, text messages, and/or emails alerts about severe weather events and other emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311, visit www.nyc.gov, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.
The storm is approaching the New York area just as millions of travelers are heading to their Thanksgiving destinations.
"I would pack your patience," said Robert Sinclair Jr., of AAA New York.
Officials at the three major airports in the New York City area - Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty - were "monitoring weather forecasts carefully," and were ready to take action if needed, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airports.
All winter weather information and information about the City's response to the storm can be found by visiting the City's Severe Weather website at www.nyc.gov/severeweather or by calling 311. New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for the Notify NYC, the City's free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can sign up for receive phone calls, text messages, and emails alerts about severe weather events and emergencies.