ATLANTA - The city of Atlanta is preparing for wintry weather this weekend. "We take advanced storm planning very seriously," Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said at a news briefing Friday morning.
Mayor Reed, along with other city officials, talked about the city's preparations and offered recommendations to ensure the safety of Atlanta's residents.
"We have 100 pieces of equipment that are ready to move into action once the city has been cleared," Reed said. "It is critical that we maintain the safety of our roadways."
City of Atlanta’s resources include a total of 12 salt spreaders, 40 snow plows, 8 brine sprayers, 2000 tons of salt in hand, 1500 tons of aggregate and 10,000 gallons of brine. The city of Atlanta also has private contractors on standby if additional resources are needed.
"We expect road conditions to turn hazardous this evening and remain that way through Sunday," Reed said. "Once the snow starts falling, the Department of Public Works will ensure priority roads are passable."
The City is currently operating at a Level 3 emergency response. City crews will begin operating on 12-hour shifts throughout the duration of the storm to ensure the safety and drivability of city roadways. City residents and visitors are encouraged to avoid all unnecessary travel during periods of precipitation and while crews are working to clear and treat surface streets.
In order to ensure the city remains safe, Mayor Reed is asking for everyone to participate in staggered departures. City of Atlanta schools will begin releasing students at 11:30 a.m., which is also the time parents are being asked to pick up their children. Private sector employees within the city are being asked to leave work at 12:30 p.m. Non-essential employees should be home by 4 p.m.
At the news conference, Reed urged residents to secure adequate food and fuel, recommending residents have three days worth of food as well as water.
"It’s critical to stay well informed and help keep tabs on our children, sick and the elderly."
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Mayor Reed said he will be tweeting and sharing updates on Facebook throughout the day to help keep residents informed. He also suggested anyone who lives in the region utilize the city's emergency notification system "Notify ATL."
"This is a very serious weather event," Mayor Reed said. "This is a very significant storm."