Mayor Richard Daley on Tuesday said the city is well-prepared to deal with winter, but urged citizens to use common sense and lend a helping hand to the elderly, disabled, sick and homeless.
"Almost everyone knows somebody who needs help from time-to-time. Check regularly on the well-being of your friends, your family -- especially your family -- your seniors, your relatives or neighbors who live alone who are elderly or who have a disability," he said.
As always, snow removal is one of the city's biggest tasks during winter and added equipment and technology will help the city fight the good fight.
Forty new snow trucks have been added to the Department of Streets & Sanitation's fleet, Daley said. If the weather turns very bad, the city can quickly add up to 200 trucks by attaching temporary "quick hitch" plows to garbage trucks.
The city will follow the progress of snow removal operations using GPS and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications' network of more than 1,000 cameras, including red light cameras. The city also has a network of ground sensors throughout the route system to show pavement temperatures and conditions.
Other items of note:
- Residents can sign up for weather & emergency alerts on AlertChicago.com.
- Winter parking regulations begin at 3 a.m. Wednesday.
- The Department of Family and Support Services will open six warming centers on Wednesday. They'll be open through March 1 or whenever temperatures drop below 32 degrees.
"Unfortunately, in this very difficult economy, some families will have real problems paying their utility bills this winter, and I urge them to apply for financial help using the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the Share the Warmth Program and the ComEd Care Program," said Daley.