Important Snow and Cold Weather Information
Things To Know Before It Snows
Important Information From the Howard County  
Department of Public Works 
Parking Reminders:
  • It is illegal to park on snow emergency routes. 
  • PLEASE park all cars in the driveway and off of the streets. Cars parked in streets are one of the biggest challenges for snow crews. 
  • It is illegal to park on the "inside" of a cul-de-sacs.  Please try to avoid parking in a cul-de-sac so that snow plows can maneuver around and not damage your vehicle or a county vehicle.
  • Uncover and clear fire hydrants of snow.
  • If possible clear storm drains.
  • Water Main Breaks:  Water main breaks may occur after large storms or cold weather.  If you see large volumes of water flowing down a street or coming from a pipe in the street, it could be a water main break.  This should be reported to the HoCo Bureau of Utilities at 410-313-4900.
  • Howard County Public Schools remind everyone NOT to park in school lots are cleared.  Empty lots can be plowed safely and completely cleared of snow.
  • Please try to avoid parking in front of CA paths so that CA crews can have access to the paths for snow removal.
Clearing Your Sidewalks
  • "It is the duty and obligation of the owner of property abutting a public sidewalk (public-right-of-way) to remove snow from the sidewalk within 48 hours after the snow has fallen." (Howard County Code, Section 18.402(h). 
  • Please be a good neighbor.  Our sidewalks are used by students and residents to get too and from school and work.  They need to be able to safely walk on sideways and not be forced into the street. 
Howard County Snow Patrol - If you would like to help clear snow for seniors or physically disabled residents please consider joining the Snow Patrol.  To be placed on the list of "snow patrol shovelers" please call 310-313-5980.

SNOW PLOW monitoring - track where the plows are! 
Click  HERE .

BGE Monitoring and Preparing for Impending Winter Storm
Report Outages by calling:  1-877-778-2222 
or report online at
Don't assume someone else has reported the outage - please report!   
Protect Pipes From Freezing and Potentially Bursting
For water pipes located on or next to an outside wall, inside a cabinet, in a garage or any other unheated area take note of the following precautions:
  • Wrap or insulate exposed pipes susceptible to low temperatures.
  • Utilize other approved, safe devices such as heat tape, to help keep pipes from freezing.
  • Leave hot and cold water dripping when temperature drops below 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Some pipes, such as those located in cabinets, may be situated against an outside wall and while they may be insulated, you should leave cabinet doors open to allow heat in the room the keep pipes warm and prevent freezing.
  • Turn off and drain outside hose bibs
  • Know where the main water cutoff valve is and how it works
  • Seal air leaks that allow icy blasts to reach pipes.
  • For homes with crawl spaces, close outside vents located in the foundation wall during extremely cold temperatures to keep exposed plumbing from freezing.
Keeping Safe from Fire - worth repeating from an earlier email from OMCA
  • Space heaters should be at least 3 feet from any surfaces that can burn. They shouldn't be left on overnight.
  • Chimneys should be inspected and/or cleaned every year.
  • Fireplace screens should always used to protect you from sparks.
  • Fresh cut Christmas trees should be placed in a suitable stand with a water level above the fresh cut and checked daily.
  • When the tree becomes dry, it should immediately be removed from the building.
  • Menorahs should be placed away from any items that could catch on fire.
  • An adult should supervise lighting the candles and until they burn out.
  • Place waxed paper under menorahs to catch melted wax.
Additional Friendly Reminders from Oakland Mills 
  • Charge cell phones and other electronic devices NOW and keep them charged throughout the storm (as long as you have power).
  • Do a last minute battery check and keep flashlights accessible.
  • Look out for one another.  Check in with neighbors.
  • Be especially careful when shoveling snow - we are all vulnerable to have a life threatening snow related medical emergency - be smart, shovel safe - lift with your legs, not your back.
  • Bring in pets before the storm.
  • Enjoy some unexpected family time, snuggle up with a good book and hot cup of chocolate. Plan your summer vacation!!!!
Where to Go For More Snow Information - EMERGENCIES  9 1 1 
Howard County Government - click  HERE
Columbia Association - click HERE 
Columbia Association email for Open Space Issues:
Howard County Phone Numbers: 
Snow Emergency Information   410-313-2900
Bureau of Highways                  410-313-7450
Bureau of Utilities                      410-313-4900
Bureau of Environmental Svc.   410-313-6444
Oakland Mills Community Association at The Other Barn
Closing related messages will be on the answering machine,  
send by email and on Facebook.
Phone: 410-410-4610

Howard County Police and Fire are the first responders so always call
9 - 1 - 1 for emergencies.

Stay safe the winter both inside and out,
Sandy Cederbaum, Village Manager