Snow and ice can create challenges and disrupt your everyday routines. Make sure you’re ready when winter weather hits by being proactive and taking steps to protect people, pets, and your home. 


Keep warm and stay inside if possible when temperatures see extreme lows. If you need to go out, dress in layers and wear hats, gloves, and an appropriate coat and shoes.

If driving, be sure you have traction devices, your smart phone, some drinking water and non-perishable snacks in case you get stuck and have to wait for help.

Avoid overexertion, as cold weather puts added strain on your body.

Observe heater safety: never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water; keep heat sources at least three (3) feet away from furniture and drapes.

Never leave children unattended near a space heater.

Protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector and never using generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices indoors.


Ensure your home’s plumbing is winter weather ready and review a comprehensive list of tips compiled by Sunrise Water Authority to keep your pipes from freezing. Pro tip: Make sure you know where your home’s shut-off valve is and how to turn it on and off. You may even want to label it, so you can locate it quickly in case of an emergency.

Wrap exposed faucets and pipes, including those outside the house or in unheated crawl spaces, attics, garages, and other areas. If you don’t have the foam pipe coverings, a towel or rag and duct tape will do the trick.

Let your indoor faucets drip.

Open cabinets below sinks to allow the heat to circulate around the water pipes.

Insulate your outdoor water meter box and be sure its lid is on tight.

Cover any vents around your home’s foundation.

Drain and store water hoses indoors.

Protect outdoor electrical pumps.

Turn off sprinkler and irrigation systems and drain water supply lines.

If you leave town, consider turning off your water at the shut-off valve while faucets are running to drain your pipes.

Invest in a snow shovel and use it to keep driveways and pathways clear for emergencies.

Make sure storm drains remain clear of debris and are not blocked by cars, garbage cans, or accumulated snow.


Provide proper shelter for your pet whether they live indoors or outdoors. Indoor pets should have their bed or crate placed in a safe and warm place that is away from drafts.

Outdoor pets should have a well-insulated house that is wind and waterproof resistant and elevated off the ground so wind and moisture cannot collect inside. Install a door flap to protect against drafts and gusts of wind. Extra blankets and straw will also help to increase your pet’s warmth.

Room and floor heaters should be kept away from your pet as they are an obvious fire hazard and can cause serious injuries as well.

  • Make sure to provide fresh, clean water for your pet every day. Outdoor pets need to consume 25 to 50 percent more calories than usual because the cold weather tends to deplete their energy. Make sure to talk to your veterinarian to make sure what is right for your pet.


Many of our neighbors rely on a clear sidewalk to get to and from work, school or bus stops. To help keep our sidewalks safe and passable for your neighbors during winter snow storms, it is the responsibility of property owners to shovel sidewalks that border your property.

Shovel snow before it gets packed down or endures a freeze-thaw cycle, because it gets a lot harder to remove if you wait.

DO NOT move snow into the street. It could potentially be plowed right back onto the areas you just cleared. Deposit snow on the front yard or in areas away from the street and sidewalks.

While you’re out there, don’t forget to shovel out the fire hydrant and clear areas around storm drains.


The City of Happy Valley prioritizes plowing and sanding on the highest-use streets that accommodate the most drivers, major employment areas, schools and transit routes. We ask the community to drive cautiously, safely and do not follow closely behind nor pass the snowplows.

Snow Berms

Minimize potential for snow berms in front of your driveway. To do so, clear a wide apron in front and to the right of your driveway or walkway (when facing your property from the street). This allows snow that the plow has accumulated to drop off before it reaches your driveway.

Do not let children play in snow berms near roads! Encourage children to play and build their “snow forts” in the back/front yard or on private property and NOT in the right-of-way snow/ice berms. Plows cannot always see children!


Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a safe location and off the street during snowstorms. Parking impedes snowplows and makes roadways narrower, sometimes impassable to emergency vehicles.

Do not abandon your vehicle in the active part of a street. This creates a safety hazard and makes it difficult for our Public Safety Team to respond to emergencies and for the Public Works Team to treat the road. The City will proactively tow any vehicles that cause a hazard or obstruct snow clearing efforts. Should this occur, vehicles will be moved to a nearby curb or taken to the Community Policing Center or City Hall, and the owner of the vehicle will be fined.

If your vehicle is buried in the right-of-way and cannot be moved, please make every attempt to periodically clear off built up snow. Pile snow away from the right-of-way and as far back from storm drains. Plows cannot always judge a vehicle vs. a large snow berm. Do your part in removing obstacles that may be in the way of the plows.