Your Battle Plan for Snow, Ice and Cold

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snow plows


Winter can bring delight or fright.

We’re not in the weather prediction business (though there’s seemingly a snow hole over the D.C. region lately), so all we can do is be prepared and encourage you to get ready for whatever this season may throw our way. We’ve compiled some of the more frequently accessed winter information below.

And for those unfamiliar, we offer this friendly reminder about snow removal: Fairfax County does NOT remove snow from most roads. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has that responsibility in nearly every Virginia county.



Our guide to snow website ( is your comprehensive place to get key information about:

  • VDOT Snow Removal Information (and plow tracker)
  • Weather Forecast and Expected Snowfall (updated daily)
  • Who Maintains Roads/Sidewalks
  • 8 Places to Consider Shoveling Snow
  • Tips for Creating a Neighborhood Snow Removal Plan
  • The Trick to Properly Shovel Your Driveway for When Snow Plows Pass
  • Snow Shoveling Safety



When recent rain or snowmelt comes into contact with freezing temperatures, black ice can form — and you might not even see it. And while black ice is more prevalent at night, it can often stick around for the morning commute. Use extreme caution when driving and don’t let black ice sneak up on you.

black ice information


While salt helps get rid of ice, too much can be harmful to our drinking water, aquatic life, trees, vegetation, vehicles, pipes and infrastructure. So, don’t overdo it. Make sure you’re using just enough to get the job done!

salt tips



When it’s especially cold outside, anyone can be affected by hypothermia if you don’t dress in layers and seek shelter when you can. However, not everyone in our county has a home, and therefore they are vulnerable to hypothermia.

The main thing to remember is to call the county’s non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131 , TTY 711, if you see someone at night who is unsheltered and you think could be at risk of hypothermia .

Learn more about how you can help our vulnerable community.



When the weather outside is frightful and cold, water can pose a significant risk to property. Check out this handy list from Fairfax Water about a variety of topics, including frozen water meters, frozen pipes, water spigots and more.



Is the county government open or delayed?

You can find out county government status updates this winter from a variety of sources:

Our Pubic Meetings Calendar will also note specific cancellations. 

Also note: The three courts in the county make their own operating decisions separate from county government to you know whether you have jury duty, cases are postponed and if court services are available.



Our public school system determines its own operating status, which can be a separate and different decision than county government. Learn more about the school decision-making process.



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