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The City of Portland, Oregon

Ted Wheeler

Mayor, City of Portland

main phone: 503-823-4120

1221 SW 4th Ave, Room 340, Portland, OR 97204

Stay prepared and safe for winter weather this season

As the nights get longer and the wind gets stronger there is one thing all Portlanders can be sure of. Winter is on its way. If you were anywhere near Portland last year, it is very likely that you are thinking about… snow! Friend to many and foe to some, snow has been present the last few winters in our city. Despite opinions on the frosty wintertime weather, it is important that everyone is prepared when it arrives. This year, Portland is expecting to experience a series of winter weather events. Here is what you can do to be prepared.

Adopt a Storm Drain

One very effective way to participate in keeping Portland safe is to adopt a storm drain. Portland Bureau of Transportation has begun a program that encourages people all around Portland to adopt their own storm drains. Located in the street, a storm drain helps to drain water quickly and efficiently. When a drain gets clogged with fallen leaves and debris, it leads to standing water in our streets and intersections. Not only does this make it harder to drive, walk, bike and roll around town, but it allows for the dangerous accumulation of ice and snow in the streets. With 58,000 drains all over the city, and your help, Portland can continue doing the things that it does best all winter long. Of course, you can always unofficially adopt a storm drain and keep your neighborhood safe. Visit the Bureau of Transportation website for tips and tricks.

Clear your Sidewalk

Walking over and compacting snow is dangerous and no want wants to be liable for someone falling on the unofficial ice skating rink in front of your home. It’s important to remember that ALL PROPERTY OWNERS are REQUIRED to clear their sidewalks in the event of winter weather.  

Check in on your Neighbors

Winter is often referred to as the ‘Season of Giving’ and what would be a better gift than showing your neighbors you care. Ask them if they have access to food, heat, and water, or if there is anything else you can assist them with during the storm. Keeping everyone around you is safe in a winter event, is an excellent way to make sure that the snow is a good experience for every neighborhood.

Check in with your Neighborhood

Checking in with your neighborhood association is a good way to get involved during winter months. Neighborhood associations often are clued in on city emergency plans and may have emergency priorities of their own that you can help with. 

Volunteer with Friends

Volunteering is an amazing way to impact people with your positive spirit. What is more powerful than one Portlander helping another and making the larger community strong? Volunteer at a local shelter or donation center is another excellent way to show your winter spirit. Transition Projects even has training available for first time volunteers (Sign-up for a training by clicking here:

Be Safe, Enjoy the Snow
The anticipation of snow showers and wintery fun is exhilarating for Portlanders of all ages. We all want to be prepared and safe. Make sure that you are well stocked with hot chocolate mix, fuzzy snow boots, and a subscription to the winter weather public alerts. All of these together will make the winter weather just another fun way to celebrate the coming new year.

Feel free to contact our office with any additional comments or questions you may have at  And don’t forget to tag your winter weather pics with the hashtag #pdxsnow so we can all enjoy them together.