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It’s a new year and a new season in the City of Atlanta. Winter brings special opportunities to spend time with family and friends and connect with the city in new ways. The season also brings a heightened risk of severe weather, so it is important to share with you what the City of Atlanta is doing to prepare and keep our residents and visitors safe.

Atlanta residents remain active and engaged year round, with many popular annual activities like 5k races, and events along the Atlanta BeltLine and the Atlanta Streetcar taking place. I encourage you to visit the calendar of events on our city website to find out what events are happening near you.

Winter can be a perfect time to see why Atlanta is gaining acclaim for its cutting-edge exhibitions, quality contemporary art and progressive arts scene. Our downtown art gallery, Gallery 72, has a strong focus on local talent and serves as an institution that supports individual artists, local galleries, arts organizations and curators. Gallery 72 is currently featuring the work of critically-acclaimed artist Paul Stephen Benjamin in a solo exhibition entitled Come Over. Exhibitions and artist talks are always open to the public and free.

Even with the buzz of activity happening in Atlanta during the winter months, there is always the chance of snowfall and icy conditions. I am committed to ensuring that the City of Atlanta is prepared to respond to winter weather and to keep residents informed, in real time, about conditions around the city.

In December, the newly established Mayor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness launched NotifyATL, the emergency notification system which will send emergency notifications and other important news and updates directly to all who live and work in the City of Atlanta. This system will allow the City to provide up-to-the-minute information about inclement weather preparation and response this season and throughout the year. I encourage everyone who lives, works or plays in Atlanta to sign up at www.Atlantaga.gov/notifyatl.

We have invested more than $4 million in storm and emergency preparedness resources and equipment in order to keep our City safe during inclement weather. Those investments include snow plows, sand and salt spreaders, and new liquid brine de-icing trucks, more than 60 pieces of equipment total.

The City’s preparation doesn’t end with equipment. Our Department of Public Works (DPW) has conducted several winter storm readiness exercises focused on priority roadways throughout the city. We have more than 30 DPW crews that will be on the ground working in the event of weather emergencies.

The Department of Parks and Recreation and the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services stand ready to offer extra support by opening select recreation centers to operate as temporary overflow emergency shelters in the event of a storm or below-freezing temperatures.

I am proud of the steps the City has taken and am confident in our ability to respond to inclement weather this season. As always, public safety is my top priority.

As with every season in our beautiful city, I invite you to engage in the community and take advantage of all our city has to offer. I guarantee you will be happy you did.

Last updated: 2/9/2016 1:15:31 PM