Jessup, Lackawanna County-- The folks at PennDOT District 4 held their 'Winter Readiness Summit' Tuesday in conjunction with local and county leaders, along with representatives from the National Weather Service.
The meeting happened at the Lackawanna County Public Safety Center in Jessup.
And while it may seem a little early to talk snow, we need only look back to the storm that blasted through our area right around this same time last year to know that Mother Nature doesn't discriminate.
The focus of the summit was squarely on safety.
Officials discussed techniques for keeping first responders safe as they answer emergency calls.
They also brainstormed new ideas to inform and protect the public in the event of winter weather emergencies.
They even reviewed how to keep the media safe as we broadcast information during severe winter weather events.
PennDOT representatives say communication is key-- and new, improved technology is providing a big help in that department.
Bob Hassel, of PennDOT District 4, noted, "Since the storm of 2007, we've worked really hard on coordination and communication. In the past-- state police, PennDOT, the EMA's-- were all separate entities. And now, since that storm, we've all gotten together. We have communication amongst each other."
All the organizations are also much more involved with using social media channels to communicate with the public on a real-time basis.
National Weather Service meteorologists at the summit say last year's mild winter was an anomaly, and that we shouldn't expect a repeat.
They're predicting a number of sizable snow and ice storms, more along the lines of what we've come to expect from northeastern and central Pennsylvania winters.