(WFRV) – From highway departments to grocery stores, people all over northeast Wisconsin have been preparing for the incoming winter storm.

At the Brown County Highway Department, drivers loaded up their plows with salt and did final inspections on their vehicles to make sure that everything works correctly.

Brown County Highway commissioner Paul Fontecchio said that 44 plows will run during the day and 20 at night to keep the roads as cleared as possible throughout the storm. He said he sent his night crew home at 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning so that they could rest before returning to work once the flakes begin to fall.

Fontecchio said that drivers work 12 hours shifts and then immediately switch with another driver to make sure that the plow is always out on the road.

“In April of 2019 we had that two-foot snowstorm, some of our trucks never shut off for seven straight days so we can accommodate that (working multi-day storms),” said Fontecchio.

Each driver is responsible for a route that takes about two hours to complete. The department prioritizes the busiest roads in the county and makes sure that there is always a plow on some roads.

“Some of the more rural areas especially with these types of storms where we’re going to have higher winds those are going to be the ones that we struggle with,” said Fontecchio.

Fontecchio reminds drivers to drive carefully and give extra space around plows.

Local highway departments aren’t the only ones preparing for the storms. Over at Carstens Ace Hardware in Kaukauna, owner Drew Carstens said they see an influx of people coming in for supplies in the days before a big snow event.

“Definitely get a lot of the roof cables that help get the ice dams out although thankfully we haven’t had to use a lot of that this year, snow shovels, ice melt, spark plugs for snowblowers,” said Carstens.”

Carstens said that many people buy their major winter gear like snowblowers ahead of the winter season. The days before a storm is more about getting items that will help them maintain their cold-weather gear.

Carstens also said that there are differences in shovels. Some are meant for pushing snow across the sidewalk and other are meant for picking up snow and throwing it into the grass. He said having the correct shovel for your preferred method of shoveling is important and to check with associates at the store if you have questions.

He also said that if the snow becomes wet and heavy, footing is bad, or if accumulation is significant a snowblower is a safer option than shoveling.

“Shoveling is healthy if you can do it, but make sure you’re safe when you’re out there and the ground is good (footing-wise),” said Carstens.

Woodman’s Food Market was another popular place on Tuesday afternoon. Checkout lines were long throughout the afternoon as people scrambled to stock up on items before the big snowstorm.

“I’m making chili and chicken pot pie,” said Sheri Dagner from Kaukauna.

Dagner said she’s a truck driver and she’s thankful that she has the next two days off of work.

“I don’t want to be out there (on the roads) on my home time, so I’m getting some meals prepared so I can just stay home and relax,” said Dagner.

Dagner advises other drivers to increase the following distance on the roads as the weather conditions worsen.

Several municipalities have issued snow emergencies.

Neenah issued one effective Wednesday at 1 p.m. until Sunday at noon. People can’t park their cars on city streets during nighttime hours or they will be ticketed or towed. The purpose of this is to make sure the public works department can clear snow as easily as possible.

The city of New London issued a similar snow emergency. Theirs runs from Wednesday at 8 p.m. until Friday at 6 a.m. Nobody is allowed to park on city streets.

The city of De Pere has delayed garbage and recycling pickup until Friday because of the storm and has also issued a snow emergency from 5 p.m. Wednesday until 5 a.m. Friday. No parking will be allowed on city streets.

Outagamie County officials have issued a tow ban for interstate 41 and 441.

For a full list of municipalities that have issued snow emergencies, click here.