WIKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s no secret that we’ve seen very little snow this season. With little or no snow to shovel, how have we seen changes in preparation for winter weather?

The warm weather we saw throughout December seems to finally be changing to the cold normally seen during mid-winter. The temperate start to the season meant business at local hardware stores. Business has been sluggish when it comes to snow equipment.

“With the mild weather we’ve been having, it’s been very slow. We have some people who have prepared, they see ice melt or snow shovel they’ll buy it when they think ‘oh I’m gonna need this’. But most people react after snow comes,” Walter’s Hardware owner Walter Letanski said.

With snow and more cold weather on the way, chatter about the weather amongst customers has been picking up.

They’re talking about it. Maybe an inch or so, but yeah people are talking,” said Letanski.

Wilkes-Barre Fire Department has responded to fewer winter weather-related accidents this year. Typically, they will have increased staff for a winter storm if heavy snow is expected.

“If there’s a major snowstorm, we do consider bringing in extra staffing. This will be a routine shift for us,” said Wilkes-Barre Fire Department Deputy Chief Alan Klapat.

Despite Thursday night being a routine shift, they are ready for the next big snowstorm whenever that comes.

“We have tire chains on each apparatus. We also have what are called drop chains. The drop chains are automatic chains that drop down in front of the tire to give them extra traction. They’re good up to a few inches. If we get more than four to six inches, we put on the manual chains,” said Chief Klapat.

Ready or not, the snow will fall overnight and into Friday morning. Klapat also says to watch for crews shoveling around fire hydrants when the snow starts to pile up, otherwise the hydrants disappear beneath the snow.