HARRISBURG, Pa. (WENY) -- With the winter season just around the corner, the Keystone State is detailing its $223 million budget dedicated to this winter's statewide operations.

PennDOT is set to deploy about 4,500 on-the-road workers, with more than 620,000 tons of salt.

To stay informed, officials encourage Pennsylvanians to check 511pa.com for travel information on state-maintained roadways.

The Turnpike Commission will be working 24/7 to keep the turnpike as free of snow and ice as possible, but officials say drivers too have a responsibility.

"Our professional crews work hard, but they cannot perform miracles," PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton said. "Winter storms are a fact of life in our region, and drivers may have impractical expectations, especially early in the season; never assume roads will be free of ice and snow during and after a blizzard. Remember, wintertime driving requires reducing your speed to well below the posted limit, even in an all-wheel or four-wheel drive."

Drivers can also prepare for potential bad weather by ensuring they have supplies in their cars before heading out: food; water; blankets; extra gloves and hats; cell phone charger; hand or foot warmers; windshield brush and scraper; and any specialized items like medications or baby and pet supplies.

"We know that winter weather can hit hard and fast in Pennsylvania," PEMA Director Randy Padfield said. "But if we know it's coming, we can prepare for it, and we all have a role to play in making sure our loved ones are ready for winter driving."

Padfield said it's also important to know the difference between a weather watch and warning:

  • A watch means there is increased risk of a hazardous weather event, but its occurrence, location, or timing is still uncertain. Pay attention to forecasts and plan out what you will do if/when it occurs.
  • A warning means the weather even is imminent or is happening. Take immediate action to protect lives and property.