School is out on Tuesday, but Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City had more emergency responders, 311 operators and sanitation workers on hand as one of the largest snowstorm continues to bear down.
All classes, as well as Regents exams, are cancelled for Tuesday. The mayor told reporters it would consider classes for Wednesday as the storm progressed.
"Reading a good book isn't a bad way to spend a day off from school," schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said.
Before Tuesdsay, the city has only closed schools 11 other times for bad weather since 1978.
"My message to all New Yorkers is prepare for something worse than we have seen before," de Blasio said.
The mayor also announced 500 extra New York Fire Department staff will be on duty during the storm, with 40 percent more ambulances on hand.
The Department of Sanitation also deployed some 2,400 workers ahead of Tuesday who are driving 1,800 snow plows and 500 salt spreaders carrying 225,000 tons of salt.
Non-emergency vehicles will be banned from the roads as of 11 p.m.. De Blasio said that includes taxis, food delivery bikes and personal vehicles that might be caught under up to 20 inches of snow.
"You have no reason to move your car at the rate this is going," the mayor warned New Yorkers who might want to dig their cars out.
All city parks are to close at 6 p.m., according to the Parks Department.
"This is not a typical storm, de Blasio added. "It's going to pack a real punch."
Meteorologists expect the heaviest snowfall to land late Monday through Tuesday morning, with an anticipated 12 to 18 inches.
Previously, the city's heaviest snowfall came in at 26.9 inches in February 2006.