Well, we’ve got another serious snow storm on the way. We’ve gone over a lot of tips regarding driving in winter weather, how to properly deice your driveway, etc. Now, we’d like to discuss some general tips from ready.gov for enduring this snowstorm. Some might sound obvious – others, not so much.
If you can, stay indoors during the storm. It’s supposed to get heavy. If you can avoid driving, avoid it. But if you cannot, make sure your friends and family know that you are out on the road and where you are headed.
Make sure you wear boots that aren’t worn out, and be extremely careful and slow while walking across snow or anything that even looks icy.
When you’re shoveling, don’t overexert yourself. Overexertion could lead to strain on the heart. Take frequent breaks. Make sure you hydrate. Dress warm and wear gloves. Push snow instead of lifting it when possible to avoid back injuries.
Make sure you keep dry. If your clothes get too wet, it’s time to take a break and change into dry clothes. Clothes that are wet can easily lose their ability to insulate heat.
Know the signs of frost bite. Loss of feeling and extreme pale color on your hands, feet, earlobes, face or nose could be frostbite. If you do feel you have frost bite in an area, cover the area immediately. Do not rub the area in attempt to warm it up. Seek medical attention right away.
Know the signs of hypothermia. “Dangerously low body temperature. Uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion” are all signs of hypothermia. If you experience these symptoms, have someone take your temperature. If it’s below 95°, seek medical attention right away. Get to a warm location while awaiting help. Use dry blankets to warm up, and warm the center of the body first. Drink warm, non-alcoholic beverages.
If your pipes freeze, don’t panic. Unwrap any insulation around your frozen pipes and open all faucets. When pipes burst, it’s usually during the thawing process if the water has no place to go. So make sure all water valves are open and all faucets are turned on. Then, begin to poor hot water (or use a hair dryer – whatever is more convenient) on the places where your pipes were most exposed to the cold.
If you’re using portable heaters, make sure you read about our guide to safely heating your home.
If you’re shoveling, and the snow is just too much, shovel layers at a time. This could also help avoid back injuries. Fun fact, spray some pam on the end of your shovel so the snow won’t stick.
Last but not least, here’s a pretty cool video on creating a DIY “Snow Ripper” you might want to check out. When removing snow from your roof, be as careful as possible. Make sure there’s someone to hold the ladder, and that your snow rake is long and extendable.