Winter Has Come – Snow Safety Tips

Winter has come – with a vengeance!  After 70 degree weather in NYC on Christmas we are being hit with one of the 5 worst blizzards in NYC history.  As the snow piles up, how can you safely clear paths and get the supplies you need?

Common Sense

  • Don’t drive – accidents maim and kill
  • Walk carefully – sidewalks and roads will have ice, snow and salt.  Footing will not be secure
  • Sled in known areas only
  • Any non-electric space heaters can emit carbon monoxide – which can kill.  Make sure to use heaters properly, and check the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Shovel Properly

Snow is heavy, and heart attack inducing!  Shoveling uses muscles not used on a regular basis, plus the temperature extremes cause blood vessels to constrict, which increases the risk of a heart attack.  If you have heart disease, you should minimize shoveling – hopefully there is a neighborhood kid who is willing to shovel!  If you must shovel:

  • push the snow, don’t lift
  • if you must lift the snow, don’t fill the shovel
  • use your legs, not your back
  • take frequent breaks

Other tips

Remember that walking, sledding and shoveling are strenuous activities in the snow.  Stay hydrated.  Snow is natures air cleanser – it absorbs the pollutants in the air as it falls.  So the first snow flakes that fall are dirtier than those a few hours later – but the pollutant levels are very low in general.  Catch snow on your tongue, but never plowed snow – that has sand and other chemicals mixed in.  And of course avoid the yellow snow!!

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