Oh, hey, it’s that chore that everyone hates, shoveling snow! Well, unsurprisingly, it also comes with several high risk factors that you should know of. So, before this Nor’Easter forces us to shovel a foot of white stuff, here’s some precautions.
CT Post reports that over 100 people die from shoveling snow. I know, weird, right? Anyways, because of the extraordinary amount of snow expected to fall tomorrow, now’s a good time to go over the basics.
Our friends at Keough’s Paint and Hardware have the right idea on how to make sure you always stay safe when shoveling snow. If you need to load up on shovels and/or ice melter – these guys got you covered. They strongly recommend having an ergonomic shovel on hand since they’re easier on the back.
But, everyone agrees that shoveling snow is a beast. It exerts your body, tires you out, and increases your risk of injury.
So, the best thing to do is not to wait until the storm is over to shovel. In fact, pushing snow around every couple of inches will save you the pain of moving a mountain of snow at a time. You’ll thank yourself later.
Especially since the majority of CT might see a foot or more of snow. So, keeping ahead of it is imperative.
Also, after pushing around the snow, add ice melter in between to help keep the snow from freezing over and creating a slip risk. By constantly packing down the snow, it will become ice, and bite you in the butt later.
With that said, take breaks regularly while shoveling snow because you might injure your back, neck, or shoulders if you don’t. There’s no shame in taking a moment to catch your breath, release a string of curse words under your breath, and Google how many days left until Spring.
In the event of throwing snow, make sure you keep all digits, arms, and legs away from the moving parts. If your machine becomes clogged, don’t reach into the blades to clear it out. Instead, use the end of a broom or something expendable in case the machine turns back on. You don’t want to become material for Grey’s Anatomy.
Lastly, fire dangers don’t magically disappear when there’s snow on the ground. Fire fighters and first responders ask those who have a fire hydrant on their property, or nearby, to please clear the snow away from it. The way to do that is to clear a 3-foot radius from the hydrant. So, if a fire does spring up, personnel won’t waste time having to clear away that foot of snow themselves. During a fire, every second matters.
But, you already knew all this, right? We live in New England for crying out loud.
Anyways, just to make sure everyone remains as safe as possible tomorrow: the American Red Cross issued a PSA about the benefits of over-preparing for a severe weather event.
1. Assemble a winter preparedness kit
Basically, the kit contains items that will help in case of a power outage. Make sure it has warm clothes like hats and coats, blankets, sand to use on any ice, first aid essentials, and extra batteries. People should also make sure they have enough canned food (and an opener) on hand. With that said, a working flashlight and bottled water are also essential.
It might sound weird or that you basically prepared for the apocalypse. But, having these items aside in case the storm does exactly what forecasters say it’ll do, you’ll thank yourself later.
2. Winterize your car
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of your car becoming stuck on the highway, no need to panic. The most important thing: fill up your car. By keeping the tank full, it’ll help prevent the fuel lines from freezing. Also, keeping batteries, snacks, water, and items to help warm you up with keep you going until help comes. It also is a good idea to keep your phone 100% charged. Also, make sure your windshield wipers and car battery are in good shape. Plus, checking your windshield wiper fluid and tire pressure will help you out in the long run, too.
3. Winterize your home
We all know the dangers of Carbon monoxide poisoning. Unfortunately, severe weather increasing your chances of poisoning. Continually check to make sure the vents leading to your furnace and dryers remain clear of snow. If snow winds up blocking the vents, it could cause a gas buildup. In addition, if you lose power, keep your water running at a trickle to prevent the pipes from freezing.
4. Use Generators Safely
In the unfortunate event you lose power, make sure you run your generator outside. Even if you let it run in a garage or basement, you still run a risk for carbon monoxide poisoning even if you vent it. Not to mention, the gas will linger for hours after you shut the generator off. So, if you feel sick, find yourself some fresh air first before turning the machine off because you might have CO poisoning.
Winter Storm Elsa, as named by WFSB, is expected to dump 8 to 18 inches of snow across the state. Stay safe, everyone!