Winter Storm 2015
We are closed due to the STORM. Stay safe and indoors.
General Tips for Safe Snow Clearing
- Dress appropriately. Light, layered, water-repellent clothing provides both ventilation and insulation. It is also important to wear the appropriate head covering and and thick, warm socks. Choose gloves or mittens that will keep your hands warm, dry, and blister-free. Avoid falls by wearing shoes or boots that have slip-resistant soles.
- Start early. Try to clear snow early and often–particularly if a large snowfall is expected. It is always best to begin shoveling/snowblowing when there is just a light covering of snow on the ground. Starting early will give you the best chance possible to avoid the potential injuries that come with moving packed, heavy snow.
- Make sure you can see. Be sure that you can fully see the area that you are shoveling/snowblowing. Do not let a hat or scarf block your vision. Watch for ice patches and uneven surfaces.
- Check with your doctor if you have any medical problems. Clearing snow places a great deal of stress on the heart–so if you have a medical condition or do not exercise regularly, you should speak with your doctor before shoveling or snow blowing. You may also wish to consider hiring someone to remove the snow, rather than doing it yourself.
- Warm-up your muscles. Shoveling can be a vigorous activity. Before you begin this physical workout, warm-up your muscles for 10 minutes with light exercise.
- Pace yourself. Snow shoveling and snow blowing are aerobic activities. Take frequent breaks and prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or other signs of a heart attack, stop the activity and seek emergency care.
- Proper equipment. Use a shovel that is comfortable for your height and strength. Do not use a shovel that is too heavy or too long for you. Space your hands on the tool grip to increase your leverage.
- Proper lifting. Try to push the snow instead of lifting it. If you must lift, do it properly. Squat with your legs apart, knees bent, and back straight. Lift with your legs. Do not bend at the waist. Scoop small amounts of snow into the shovel and walk to where you want to dump it. Holding a shovelful of snow with your arms outstretched puts too much weight on your spine. Never remove deep snow all at once–this is particularly important in the case of heavy, wet snow. Do it in pieces.
- Safe technique. Do not throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side. This requires a twisting motion that stresses your back.