Snow removal is one of the winter’s most arduous tasks. While snow is beautiful, provides much need moisture and refreshes the landscape, snow is also an inconvenience to many folks who awake to find a foot of fresh snow blanketing their driveway. Unfortunately, the weatherman can’t schedule the storm to accommodate your busy schedule, and the snow arrives at the most inopportune time.
While you can’t avoid the next big snowstorm, you can be prepared. If your busy schedule requires an early morning departure, it is a good idea to check the weather forecast the night before and plan accordingly. If snow is predicted, set an alarm clock to allow adequate time for getting your car started, shoveling snow from the driveway, and slow and safe driving. When the roads are icy and snow packed is not the time to be running late for work and in a rush. Allow extra time and stay safe.
Before heading out to shovel the walkway, make sure to do a few stretching exercises to warm up your muscles to avoid injury. Dress appropriately for the weather in layers, hat, gloves, and waterproof slip-resistant boots. Traction is crucial to prevent slips and falls. If the sun is out, protect eyes with glare blocking sunglasses and don’t forget to protect exposed skin with sunscreen.
Wear bright colored clothing and be aware of your surroundings when shoveling near the street or roadway. An oncoming auto may not be able to stop or control their approach.
Select The Correct Shovel
For light and fluffy snow, use a snow blower. There are different types of snow blowers available for purchase online or at local home and garden supply stores. Do the research and determine the power and capacity you need for the predominant type of snow falls in your area.
For removal of heavy snow and ice consider selecting an ergonomic snow shovel that matches your size and strength. When you use an ergonomic snow shovel, you do not have to bend your back as much.
Using the wrong shovel and trying to remove more snow than your back can comfortably lift promotes strain and injury. If you are a shorter or slender individual, a lightweight shovel with a short handle is a good choice. Make sure that the shovel has the right size of blade to remove snow efficiently without physical strain. An aluminum blade is stronger and more durable than plastic and lighter than steel. However steel is best for removing ice. Choose the lightest weight shovel that will do the job.
When it comes to over doing it physically, it is better to push snow, rather than to try to lift it. A push-type snow shovel with a U-shaped handle works great for walks and driveways where you can push the snow off to the side. Select a push-type snow shovel that is no wider than your narrowest walkway.
Play It Safe
Pace yourself. Don’t overexert yourself; doing so can lead to muscle strain or a heart attack; take a break and stay hydrated.