As the snow and storms roll into New England, especially with less snow removal crews available, it is time to start thinking about some steps we can all take to have a relatively comfortable and safe winter. A whole slew of issues come with the winter season besides crowded sidewalks, and snow drifts taller than the cars. Follow these tips and be sure to stay safe this season!
Be wary of Carbon Monoxide!
Ventilation of all types can be very easily blocked, and stopped by accumulating snow, especially in vehicles. Take caution if you are planning to warm your vehicle up while digging it out of the snowbank make sure there is clear airflow around the exhaust. This will ensure that your vehicle cabin won’t fill with the dangerous gas.
Keep a blanket in your car.
Even though we never think we will be the ones forced off the road by ice, snow, or wind it can happen. In this event it is critical that you are able to stay warm and conserve fuel in your car in the event you are stuck in a storm. In order to stay warm it is always good to have a blanket that you can either wrap yourself in or alternatively use the blanket to make a dividing wall in your vehicle between front and back seat making the space that needs to be heated much smaller. Even if it is just a spare blanket from your couch, though many in New England would recommend spending $5-$10 on a portable emergency foil blanket which will keep you much warmer much more efficiently.
Have the tools
Nobody likes to be caught unprepared and one of the most important things you can do is make sure that there is at minimum a snow scraper with a brush, and a small shovel on hand in your vehicle (I like to keep a full size shovel in my home as well). These tools can prove to be invaluable in the event of snow and ice build up on your vehicle proper, or when you’re trying to get out the grocery store parking lot. These will make cleaning your car and getting it out worlds easier and safer as well, because having the proper equipment is one of the best ways to avoid frostbite, hurt joints, or injury from another vehicle.
Have the right clothes
Arguably the most important aspect of staying comfortable and safe in the winter are the clothes you wear. For the fashionista reader you will love to know that layers are your friend this time of year, and knit caps, and sweaters are excellent for keeping warm. When the temperature drops below 40° fahrenheit is is recommended that keeping exposed skin to a minimum and a mouth and nose covering should be worn to protect lungs from cold shock (especially if you suffer from Asthma or Bronchitis), and while everybody loves gloves mittens will actually keep your fingers much warmer. Sun glasses are also an important part of any winter outfit and not just because they look good, they will help preserve your vision and prevent snow blindness which very commonly causes car accidents, and just as scary permanent cornea and iris damage. A simple pair of shades will help solve that problem.
It can be difficult to pay attention to what is happening around you when the entire world is frozen but it is incredibly important that we do. With snow banks higher than 4feet in some places it is critical for the safety of everybody that everybody is looking twice before crossing the street, or diving through an intersection. It’s easy for a car or pedestrian to be hidden behind a snow drift and that’s how accidents happen. So just take the time to look out for each other and we can expect to have another great New England Winter Wonderland!