This fall has already set some cold temperature records in Maryland, and we’ve even seen a few flurries in some parts of the state. The 2014-2015 winter is expected to bring “above average snowfall,” as meteorologists like to call it. This could be a few more storms than usual or an extra ten inches we weren’t ready for. Weather is unpredictable, so it helps to be prepared for a variety of winter scenarios. Calling a Maryland snow remover might be your first instinct, but before we can get to you, here are some tips on how to stay safe in a snowstorm.
Track the Weather
It’s almost unavoidable these days to stay completely oblivious to the weather news, but it’s still possible to miss an important announcement. Whether you watch the news on TV, listen to the radio or have a weather app on your phone, check it at least once a day in winter. Make sure there is someone at your work doing this as well, so that they can make timely and appropriate office closure decisions. Get things done before the storm comes and avoid driving unless you absolutely have to.
Deice Your Driveway
The road you live on might get salted and plowed, but your driveway will still be snowy and icy. It might not be a big deal for your car, as you only need to make it to the road, but for foot traffic snow-covered ice can be very dangerous, causing falls and injuries. If your driveway is under several feet of snow, it might be easier to get the snow plowing company to clear it for you. However, if it’s just a few inches, here are some measures you can take to deice your driveway:
- Cover your driveway with rock salt before the storm, but make sure to keep your pets away from it.
- Redoing your driveway? Have your driveway contractor install heat mats underneath to keep it ice-free all winter long.
- Use sand or kitty litter to add traction for your feet or your set of wheels.
- There are many home remedies for melting ice fast to get going in the morning.
If you need ongoing deicing, invest in an eco-friendly ice melt that won’t contaminate water supply, harm your pets, children or carpets.
If You Get Stuck in Your Car
If the blizzard came unexpectedly or you just had to travel through it and got stuck, the safest thing is to stay inside your car until someone can come rescue you or the conditions get better. That’s unless you are within a walking distance from your home, hotel or another shelter. It helps if you keep some emergency supplies in your vehicle, such as nonperishable food, blankets and a flashlight. If you are keeping your engine on, make sure your exhaust pipe doesn’t get buried in the snow. Otherwise, you risk carbon monoxide poisoning from the exhaust gasses sipping into the cabin.
If You Get Stuck at Home
So you got lucky—you are free to weather the storm in the comfort of your home—if only your home was comfortable. Snow storms and blizzards often come with lengthy power outages, which means no hot water, no heat, no light and many hours to kill. And if you don’t have a fireplace or a backup generator, you risk ending up with frozen pipes aside from the frozen toes. Here is how to survive a snowstorm if you are stuck in your house:
- stock up on food that doesn’t require cooking
- have alternative energy and heating sources, such as a battery-operated flashlight, a wood-pallet stove, external batteries, etc.
- have extra gasoline if you are running a gas-powered generator
- don’t let your cellphone die—keep it off to save charge
- have some non-digital entertainment like board games to stay sane during long power outages.
If you decide to venture outside in the middle of the blizzard, make sure you are dressed appropriately, because frostbite and hypothermia are real threats. Make sure someone is keeping track of your absence in case you slip, fall and hurt yourself. And once the blizzard is over and you wake up the next morning to your car snowed in up to the garage roof, call 1-855-Got-Paving and let us clear the snow for you. Shoveling is not only physically exhausting, but risky for people with certain health conditions.
Contact us if you have any questions or to have us on retainer for your snow removal needs.