For all those, like me, who are affected by the blizzard, a few ways to keep yourself safe:
1. Please do not stray too far out in the blizzard alone, with poor visibility, it is easy to get lost especially in poor lighting.
2. The same goes for your animals, off leash, they can easily get lost with poor visibility, especially with poor lighting. My two dogs are so small they are below the snow line…making this blizzard a real treat for bathroom breaks!
3. When shoveling, take breaks: the exercise when shoveling is a lot more exertion than people think, and it is easy to strain muscles and/or exert yourself to the point of heart attack (we see a lot of cardiac arrests during snow storm shoveling). So please take breaks, and ask for help, or if you have a plow, do a favor for someone who might not be able to shovel themselves out.
4. Be careful with snow blowers: they can get clogged up, sometimes requiring you to pull out rocks, branches, etc. but make sure that the motor is off, and even though it isn’t as exerting as shoveling, take breaks! Being exhausted and operating any sort of motorized equipment is as unsafe as being under the influence of alcohol, so please be safe and take breaks as you can.
5. If you have chronic medical conditions, or are unwell, have a plan to get to medical assistance if necessary, and emergency services are up and running with the help of the National Guard, but they need to be safe getting to you, so times may be slightly delayed, so keep that in mind. If you have someone driving you to the hospital, give yourself time and drive safely to get there.
6. Please be mindful of driving bans, it’s for your own safety!
7. Use common sense, it seems fun to go out and do crazy things in the snow, but temperatures are cold, visibility is low, snow drifts are higher than expected, and transportation is really difficult right now. So, if you have to get your crazies out, bring a cell phone and a friend, and let people know what you are up to/when you are going. Especially if you have been drinking to pass the time (remember to eat and to hydrate well!)
8. And a general winter warning: Don’t go skating on ponds unless it is posted that it is safe to do so. Many times ponds/lakes appear more frozen than they are!
9. To stay healthy? Remember you don’t need a gym to get exercise when you get stir crazy, you can always rock out with some yoga, jumping jacks, burpees, squats, etc. there’s way to keep moving even when confined to your home.
Otherwise, enjoy the snow, have fun, and hopefully we will all be able to escape our homes safely soon enough! Remember: Helping someone out is a good feeling, so if you are fit and have the means (a plow/snow blower), help someone who might be completely snowed in and unable to get themselves out.
Yours in Good Health