Things You Need to Know Before the Snow

Don’t let those 50 degree days fool you, winter is NOT over.  Over the next couple of days the entire state of New York is going to experience some pretty heavy snow fall.  Schools will be cancelled, businesses will be closed, and most people will do what they can to stay inside.  Unfortunately not everyone will be so lucky.  Many people will still need to find a way to work, will need to go out and shovel, snow plow or do what they can to help keep our communities safe.

If you search the internet for snow tips you will find safety tips for anything from walking in the snow, shoveling snow, to tips about driving in the snow.  With the storm of the year approaching, I thought I would consolidate some of these safety tips for you as you prepare for the upcoming inclement weather.


Tips for walking in the snow and ice

SIMA, Snow & Ice Management Association offers some of the following tips for safe winter walking:

  • Wear proper footwear
  • Look up while walking to see where your feet will step next to help anticipate ice or uneven surfaces.  This will also help you be aware of what you are walking under and be prepared for falling ice or snow.
  • Use your eyes and ears.  While seeing the environment is important it is equally important to listen for oncoming traffic and snow removal equipment.

For more tips on walking in the snow and ice from SIMA, click here.


Tips for shoveling snow

One of our carriers Travelers, offers some great tips for shoveling snow.  For the full list of tips and details click here, but here are a few of their important tips to follow:

  • Push rather than lift the snow to help reduce strain on the body.
  • Keep up with the snow fall and try to shovel shortly after the snow falls.  The longer the snow sits the wetter and heavier it gets.
  • Wear layers and remove them as you get warm to help maintain a comfortable body temperature.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.


Tips for driving in the snow and ice

AAA offers many tips for driving in the winter and for driving in the snow.   While these tips may help you while you are on the road, one of the best tips they offer is to stay home if you can.  If you don’t have to go out, DON’T!  They say, “Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.”  I couldn’t agree with them more!  Unfortunately, like I said earlier, we aren’t all fortunate to get to stay home.  If you must go out and will be traveling by car, follow these safety tips and check out this article for their complete list of tips.

  • Accelerate, decelerate and drive slowly.  Everything takes longer when there is snow on the ground so give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on a slippery surface.
  • Increase your following distance from the normal 3 to 4 seconds to 8 to 10 seconds allowing yourself more time to stop if you need too.
  • Make sure to keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated.


Tips for preparing for a winter storm

While it is important to understand safety tips for being out in a storm, it is also important to prepare your home and family for bad weather.  The Red Cross offers many tips for winter storm preparedness for both before and during a storm.  Some of these tips include having the following items on hand:

  • At least a 3-day supply of water and food
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and 7-day supply of medications
  • Baby and pet supplies
  • Ample alternate heating methods such as fireplaces or wood burning stoves

Check out their full article here for all their great tips and suggestions.


Lastly, I must mention that severe storms are often a time for many auto and home claims.  If you find you have gotten in an accident or your vehicle or home have suffered damage from the storm, call your agent immediately.  They can assist you with understanding your coverage and filing a claim.  If you ever have any insurance questions regarding winter storms, our agents are always available to answer your questions!

We hope everyone stays safe and warm over the next few days!


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