Some of you may be experiencing the joys of snow and ice for the first time in a decade or longer. Some of you may just feel like this winter has lasted a decade. (or that could be me)
In any case, I do have some tips-some learned as a child–some learned as a resident of places where it snows.
- To reduce having to shovel large amounts–particularly if an emergency arises–park your car at the end of the driveway closest to the street. Better yet–park your cars in a line very close together if you have more than one. IN YOUR DRIVEWAY. If at all possible, do not be the ass that keeps a whole side of the road from being plowed, because you parked on the street.
- Do not shovel snow into the street or blow it into the street. This is illegal in many places. In the rest–it is dumb because the plow will just pile it up at the end of your driveway blocking you in AGAIN. Keep the area around your mail box clear and most areas would like you to pile the snow to the LEFT of your driveway if you are shoveling.
- Wide plastic snow shovels are lighter and best if you are a snow pusher. The ones with metal blades are best for scraping wet snow or ice.
- If you get regular amounts of snow in the 3-6 inch range–an electric snowthrower is a purchase that will make you very happy.
- Rinse your dogs’ feet if you walk them in the street/around the neighborhood. Pet safe salt is not universal
- Cat litter (not the gel kind) makes for good traction on ice. It will also make a mess if you don’t remove boots upon entering the house. If you must drive in ice–put a bag in your car (along with portable snow shovel, scraper, blanket)
- Salt is nice. Be sure to go and scoop up the partially thawed snow/ice as soon as the salt works though or you waste the salt unless you have excellent run off
- Knock the icicles off your house. It is not a good idea to leave them. Really.
- Don’t leave sodas in the car
- The following will work for car ice scraper: credit card, gift card, plastic spatula, that ridiculous giant plastic fork that comes in some of those kitchen sets. Also, a tarp over the windshield held in place with wipers and closing the doors on the end will keep it from freezing. Mostly.
- If you aren’t using something to keep your windshield from icing over–raise your windshield wipers before the snow/ice starts. It will keep them from freezing to your windshield and you being unable to use them OR tearing them up so they are useless when you go to use the car. (or sitting for a really long time waiting for the defroster to make its way through to the blades)
- Don’t go out if you don’t have to go out. Boredom, “It doesn’t look that bad”, Let’s drive over to the golf course to sled while the roads are still a mess are not “have to go out.” Let the plows and sanding trucks have plenty of room to get their job done.
- If you do go out–I don’t care if you have 4WD, AWD, the most special snow driving car ever–drive slowly, carefully, and turn on your lights. I’ve seen plenty of 4WD vehicles stuck in a ditch. I’ve seen many a car slide off the road after blowing past someone driving carefully. Related: Be super careful in areas where road construction is underway. The signage and cones and flashing lights might not be what they were.
- Look at how the snow and ice sparkles and the magic of the moon on the snow. It is beautiful.
- Clear the public sidewalk in front of your house. Why? Because it is the law. It keeps kids safe on their way to school. It keeps you safe from being sued if someone slips and falls in front of your house. (and I know also that you don’t want people to be injured.)