Before you can build a snowman, you have to be ready for the snow! Besides, I love the movie Frozen and just had to use that gif. 🙂
During the winter months, I have become an avid watcher of the Weather Channel and frequenter on their website. Do you know what I saw when i checked the 10 day forecast? A chance of snow set for Tuesday. Am I the only one who feels like Whitney here:
When winter first began, of course I looked forward to some snow. Here we are today, 5 snowstorms and 25+ cummulative inches later, and the allure is gone. I am SO over snow!
Alas, Punxsutawney Phil has predicted that we will have six more weeks of winter. *sigh* Well, if we are going to have all of this snow, you should be prepared. The question is by now, are you ready for snow?
Snow Blowers: I am a BIG believer in snow blowers. This is not about me being lazy or anything like that. If you use a snow blower once, you will understand. Yes, snow blowers are an investment but they make a difference. We purchased a snow blower for my parents after my dad was recovering from heart surgery. Snow blowers cause less exertion (it's not erased completely) than shoveling by hand.
Thinking of getting a snow blower? You should always do your research but here's a brief synopsis on snow blowers:
- Electric – light-weight use and requires an electric cord be plugged in so there is no need for any gas-oil mix. Can remove snow upto ~4″ at a time (depends on model). If you're going to purchase an electric snow blower, I would recommend buying an extension cord.
- One-Stage Snow Blowers – light-weight use and requires a gas-oil mix. There is only one part, the auger, which moves the snow into the machine AND pushes it out of the discharge chute, therefore everything happens in one stage. Not ideal for wet, heavy snow but can do it. Can remove snow upto ~8″ at a time (depends on model).
- Two-Stage Snow Blowers – medium-heavy use and requires a gas-oil mix. Unlike the one-stage, removing the snow occurs in two parts. First, the auger moves the snow into the machine. Then a different part, the impeller, pushes it out of the discharge chute. The engine helps move the blower forward. Ideal for wet, heavy snow. Can remove snow upto ~16″ at a time (depends on model).
Keep in mind that if you're expecting 8″ of snow to fall that you can use any of the above snow blowers, including electric. If you have an electric snow blower, just remember that you will have to “shovel” the snow more often than if you had a one-stage or two-stage snow blower.
As I said before, do your research. Check out Consumer Reports article on Best Snow Blowers. Also look at customer reviews on websites like homedepot.com and lowes.com.
Of course, if you cannot afford a snow blower, make sure you have a quality shovel. Actually, even if you have a snow blower, you should have a quality shovel. Everyone should have a shovel!
Snow Shovels: Choosing your snow shovel can make or break your shoveling experience. I prefer a medium sized shovel with a metal blade at the end and a plastic handle. I've discovered this is my ideal after years of shoveling. Take a look at snowshovels.net for help in deciding which type of shovel is right for you.
Aside from having the proper snow removal tools, you should be sure that you're ready to handle the cold temperatures, chance for power outages, and more.
Preparedness: The RedCross and Ready.gov provide wonderful articles on how to prepare for the before, during and after of snowfall. Amongst the things discussed are: how to prepare your home, your vehicle, and what items do you need to have.
A few ideas on what to do when you hear snow is coming:
- Have at least a 3-day supply of food and water
- Have a flash light and extra batteries
- Make sure your cell phones are charged
- Have winter clothes: blankets, scarf, gloves, ear muffs, watch cap (or skull cap or beanie), winter coat, and/or thermals
- Have extra medication and medical supplies
- Have sand, rock salt, or kitty litter
- Make sure you have enough anti-freeze fluid in your car
- Make sure you have at least a half-tank of gas to avoid your gas line from freezing up
- Avoid traveling if you can
Driving in the Winter: Read the tips from AAA on winter driving. And because some folks do not know what to do when they drive during or after winter weather:
CLEAR THE SNOW AND ICE FROM YOUR CAR.
ALL OF IT!!!! (i.e. HOOD, TRUNK, AND ROOF).
That should do it. How do you prepare for the snow? Share your tips in the comments below. Good luck, be safe and stay warm.
You Ought To Know: Be Prepared for Snow Because it is Coming One Way or Another