Are you planning on storing away your shovel after Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow? Before you heed to the old folklore just remember back to 2013 when the ground hog predicted an early spring instead extreme cold and snow blanketed the East Coast way into March.
Just in case our rodent friend is wrong here are few unusual tips and tricks to keep you safe until spring arrives.
- Although your hands might be cold, don’t put them in your pockets when you are walking outside. If you slip, your arms will help to balance you. If you fall, your arms will help you break your fall.
- When walking on snow covered walkways point your feet out slightly like a penguin. Spreading your feet out while walking on ice increases your center of gravity. Also forget what physical therapist tell you about looking straight ahead when walking. If you are walking on snow or ice always keep your eyes on your feet so you can check for uneven walkways and icy patches.
- Carrying bags while navigating over the snow and ice is bound to cause trouble. However, if you do have to carry items and you feel yourself falling, toss your load so you can free your arms to help break your fall.
- Boots and shoes with good traction should be your first choice but if you get caught in a situation where you have little or no traction on your shoes try putting your socks over them. The New Zealand Medical Journal wrote about a study showing that wearing socks over your shoes does assist with greater traction thus less falls.
- Keep a bag of sand or kitty litter by your front door. Scatter some on your walkway before you step out. Don’t forget to keep some in your car in case you get stuck just throw some under your tires and hopefully you will be on the road again.
- If you walk with a cane you can purchase metal tips that attach on the bottom of your cane giving you extra grip in the ice. These tips easily flip up when not in use and generally cost under $10. For longer treks consider a pair of anti-slip ice gripper treads that slide over your shoes or boots. These treads are perfect to keep in your purse or car for that unexpected snow or ice storm. A quick Google search will take you to websites that carry these items.
- A little more costly but well worth it is the residential snow melting mats. The mats come in many different sizes fitting your porch, stairs, walkways and driveways. These mats can all be connected together allowing you to customize your own needs. The mats are designed to melt snow at a rate of 2″ per hour. They can be left outside all year long just plug it in when it begins to snow and never worry about shoveling again. The mats even have a shut-off protection if they get punctured so no worries about putting something electric into the snow. Google snow mats to find out where you can purchase this awesome product.
Hopefully Punxsutawney Phil is correct and spring is right around the corner so we can put away all of our gear and worries until next year.