Chicago-land is forecast to receive its first measurable snow next week, and we want to make sure that you are prepared. Although our area is expected to get 3” or less, many of us are not mentally ready for this event, because the Chicago summer flew by, and fall was a brief event. We would like to mention some things to think about this weekend in preparation for what might come next week.
First, it is time to bring out the boots, winter coats, hats, and gloves. There is no denying that Chicago winter is on our doorstep.
Do you employ a snow service? If they haven’t contacted you already it is important that you call them to get onto the schedule. Will you have them come out every time it snows, only after 2 inches or more falls, or on a request basis only?
If you battle the snow yourself we recommend locating the snow shovels and salt? If you are anything like us these items are buried behind the rakes and other tools we have been using all summer, bring these items to the front. Trust us, having to shovel in the early morning can be frustrating enough, you don’t want to have to go on a scavenger hunt or fight the tool pile. Start slow, keep your back straight, bend at the hip and knees and use your legs to lift, shoveling can be a strenuous task, and it will take a short time to build back your endurance.
Are you a snow blower not a shoveler? Is the snow blower buried at the back of the shed? Just like the snow shovels, you don’t want to be digging out the machine the first morning you need it. Hopefully you ran the gas out of the machine last year; old gas can leave harmful deposits inside your engine components. If there is gas in the tank it is better to drain it and replace with fresh fuel, and if your gas and oil are separate you can consider changing the oil too. Once the new gas is added make sure that the machine starts, and let it run for a few minutes.
Look out for your elderly and disabled neighbors, it only takes a few minutes more to help them with their driveways and walks, and the additional exercise and good feelings from helping someone out will benefit you physically and mentally.
Written by Eric Rickert