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Winter has its perks, but snow removal is not one of them. At the best of times, snow removal is a necessary evil, but it can become downright backbreaking when a big winter storm blows through. However, it doesn't have to be so difficult. If you own the right snow removal equipment, like a quality snow blower and a good ice scraper, snow removal can be a simpler process, saving you hours of time and lots of discomfort.
Invest in a snow blower. Waking up the morning after a big snow storm to find half a foot of snow piled on your driveway can be discouraging if the only snow removal gear you have is a snow shovel. While you always want to have a good snow shovel in your home, a decent snow blower will clear your driveway and your walkways in far less than half the time it would take to shovel them, and with far less strain on your back. Snow blowers may cost more than a shovel and a bag of salt, but they can save you so much time and energy that they're well worth it if you live in a snowy climate. Traditionally, almost all snow blowers were gasoline-powered, but nowadays, you can find electric snow blowers as well, which are quieter than gasoline snow blowers and don't require fill ups.
Have an ice scraper or snow brush handy. Even if you live in an area where you don't get much snow, scraping the occasional frost off your windshield with a credit card can be miserable, not to mention bad for the credit card. Ice scrapers are small enough to tuck out of the way under your seat when you're not using them. If you do live somewhere that gets regular snow, invest in a snow brush. Flicking inches of snow off your windshield with just an ice scraper is a knuckle-freezing experience, but it's a quick and simple task if you have a snow brush. Snow brushes are inexpensive, and they usually have an ice scraper on one end.
Use rock salt and de-icer to keep icy steps at bay. No matter how well you shovel your walks, there's a good chance that they will become icy during storms or especially cold weather. Rock salt is inexpensive and easy to apply to any sidewalk, steps, or driveway. Simply keep a bucket or bag of rock salt by your front door and sprinkle some after you shovel. De-icer, usually a liquid that you spray on your sidewalks, helps to remove snow, but it also helps prevent snow from accumulating. If you spray de-icer on your driveway or walks before a big winter storm, it will melt the snow as it falls or keep the snow from sticking to your driveway, so it quickly blows off.
Have emergency preparedness kits in your car, just in case. There is always a chance that you could get stuck somewhere in your car in the winter. Although this may never happen, it is wise to have emergency preparedness supplies in your car at all times. Emergency preparedness kits and 72 hour kits come with enough food and water to last for a few days and also usually have items like matches, space blankets, and survival supplies that can be very useful in an emergency situation. A 72-hour kit can also be good to have at a winter cabin or even at home. You never know what unexpected winter storm or event may occur that could leave you without food or some basic necessities.
Published February 3, 2011
Updated April 3, 2015
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