Blizzards, like the one we’re facing in the Northeast chunk of the U.S., light up two distinctly different parts of my psyche. One is the eager child who imagines climbing hills of snow and building monumental crystalline sculptures. The other is the wary suburban adult, who knows this whole thing is nothing but trouble.
Here, I speak to my fellow suburbanites with a host of suburban snow hacks that could make any blizzard a little less blustery.
Don’t park under a tree
Suburbanites drive, but what we do most is park. Where you park during a major snow storm matters. Before the storm really gets underway, you won’t have any trouble finding some curb space. However, I recommend you look up. If there’s a big tree hanging over your car, move it. Those sturdy-looking limbs could grow weak as kittens under the weight of a heavy snow fall and blizzard-strength winds. The last thing you want is to walk out of your home to find your precious car crushed under a tree-sized limb.
Pull your windshield wider blades Up
Walk by any large parking lot during a snow storm and you may encounter an unusual sight: windshield wiper blades sticking up from cars like thin fingers reaching for the storm’s first few flakes. In addition to an impromptu art installation, it’s also a sign of a lot of smart people. If your wiper blades are up, they can’t freeze onto the windshield. Once you’ve cleared the snow off your car, they should be good to use.
Clear The Way For Plows.
Another phenomenon of living in suburbia is multiple cars per family. If you leave all those cars curbside, you will have to dig each one out of plowed snow that’s easily twice has high, heavy and hard as the new-fallen snow on your lawn. If you can, try pulling all your cars into the driveway (yours or a generous neighbor’s), squeezing them as close together as possible — touch the bumpers if you can. It’s true, you’ll still have to dig your driveway out from the plowed snow, but you’ll only have to do this once instead of two or three times. There’s a side benefit. Because your cars weren’t on the street, the plow may get a lot closer to your curb, actually clearing space on the street for your cars when you finally dig them out.
Even the smallest standalone homes in suburbia have some property. If you live in a home with a front and back yard, now would be a good time to prop open the gates between them. Otherwise you’ll find two feet of snow packed in on both sides of each gate. If they’re already open, you can just shovel or play your way right through.
Where are your shovels
I don’t care if you have six snow shovels, if they’re in your garage or shed when the storm is done, you’re going to struggle to retrieve them. I recommend positioning one or more of them right next to your front and back doors. This way, you can literally reach out from inside your house, grab one and start shoveling from the point where the white stuff meets the door. If you’re worried about them getting blown over or even away during a blizzard, use a bungee cord to attach them to your porch railing or screen door handles.
Keep a container of road salt near that front door (inside), as well. If it came in a bag (most does) transfer it to a collection of large plastic containers. Five-pound Folgers containers work especially well. And don’t use the salt until after you’ve shoveled. It’s useless on two feet of snow.
Shovel every hour
It'll be easier to shovel, as this guy did in 2007, if It’s fun to watch the snow pile up from the comfort of your heated home, isn’t it? If you’re not shoveling early and often, though, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of pain and misery later. I know, sometimes the snow comes down too fast or while you’re sleeping. But for as long as you’re awake, pull on those long johns, heavy coat hat and gloves and shovel once an hour. Even if the snow does continue to pile up overnight, your task in the morning will be far less painful than your neighbor’s.
Share some of your own snow hacks in the comments below.
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