Here are safety tips to keep in mind for post-storm
Recorder/Peter MacDonald A pedestrian admires a large snow sculpture of the clown fish Nemo created in front of Tims barber shop on Federal Street in Greenfield Purchase photo reprints »
While by now most will have dug themselves out from the weekend’s blizzard, there are some winter safety tips to be observed even after the initial excavation.
To facilitate access in the case of an emergency, Greenfield Fire Capt. John Whitney recommends keeping sidewalks and stairs and porches clear and wide and clearing fire hydrants not only to the sidewalk but from the side facing the street as well.
Whitney said he has seen many hydrants cleared on one side only, and it is from the street that firefighters will need to access the hydrants in the event of a fire.
Homeowners should also keep the near-ground vents for boilers and furnaces clear of snow to prevent the potentially deadly buildup of carbon monoxide, and be mindful of the vents as snow falls from roofs.
Residents of buildings with know structural issues should also be careful to clear their roofs, Whitney said, particularly as various weather forecasters predict rain Monday, which could add weight to snow cover.
Clearing roofs should also be undertaken with care. Whitney recommended a roof rake for clearing snow while remaining safely on the ground.
Should it become necessary to clear snowblower blades, first cut the power.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency offers a list of post-storm safety tips including:
∎ Be careful when shoveling snow. Over-exertion can bring on a heart attack – a major cause of death in the winter.
∎ Help dig out fire hydrants and storm drains in your neighborhood.
∎ Avoid parking too close to corners, allowing public safety vehicles and plows to maneuver safely.
∎ Be aware of children playing in the streets, particularly climbing on or running out from behind large snowdrifts. Parents should remind their children to be aware of plowing operations and traffic.
∎ Never run an automobile until exhaust pipe has been cleared of snow.
∎ Protect yourself by dressing for the season, wearing several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.
∎ Mittens are better than gloves.
∎ Wear a hat, as most body heat is lost through the top of the head.
∎ Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
∎ Watch for signs of frostbite: loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in the extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, seek medical help immediately.
∎ Watch for signs of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms are detected, seek medical help immediately.
∎ Continue to stay off streets and roads to allow plowing and clean-up operations to proceed smoothly.
∎ Be a Good Neighbor. Check with elderly or relatives and neighbors who may need additional assistance to ensure their safety.
You can reach Chris Curtis at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 257