Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone Wednesday urged residents to take precautions in the snow and ice. “Your safety is our first concern,” he said. “While county workers are clearing, salting and sanding roads, we encourage people to take extra care under these poor weather conditions. Anyone walking or driving should be aware of the dangers involved in travel and be prepared to adapt their habits to conditions. And people need to be careful about shoveling snow.”
· Be sure you’re healthy enough to shovel. If you are not physically active or have an ongoing health condition, check with your doctor before trying to clear your driveway.
· Plan: make sure you have the tools needed before you go out to shovel or remove ice. That includes sand or salt, a good shovel and an ice chipper/scraper.
· When possible, push, don’t pick up, the snow. Your back will thank you.
· Lift with your legs bent, not your back. Keep your back straight.
· It’s easier to remove ice when it’s warmer, so head out during the daylight hours if possible.
· Take frequent breaks. If you feel lightheaded or losing your breath, seek medical attention.
· Stay home. If you don’t really have to go out, don’t. Not everyone can drive well in snow.
· Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Take time to slow down for a stoplight.
· Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads.
· The following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds.
· Don’t stop if you can avoid it.
· Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning.
· Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
· Wear boots or overshoes with grip soles such as rubber and neoprene composite.
· Pay attention when walking on ice, whether it’s your driveway or the parking lot at work.
· Use special care when entering or exiting vehicles. Use the vehicle for support.
· Don't walk with your hands in your pockets. This reduces the ability to use your arms for balance if you do slip.
· Take short shuffling steps in very icy areas.
· When walking, curl your toes under and walk as flat-footed as possible.