Calgary has seen a fair accumulation of snowfall over the past few days, with more than 15 centimetres falling over just a few days. There were a number of accidents last week, plus many stuck vehicles once again. We attack our snow removal services a little differently when we know a lot of snow is going to fall, dispatching our crews even before the snow has finished falling. We make continuous rounds, hitting each of our residential and commercial snow removal properties to remove the first layer of accumulation, knowing we will need to return as soon as possible. And we do, working around the clock until each of our properties have been cleared down to the bare pavement and all hazards attended to.
When a lot of snow falls over several hours, first we will prioritize the clearing of walkways, pathways, driveways, and entrances to ensure the easy and unobstructed movement of people in and out of your home or building, and on or off your property.
We send out our fleet of plow trucks for the snow removal of parking lots and roadways as soon as possible, always piling in designated areas. With accumulations such as these, however, it’s often necessary to pile in secondary/emergency pile locations until we can free our trucks out to haul the additional piles away to be dumped at collection sites.
It’s very, very easy to injure yourself when shovelling. The right technique is essential for snow removal … without it, muscle and back injuries are common. In addition, cold conditions can make you more prone to hurting yourself.
- Keep a low profile, and try to concentrate your balance in your body’s central core
- Use your legs, not your back, when lifting a full shovel
- Plant your legs and pivot when emptying a shovelful of snow into a pile; don’t twist your body using your back
- Avoid jerking or extending your arms when emptying your shovel
- Always shovel with the wind,
Although it’s been bright and sunny, it’s also been awfully cold here in Calgary, with highs in the minus-20s for the past few days. It’s been the coldest few days of the winter so far, making it definitely time to drag out your warmest parka once again.
It is absolutely essential to cover your head when the temperatures are this cold. When you get cold, blood vessels near the surface of the body squeeze tight and push blood further into the body, protecting vital internal organs. But the blood vessels in your head do not constrict nearly as much as in the rest of the body, and there is also very little fat for insulation. It’s imperative to keep your head warm in order to maintain proper brain function. You can lose up to 50% of your body heat through your head, and a cold head can also cause your blood vessels to constrict in other parts of your body, leaving you with cold hands and feet even if you are fully gloved and booted up.
For the body, layering your clothing helps you stay in control of your comfort. As snow removal experts who have worked in all kinds of weather, we are outside for long periods of time. Here is one recommended way of dressing warmly:
- Begin with a light, thin, full-length base layer. Long underwear and long-sleeved undershirts will keep drafts at bay.
- For your first middle layer, choose fabrics like wool or polyester. They are both warm, yet breathable.
- A third layer is advisable when temperatures are this cold.
- Keep your legs warm with a windbreaking outer shell.
- Goose down in an excellent insulator for your outer jacker.
- Winter jackets should also have a waterproof, wind-breaking shell.
- Mittens are generally better than gloves for protecting your fingers in the extreme cold.
A bad slip and fall can be devastating. Alberta Health Services advises that when sidewalks are slippery, the best thing to do is to walk like a penguin. Bend forward slightly, walk flat-footed rather than heel to toe, and take shorter, shuffling-type steps. This helps to keep your centre of gravity over top of your feet as much as possible. Concentrate on staying upright, watch where you step, and don’t rush. Always keep your hands at your sides and not in your pockets to help improve your balance.
Good winter boots are necessary, too, ones with good support, a slip-resistant tread, good insulation, and water-proofing. If you are out walking a lot, additional slip-on ice and snow grips provide extra grip.
Professional snow removal keeps people safe
Auburn Bay, Chaparral, Chaparral Valley, Copperfield, Cranston, Douglasdale, Heritage Pointe, Lake Bonavista, Mahogany, McKenzie Lake, Mackenzie Towne, Maple Ridge, New Brighton, Odgen/Lynwood/Millican, Parkland, Riverbend, Sundance, Walden, and Willow Park