Friday, December 28, 2012

Blizzard Survival

Living in the Northeast US has its advantages and disadvantages: yesterday was one of those disadvantage days.  I'm referring to the huge snowstorm that came through town and dumped about 10 inches on my house over the course of about 12 hours.  Armed with just 1 shovel, my wife and I were ready to tackle the job.  Needless to say, here's a recollection of our successes and failures through this event, and some tips for your own snow adventure.

1.) Do some prep work ahead of time.  The night before the storm, I did a real quick shovel job just to make the job a little easier in the morning.  It probably only reduced the amount of snow I had to shovel by 2 inches.  Multiplying that by hundreds of square fee of sidewalk and driveway, and you've literally saved your morning from lifting another ton of snow.

2.) Give yourself plenty of time:  I woke up at 5:30am and was out shoveling by 6:00am which was good thinking since it took me about 45 minutes just to clear out our little city path.  I still had plenty of time to get to work.

3.) City dwellers don't need a snow plow.  I grew up in the country where you had 500 foot driveways, so a snow plow makes sense if you want the job done in less then an hour.  Living in the city, I can shovel a foot of snow from every piece of concrete in less that time, so a snow plow definitely does not seem worth it.  When you also figure in the cost, how may times you actually use it per year, and the fact that I would not be able to park my car in the garage if we put it in, and you can see why I don't have one.  I'm also healthy enough to deal with the exercise, and find it to be kind of relaxing.

4.) Good neighbors.  I did say we had one failure and that was my wife was not able to get our car onto the road since the plows didn't come through yet.  She had to call in to work, but our neighbors helped us dig her car out and for that we are most grateful.  Make sure to stay friendly with the people who are going through the same experiences.

5.) The wonders of public transportation.  I did make it to work fine since we are walking distance to my local subway station.  There were no problems on my commute and far less stress.

6.) Know when to call it quits.  Don't be stubborn and think you or your car are invincible.  As in my wife's case, the car wasn't going anywhere so it was better to be safe then risk it.

Buying a snow plow is one of those decisions that people just jump to the conclusion on.  They figure that everyone needs to own one.  This is my second winter in my new house, and I haven't had any problems with just a shovel.  Just think; $500 you would have spent on a snow plow invested in a security that returns on average a 4% inflation adjusted return will net you $1,559 over the course of 30 years.  That snow just got a whole lot more expensive!

Wonderful Moment of the Day: Snow man!

No comments:

Post a Comment