Washtenaw County offers tips on how to shovel safely as more snow arrives

Shoveling snow in Metro Detroit on Feb. 16, 2021 (WDIV)

ANN ARBOR – It’s that time of year when we’re seeing back-to-back snow events, and those shoveling driveways and sidewalks should be aware of the health risks, officials with the Washtenaw County Health Department said.

Your can put extra strain on your heart when shoveling snow in cold temperatures.

WCHD recently shared several tips on safe shoveling practices, which include slowing down and taking breaks.

The department shared the following tips from Penn Medicine:

  • Take frequent breaks to avoid overstressing your heart.
  • Don’t drink alcohol right before or after shoveling.
  • If you have any signs of a heart attack, stop shoveling and call 911 immediately.
  • Push snow, rather than lifting it.
  • Use good form -- if you do need to lift, do so with your legs, not your back.
  • Take it slow and lighten your load.

According to the Health Department, older individuals, particularly those with pre-existing heart conditions, should use either shovel carefully or refrain from shoveling altogether.

Earlier this season, the City of Ann Arbor launched the A2 Snow Match program, which pairs seniors over the age of 55 and individuals with disabilities with nearby neighbors to help them shovel their sidewalks.

The program is for those who do not have financial or support resources nearby.

To register for A2 Snow Match, click here.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.