Be a Snow Angel: A Winter Guide for Newcomers in Calgary and Safety Tips for Winter Warriors!

January 17, 2024 | Newcomer Information, Our blog

Winter in Calgary can be enchanting, but it also brings challenges, especially when it comes to snow. As a newcomer, understanding local practices like snow removal is essential for harmonious community living.

Understanding the Snow & Ice Removal Bylaw:

Newcomers, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with Calgary’s Snow & Ice Removal Bylaw. Failing to comply with the bylaw can result in fees and fines. Stay informed to avoid any unintended consequences.

Snow Shovelling Safety Tips:

Snow shovelling can be a winter workout, but it’s essential to approach it with proper preparation and caution. Here are some key tips to ensure you shovel safely:

Before You Shovel:

      • Assess Your Health: If you’ve had a heart attack, have heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or if you’re a smoker, it’s advisable to reconsider shovelling. Consider hiring help if needed.
      • Timing Matters: Shovel at least 1–2 hours after eating, avoiding caffeine and nicotine.
      • Warm-Up Routine: Prior to shovelling, warm up your body with a few minutes of walking or marching in place.

While Shovelling:

      • Start Slow: Begin at a slow pace and take regular breaks (shovel for 5–7 minutes, then rest for 2–3 minutes).
      • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
      • Snow Conditions: Shovel early and often. New snow is lighter than heavily packed or partially melted snow.
      • Take Breaks: Frequent breaks are crucial to avoid overexertion.

Tools of the Trade:

      • Choose the Right Shovel: Opt for a sturdy yet lightweight shovel with an ergonomic design. A small plastic blade is often better than a large metal one.
      • Clothing Matters: Wear multiple layers, cover exposed skin, use a hat, scarf, mittens, and boots with non-skid soles.

Shovelling Technique:

      • Push, Don’t Lift: Push snow rather than lifting it.
      • Lift Safely: If lifting is necessary, lift properly by standing with feet hip-width apart, holding the shovel close to your body, and bending from your knees.
      • Increase Leverage: Space hands apart on the shovel’s handle to increase leverage.
      • Mind Your Back: Tighten your stomach muscles while lifting, and avoid twisting. Walk to dump snow instead of throwing it.

What is the Snow Angels Campaign?

Calgary’s Snow Angels campaign, now in its nineteenth year, is a heartwarming initiative that celebrates residents who lend a helping hand in clearing snow for those in need. This includes older adults, individuals with limited mobility, or anyone requiring assistance with driveways and sidewalks.

To learn more about recognizing a snow angel:

Let’s make this winter a season of unity and support in our community. Be a Snow Angel and contribute to the warmth that makes Calgary a welcoming home.

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