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Winter Has Arrived

space-and-company-philadelphia-rittenhouse-snowBY STEVE DRABKOWSKI (www.steve.searchphillylistings.com)
 
With the forecasters predicting anything from 2 inches to 2 feet of snow for the area, it is time to be prepared. We have not had a decent snowfall since last year so here are a few things to remember.
 
If you are in the city and on a street that is a snow emergency street, remember to move your car off the street. The city has been known to authorize discounted parking in city run garages during snow emergencies. The city also frowns on putting chairs, trash cans, and other creative ways to hold onto your parking space after you have dug it out. I know we all do it, and we become very territorial bout “our” space. So , please, respect each other’s space, better yet, just take the bus if possible.
 
I am always amazed at how quickly stores run out of milk and bread around here during a winter storm warning. It is not as if most of us are within walking distance of a small to medium sized grocery store, especially if you are in the city. We seem to think that we will never, ever, see milk and bread again. I can think of many things to stock up on in case of a blizzard, soup and red wine come to mind!
 
In the case of severe cold, remember to check on the less insulated areas of you house if there are water lines running through them. In some cases kitchen and bathroom lines are over un insulated crawl spaces and may freeze up. Keeping the water flowing will help, just open the faucet enough to get a small trickle of water running. This is most helpful at night, when it is the coldest and bathrooms are not used. If your lines do freeze up, open the faucet and try using a hair dryer to thaw the line, this is much safer than using a propane torch, burning your house down does not help!.
 
Be very careful with space heaters, even electric heaters can cause a fire. Space heaters, especially kerosene heaters, are a frequent cause of house fires this time of year. Keep them well away from any curtains, blankets and furniture.
 
This may sound redundant, but please keep your pets inside, when you are cold, so are they. Make sure they have a warm place to sleep. This time of year, there are too many stories of animals left outside and who froze to death.
 
When you do get around to digging out, take it easy. Snow can be heavier than you think. Every year we hear of some guy who dropped dead from a heart attack while shoveling snow. Pace yourself and remember to dress in layers so you don’t overheat.
 
Above all, take some time to enjoy the snow. The city becomes quiet and the snow makes even grime covered back streets beautiful. Parks become snow covered playgrounds. Clark Park fills with children and dogs playing in the snow and sliding down the slopes of the “Bowl”. Skiers break out the cross country ski’s for a trek down the street. For a day or so, the city becomes a place of quiet beauty.
 
Keep this in mind when you are digging out: In 6 months time we will probably be complaining about how hot and humid it has become!

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