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Are You Ready for a Snowstorm?

2010 December 9

By Lina Younes

Luckily meteorologists in the Washington, DC metro area are not forecasting a major snowstorm in the near future. Nonetheless, as survivors of Snowgeddon 2010, my family and I are beginning to discuss preparations for the next major North American blizzard. We’re not all on the same page, though. While my youngest is praying for another major snow storm so that she can stay home and go sledding, my husband and I are debating the pro’s and con’s of investing in a snow blower and/or generator.

During the first day of Snowgeddon 2010, we were without electricity for 15 hours.  Energy Star windows kept the house comfortable for nearly 12 hours. When it started to get cold, we lit a fire and had great family time around the fireplace. While a cozy fireplace is still an option, we have to make sure that we burn firewood wisely.  Smoke produces a combination of gases and fine particles from burning wood. If you don’t use your wood-burning appliance properly, you can expose your family to serious health effects,
especially if they suffer from heart or respiratory diseases.

Personally, I am very concerned about the use of generators around the home. These gasoline-powered appliances can produce deadly concentrations of carbon monoxide in indoor air. Even though I know we have to operate generators outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, the mere thought of the nearby exhaust scares me. Although we have a carbon monoxide detector, don’t want to have my family anywhere near that exhaust.

Now the other thing we’re also debating is the issue of the snow blower. It was not fun shoveling those tons of snow and we have the “battle scars” to prove it. Furthermore, gas-operated equipment like snowblowers and generators are also sources of air pollution, something we should all try to prevent. The only thing that is making me consider investing in this high ticket item is the probability that if we buy it, it won’t snow this year. We shall see. Are you preparing for snowgeddon 2011?

More about snow and ice

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    December 9, 2010

    Snowstorms Mean The Ancients.
    Basically, Lina and her family experiences are the same with our Ancients past. Substantially, now, we understand that we are weak against the problems depended The Ancients. Almost countries legends always predictable about the time of the end of the world. But we are still alive. So, we (and EPA’s) must be strongest than our ancients: Protecting Environmental and making Standard Operational Procedure against Disasters. Are you remember The “Queens” sang “We are The Champion?”. Ya, hopefully, We are the strongest……

  2. Alexander permalink
    December 10, 2010

    I like snowstorm even if it’s white but not “green”. It cleans the air and covers all dirt. It makes massage of the face and sole. I take my shovel and hurl snow after snowstorm. I do my snowstorm.

  3. Jesús Torres Navarro permalink
    December 11, 2010

    Excelentes consejos que nos recuerdan que ninguna precaución está de más; con el cambio climático es evidente que podemos esperar que cualquier cosa suceda, por ello es indispensable tomar precauciones, pero ¿cuales precauciones serían las más convenientes que deberíamos tomar? bueno, expertos, como la Dra. Lina, nos explican detalladamente cuales serían. Gracias por la información

  4. rafel mark permalink
    December 13, 2010

    This is rafelmark from sydney city Australia. this site is very useful for visiting viewers. i have gathered more innovative notes about the snows and ice, i want to share some ideas with each and everyone.

  5. Lina-EPA permalink*
    December 13, 2010

    Dr. Jesús,
    Gracias por sus gentiles palabras y comentarios. Me alegro que visita nuestras páginas en español con regularidad.

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