December is here and many places across the U.S. and other areas around the world will soon start experiencing winter weather. Snow, sleet, ice, and slush are just some of the things that make getting place-to-place more difficult in a wheelchair. Here are 6 ways to be prepared this winter.
Have Your Home Emergency Kit Ready
In the case of winter storms, it’s important to be prepared for the worse. Stock basic commodities and necessities like bottled water, canned food, socks, blankets, hats, gloves, and two fully-charged wheelchair batteries should you lose electricity or be unable to make it to the store.
Install Snow Tires on Your Wheelchair
You thought snow tires were just for cars, huh? Well, the truth is there are specially-designed snow tires that can be put on wheelchairs as well. These are pneumatic tires made out of soft rubber that enables them easily grip snow to avoid sliding or getting stuck.
Help Keep the Sidewalks Clear
This mostly goes to those who live with or around people with disabilities. Certainly, using a wheelchair on a snowy sidewalk is very difficult. Please help keep the sidewalks and ends of your neighborhood’s driveways clear to enable safe navigation for people who use wheelchairs.
Use Sunburn Protection
To avoid snow’s reflection of sunlight from burning your skin, use sunscreen. You can also use Vaseline on the exposed parts of your face and skin to act as a moisture insulator and prevent your face from drying or chapping. And in case you have other medical prescriptions, it’s important to fill them since winter weather can sometimes bring hazards that can make it difficult to leave home.
Get a Power Source Backup
In addition to the two fully-charged wheelchair batteries we’ve mentioned above, you may also need a power backup. This is especially for those who use electric wheelchairs or those that have other medical equipment requiring electric power. A portable generator can do for emergencies.
Keep Your Service Animal Safe Too
If you often use a four-legged friend to help you navigate around, don’t forget his safety as you cater for yours. Remember, dogs can get frostbite or suffer from hypothermia too. A dog coat, blanket and/or animal boots can help a lot when the cold becomes too unbearable.
Image credit: thelivingcentre.co.uk