Massive Winter Storm Poses Challenges for Homeowners and Motorists

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Amica Insurance offers safety tips and reminders for shoveling and driving as cleanup efforts continue across much of the country.

Snow, ice, high winds and blizzard conditions continue to plague much of the country as a massive snowstorm makes its way towards the East Coast. But even after the last snowflakes fall, cleanup efforts may last for days.

“Motorists and homeowners have major challenges ahead,” said Sean Welch, a senior assistant vice president at Amica Insurance. “Driving conditions will continue to be treacherous until road crews have a chance to clear and treat all of the main roads and side streets. And homeowners face the daunting task of digging out from yet another storm.”
It’s important to be careful if using a snow blower or plow to clear snow from driveways and walkways, Welch said. Never use your hand to remove snow from a clogged snow blower, and make sure children and pets are a safe distance away.

Shoveling is also a concern, because of the increased risk of heart attacks and other injuries, Welch said. “If you’re not healthy enough to shovel, hire someone to plow or shovel your driveway for you.”

Here are some other shoveling tips:

  •     Dress warmly, in layers, and beware of frostbite and hypothermia.
  •     Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated, but avoid caffeine and alcohol while outside in the cold.
  •     Push the snow rather than lift it, whenever possible, to reduce the amount of effort needed to clear it.
  •     If you have to lift the snow, use a smaller shovel to reduce the amount of weight on it.

Also don’t forget to clear all snow and ice from your car before heading out, Welch said. Here are some other reminders before heading out on the roads:

  •     Wait for streets to be plowed thoroughly before you attempt to drive anywhere.
  •     Reduce your speed when driving on snow or ice-covered roads. Allow plenty of room between your car and others on the road.
  •      Remember that roads will be narrow and visibility restricted because of the large amounts of snow piled on the sides of roads and at intersections.
  •     Watch out for pedestrians.

“Don’t forget to shovel the sidewalk in front of your home. Many communities impose fines on homeowners who fail to keep the walkways clear,” Welch said.

Finally, remember that snowstorms are often followed by bitterly cold temperatures, Welch said. So it’s also important to watch out for signs of hypothermia and frostbite. Symptoms of hypothermia include confusion, difficult speaking or exhaustion. If you suspect frostbite or hypothermia, get inside and remove wet clothing and seek medical attention immediately if symptoms worsen.

“Cleaning up after a snowstorm can be difficult, so go slow and use caution,” Welch said. “Help neighbors in need and make sure safety is your top priority.”

About Amica Mutual Insurance
Amica Mutual Insurance Company (, the nation’s oldest mutual insurer of automobiles, was founded in 1907. The company, with corporate headquarters in Lincoln, RI, is a national writer of automobile, homeowners, marine and personal umbrella liability insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. Amica employs more than 3,200 people in 40 offices across the country.

CONTACT: Vince Burks, Corporate Communications, 50 Amica Way,
Lincoln, RI 02865-1155, 1-800-652-6422, ext. 24563.
Twitter: Amica Insurance
Facebook: Amica Mutual Insurance Co.

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Vince Burks