Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Impact of snow campaign starts with a bang

'Our ultimate goal is to build relationships with National media in the US and Canada to foster greater awareness about snow management and its value to society.'

In December, SIMA kicked off the 2013-2014 awareness campaign for snow professsionals. The Impact of Snow campaign is designed to provide safety and tips tied to living life in winter, and our ultimate goal is to build relationships with National media in the US and Canada to foster greater awareness about snow management and its value to society.

We struck gold as December 2013 proved to be an early-onset winter for many areas in North America, and significant snow and ice storms really showed us the continued need for good information tied to winter weather. Here are some of the highlights so far:
  • Phill Sexton, Director of Education and Outreach, chatted live on The Weather Channel about walking safely on ice, watch it here: 
  • Glenn Beck, the national radio host, made fun of SIMA's tips while reading them out loud to millions of viewers. While we weren't excited that Glenn poked fun at us, we actually were happy that so many people could hear our message and think twice about wearing those high heels or slippers before going out in winter weather. Thanks Glenn!
  • Ian Ashby, SIMA member and 2013 Volunteer of the Year, was featured on a national television station, talking about safe walking on ice and snow and highlighting the value of professional snow management. Read the article here.
  • Brian Birch, SIMA's Chief Operating Officer, shared tips with the Lifestyle section of the Washington Post to further spread the word about wearing proper footwear in winter. Read that article here.
  • Martin Tirado, SIMA's CEO, participated in multiple radio interviews spreading the good word about safe walking on ice and snow. He was heard in Washington DC, Michigan, and Kansas City via major radio outlets in those areas.
  • Social spotlight: We posted a simple graphic (see below) thanking snow professionals for their hard work on Facebook...35 people shared it and about the same number gave it a thumbs up, so we got that message out to 2500+ people.

Overall, SIMA has confirmed almost 20 media placements since we kicked off the campaign in late November. We will continue to put the message out there to the public, email Brian@sima.org if you have any ideas on how to do that. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

5 tips for staying safe in icy weather

"Of the more than 1 million injuries in the U.S. each year caused by falls, the most common is the slip and fall," Martin Tirado, CEO, SIMA

As winter makes its mark across North America, we all feel both excited and stressed. Ice and snow remind us of the holidays and the natural cycles of Mother Nature,  but when ice coats roads, sidewalks and power lines it creates a dangerous situation often resulting in downed power lines, car accidents and injuries from slip and falls.

"Of the more than 1 million  injuries in the U.S. caused by falls the most common is the slip and fall," said Martin B. Tirado, CAE, CEO of the Snow & Ice Management Association. "Slipping and falling on ice accounts for a large number of winter-related injuries and may even change the quality of life for the injured person." 

In addition to injuries, ice storms have residual effects such as loss of power, road closures, fallen trees and impassible sidewalks. Melting and freezing snow also can create (and recreate) ice-y conditions long after the initial snowstorm has ended.

SIMA, the North American nonprofit organization representing the snow removal professionals, has these tips on surviving a wintery ice storm. 
  1. Wear proper footwear. Proper footwear should place the entire foot on the surface of the ground and have visible treads. Avoid a smooth sole and opt for a heavy-tread shoe with a flat bottom.
  2. Anticipate the ice. Be weary of thin sheets of ice that may appear as wet pavement (black ice). Often ice will appear in the morning, in shady spots or where the sun shines during the day and melted snow refreezes at night.
  3. Plan ahead. While walking on ice-y sidewalks or in parking lots, walk consciously. Instead of looking down, look up and see where your feet will move next to anticipate ice or an uneven surface. Occasionally scan from left to right to ensure you are not in the way of vehicles or other hazards. When stepping off a curb or getting into a car, be careful since shifting your weight may cause an imbalance and result in a fall.
  4. Avoid taking shortcuts. Shortcuts are a good idea if you are in a hurry, but may be a bad idea if there is ice on the ground. A shortcut, such as walking over a median, may be treacherous because it is likely to be located where snow and ice removal is not possible.
  5. Stay home and be safe. During an ice event, spend some quality time at home. Forget spring-cleaning now is a great time to tackle your basement, your office or a storage closet. Turn off your electronics--yes that includes your phone-- and play a board or card game with your family. Use this time to relax, don't add stress to your life unnecessarily.
This message is part of the SIMA Impact of Snow Campaign, spreading awareness about the value of professional, consistent snow removal. For more information on professional snow removal, visit www.sima.org/hireapro