The winter season is beautiful, and it is something that many people look forward to every year. That being said, there are real, tangible challenges that can insourmatable and made even more complicated with the current pandemic.
Below is a list of some resources that can help manage some challenges during winter:
1. For Feeling Isolated, Anxious and Restless During Winter
a. Winter Walking Guide: Going outside to get fresh air, sunlight, and light exercise is crucial in wintertime, and it possible to do it safely! This guide from the City of Edmonton can provide valuable information, from safety tips, to a catalogue of locations to visit. https://www.edmonton.ca/transportation/walk-edmonton.aspx
b. Winter Mental Health Guide: This website is a valuable catalogue of different resources to help address issues. There are tips on topics such as initiating online social activities, organizing one’s thoughts and goals, and many more. https://edmonton.cmha.ca/wintermentalhealth/
2. For helping someone, including yourself, who may be harmed by the weather.
a. 211 and then press 3: Calling this number is for the Crisis Diversion Team, which is the most appropriate resource for events that are described as “helping someone in distress before police or emergency services are needed.” In the winter, these could be someone who is outside exposed to the elements without proper winter clothing, perhaps huddled in a bench or corner of a building or sleeping on the streets.
b. 911: Everyone knows this number, and it’s handy to remember to contact this number in situations where immediate assistance by an ambulance, police or fire department is needed. What’s handy is now, there is texting feature available as well, though some set-up with your wireless cellphone provide is needed.
c. 811: This number is the Alberta HealthLine. With winter, there are a few common illnesses that come around like the flu and others. This is handy for non-emergency medical situations, especially when you are unsure whether going to a medical clinic is worthwhile.
3. For Snow and Ice clearing.
a. Community League Sand Boxes: Whenever snow falls, sidewalks in front of one’s home need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Sprinkling sand that is mixed with small gravel can help with having grip and traction on the sidewalks as well, making it less slippery. You can get free sand in the Sandbox located in your community league hall. For more information and to identify the nearest Sandbox at https://www.edmonton.ca/transportation/on_your_streets/sidewalk-snow-removal.aspx
b. Snow Shoveling Help for Seniors: It can be dangerous for seniors and people with physical challenges to shovel snow. There are organized referral programs such as the Seniors Home Support Program http://www.seniorshomesupports.com/seniors.html that can be useful in finding a reputable referral. Another suggestion is for those who are able-bodied and know that their neighbour next door may struggle with snow clearing, to simply shovel in on their behalf.
c. City of Edmonton 311 App: The app can be a valuable tool to hold fellow Edmontonians accountable for not clearing sidewalks properly of snow, or if you noticed a road or public pathway that the city has not cleared properly. Install the app on your phone, and you can take a photo of the location that needs snow clearing.