From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director
Be prepared and be safe during the winter months
by Rae Gosling, Grayling Main Street Program Director
As you may recall last week I began a three-part series about what the holiday season brings to mind for me. Naturally, the first part was shopping local, followed by being neighborly. This week I will to share some thoughts on seasonal safety.
You may recall, at the beginning of the summer, I shared some tips on surviving the summer in a destination community. They were mostly related to traffic. In the winter we have almost the polar opposite situation. The traffic is significantly reduced, coupled with lower temperatures, and fewer sunny hours each day, we are faced with a new set of dangerous conditions.
Basics first, we live in Northern Michigan, it is cold, really cold. When heading out to catch a movie downtown, pick up some groceries, or play in the snow, be sure to bundle up. You never know when you might get caught up in an impromptu snowball fight, or need to help a neighbor get back on the road. Even when you think the trip will be short, it is best to leave prepared in warm shoes, with a hat, gloves, and scarf stuffed in your coat pockets.
Additionally, with snow and cold, often comes ice. These conditions present challenges for driving and walking in our community. One way to protect yourself is good ice management around your home. Clearing your walkways and driveway shortly after new snow fall is one of the best ways to prevent a slip and fall. It is also advisable to use ice melt products that are suitable for your family’s needs.
Additionally, wearing sturdy winter footwear, like snow boots, hiking books, or tennis shoes with good tread will contribute to your well-being. There are also several products that allow you to increase the traction of your shoes that are worth looking into. We are very fortunate to live in a community that cares about being walkable. In 2016, we voted to fund snow removal on all city sidewalks. Unfortunately, in the first round of this program, it does not include ice management. I know the businesses downtown do their best to prevent icy build up, and keep ice-melt on the walkways, but it is best to be cautious no matter where you are walking.
It is also important to be cautious on the roadways. Ice and snow make it difficult to see road lines, and make driving more difficult. Try to give yourself plenty of time and space to maneuver your vehicle. This is especially important on for the lesser traveled surface streets in our community.
Finally, with shorter days, and fewer visitors, it is easy to get bogged down with the winter blues, both physically and mentally. Being conscious of your health is part of being safe in the winter. This means more than just washing your hands and taking your multi-vitamin to avoid colds. It is important you get your body moving, and keep your spirits up with fun activities. You can grab a bite to eat, check out a movie, and catch up with friends all in Downtown Grayling to help ward off the winter blues.
From all of us at Grayling Main Street – Merry Christmas!
Want to know more about GMSt and what is going on in Downtown Grayling? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Director’s Desk. You can also check out our website, www.DowntownGrayling. com, find us on Facebook, or email your questions to DowntownGrayling @gmail.com.
Rae Gosling is the Program Director for Grayling Main Street. She has been with GMSt since April 2016. She is a Grayling resident, wife, mother, local shopper, avid supporter of all things Grayling, and keeps everyone on their toes wondering what color her hair will be next.