I don’t know about you, but when I was in my office yesterday and looked out the window at 4:30, I wanted to cry. It was dark outside. The icky, depressing, rainy cold season is upon us, and that means we need to change our habits for the winter.
1. Light up yourself, and the people/things you care about. This goes in two ways – one, as a pedestrian. If you’re walking around in the dark, avoid all dark clothing and preferably wear reflective clothing or an LED light. In fact, don’t stop there. North Seattle Lola has her very own LED light, so that people see not just me but my dog also. You can pick up a decent dog LED light at any Mud Bay, or at Gregg’s Cycle. which brings me to another point – light up your bike as well!
2. Find a running/walking partner. I often walk/run through the wooded trails at Woodland Park – but not alone when its dark out (sometimes you’ll meet some awfully creepy people in there). Don’t just abandon your plans to leave the house because it’s a little scary out – just find a buddy to walk with you for safety in numbers.
3. Homeowners – please keep the area in front of your house free of debris and leaves. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost slipped and fallen on my face because leaves get slippery when wet. Do us a favor and keep the walkways clear. Also, and this goes for everyone, “adopt a drain.” Keep an eye on the drains on your street and help unclog them to prevent street flooding.
4. Set your outdoor lights to timers or motion sensors. Did you notice that it was a little harder to find where the key fit in the door after work yesterday? Try setting your outdoor lights to a timer, or else install a motion sensor. It also helps deter prowlers from breaking in.
5. Go to the store THIS WEEK and buy a flashlight, if you don’t have one, and tealight candles plus a lighter or matches. Don’t wait until the day of the big storm, when the power goes out, to realize that you need these items. You can save yourself a lot of hassle by being prepared early. (If you’re me, you also want to make sure you’re stocked up with beer, blankets, and that the laptop is always fully charged).
Other than that, I hope everyone has a safe and fun winter – and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some puffy white stuff again this year!