It came to my attention after visiting the Maine Center for Disease Control's Facebook page the importance of not only cleaning off your car after a storm but cleaning all around it before starting it to warm up.

I am the worst at guessing how much time it takes me to do things.  I've gotten so used to trying to make up for my terrible estimations that I'll double whatever my conclusive number is to make sure I get to where I need to go on time.  And that's just a normal day.

Add in snow on your car and having to shovel or snowblow yourself out of your driveway and I'm completely consumed with staying on time.

Don't lose sight, however, of this important tip.

Make sure your exhaust pipe is cleared away of snow before starting the car.  It's so easy in the morning to get distracted by all the snow on the car and all the snow you have to move to get your vehicle to the road that it could be easy to not see or be aware of the danger that could result from missing this critical step.

Like the Maine CDC's post says, the danger lies in the carbon monoxide seeping into the cab of your car or truck.  It's virtually undetectable to us since we can't see or smell it.  When this happens it can cause headaches, dizziness, sickness or death.

Children, the elderly and those with chronic conditions are especially vulnerable of the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Here's a story from 2016 in New York about a tragic incident as a result of a snowed in vehicle.

Check out more information about carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms, how to protect  your home and vehicle and signs and symptoms from the Center for Disease Control website.

Other things to be sure you clear snow away from:

  • Dryer vents
  • Furnaces
  • Boilers

Stay safe and be careful when clearing out after this next (and, hopefully, last!) snowstorm.