Every time the weatherman predicts a big winter storm, folks raid the supermarket as if they’re prepping for a Super Bowl party during a nuclear war fallout.
But what you really need to have on hand isn’t enough food to last until spring… It’s a couple of $20 bills on a shelf by the door!
Because the latest news declares that the biggest risk facing seniors during and right after a winter storm is a heart attack and hypothermia from shoveling snow…not running out of nachos.
The U.S. National Institute on Aging just issued a warning urging seniors to keep warm, dry and inside when the temperature plunges — and Harvard Medical School says 1,200 people die every year from heart problems while shoveling snow.
Shoveling snow after a storm is pretty much the perfect storm for bad things to happen to your heart: Most folks do it in the morning, when heart attack is already more likely due to stickier platelets and higher levels of stress hormones.
But if you have a couple of greenbacks by the door, all you have to do in most neighborhoods is stick your head out after the storm and ask the first kid who passes by if he wants a quick 20 bones for shoveling you out.
The other bills are there in case you need to hire someone to take care of other outdoor stuff, like rescuing your trashcans from a snowdrift or clearing your car off.
I know some folks take pride in their independence…in being able to do all this themselves. You’ve shoveled your own snow since the Kennedy Administration, and you’re darn sure not going to stop now.
But that’s not how I look at it.
After all those years of shoveling my own snow, I’ve earned myself some snow days — so when a storm comes along, you won’t find me dead on the sidewalk.
You’ll find me warm and toasty on my sofa, watching some hoops.
I hope you do the same.