Reduce Your Risk: Remove That Snow From Your Roof

This reads a little more like a short story than our normal posts.  As with many stories there is a moral, so read on when you have a minute.

There used to be a Rite Aid on Market Street in Brighton near where I lived. It was my pharmacy of choice when I got a cold and needed medicine or when I needed more multivitamins. I went there if for no other reason than it was the closest. We don’t see many of them around anymore. CVS and Walgreen’s seem to be taking over every pharmacy in the area, even the other national chains. That didn’t happen to this Rite Aid, though. We all know about the state of the economy and we’ve all seen businesses cut back or close down all together. Again, even the big national chains aren’t immune. That’s not what happened here, either.

A few years ago I was walking home during a typical winter storm in New England. I was walking because when you’re in the city it is often times the fastest way to get around. Driving gets you nowhere and I didn’t have a car anyway so that was out. Public transportation has a habit of not showing up at all during a big storm like this one, and even when it does you’re just as stuck as you would be in a car. So that was out.  Normally I would be riding my bike, even in the snow, but this storm was just too much and I wasn’t having it. Chances are I wouldn’t be able to ride any faster than I could walk anyway.  On foot it was.

So I am walking down Market Street in Brighton soaking wet. At some point earlier in the day the weather had changed from snow to rain as it so often does around here.  Boston being a college town I have had more than one person from another snowy climate look shocked while I explain to them the “wintry mix”. I remember the Rite Aid, and even though I am already soaked, buying an umbrella seems like a pretty good idea. I still had about half my walk to go.

When you’re walking outside in a snow storm you tend not to notice what’s going on around you. You’re focus is pretty limited to the ground where your next step will land. Every step gets planned carefully or else you’re going to fall quite a bit. I look up from the ground in search of the Rite Aid through the snow, take a couple steps while I am searching, and even though I knew better fall to the ground. After a few seconds of making sure I didn’t actual hurt anything, and a couple more seconds to make sure nobody saw what happened, I notice the Rite Aid across the parking lot in front of me. The next thing I notice, to my surprise, is the Rite Aid falling to the ground as well.

Really the whole thing didn’t fall to the ground, just the roof. And fortunately nobody was hurt. I am remembering this story because, for some of us, this is exactly the weather we are having today. A roof covered in snow and soaking up all of this rain has quite a bit of disaster potential. It turns out the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency feels the same way and has issued a notice to clear your roof if it is covered in heavy, wet snow.

So if you still have a layer or snow on your roof, clear it off. If it soaks up enough rain there’s always a chance it could collapse. Insurance may be there to cover the property damages, but nobody wants to be inside when it happens.

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Published in: on February 25, 2010 at 6:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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