Even though winter is a few months away, it’s always a good idea to prepare for it ahead of time. Preparing for the cold season is essential, especially with the pandemic yet to end. While isolation is not necessary after everyone gets vaccinated, people still have to be prudent with the emergence of new variants of the virus.
This is particularly true if they have an older adult or very young children who cannot get vaccinated at home. Protecting these individuals is the primary concern of the household. But the community can also do its part to make sure people do not feel excluded in the areas where they live. Instead, the community should make everyone feel welcome by making winter spaces more inclusive for everybody.
Here are some ways for communities to prepare for the cold season.
Keep the Sidewalks and Walking Paths Clear
Communities should make sure sidewalks and walking paths are clear of snow and ice. Ensuring these places are clear can improve mobility among the people in the community. The government works on clearing streets and roads of snow and ice to prevent weather-related accidents. But they do not work on clearing the sidewalks.
In this situation, the community can work together to clear these paths and make them accessible for everyone. They can also clear bike paths so people can use them to exercise even during the cold season. Making these areas passable can encourage people to use them and avoid using mass transport systems.
With more people using bike paths and sidewalks, it will relieve the transit system and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Create Microclimates Within the Community
The cold weather will keep everyone indoors, and they will only venture out when it’s necessary. To make public areas friendly to people, communities can work with the local government in designing places to create microclimates in the neighborhood. These microclimates consist of fire pits and warming zones in the parks and areas where people wait outdoors, such as bus stops.
Creating these microclimates can encourage people to spend time outdoors and patronize local businesses. When local businesses are thriving, it can result in urban renewal for the community as these businesses will continue offering their products and services to the community.
Increase Outdoor Lighting
When winter comes, the number of daylight hours decreases. This results in a lack of sunlight, which can be a big problem for some people, especially those who have eye problems. The situation also causes low visibility, which can be dangerous for motorists.
When visibility is low, it can increase the risk of traffic collisions. In this situation, victims of these mishaps should hire a reliable car accident lawyer to help them get the compensation they deserve. The legal professional should be well-versed with the local laws to increase the chances of getting restitution for damages due to the collision.
But communities can avoid these incidents by making public spaces brighter. The city can increase the wattage of lights along sidewalks and streets. On the other hand, the community can also help by encouraging people to install lighting outside their homes to brighten up their areas. Aside from increasing visibility, it also discourages criminality in the neighborhood.
Help the Vulnerable Community Members
Many people lost their jobs when the pandemic started. Even though the economy is starting to recover and more jobs are available, some people are still unemployed since they do not meet the requirements of the new jobs.
These are the people that the community should help. They can work with the local government to assist them in finding jobs. If they are also homeless, they can look for temporary housing arrangements for them until they get back on their feet. The community should focus on helping these vulnerable members to ensure inclusivity within its locality.
Maintain Public Parks
To increase physical activity levels within the community, it is necessary to maintain the public parks. The community should work with the local government to ensure the maintenance of these parks over the winter. They can also winterize park facilities to encourage people to visit the parks.
The community can focus on preparing the restrooms for winter since people will not visit the park when they do not have these facilities available to them. When outdoor spaces are safe and clean toilets are available, people will be encouraged to spend time outdoors, which can help keep them healthy. But they should always remember to observe proper health protocols to avoid catching the virus.
Winter is a couple of months away. But the community can start preparing for the cold season to ensure inclusivity within its area and everyone is well taken care of.