Another wave of snow storms and it’s MARCH? Good grief!

I’ve been back in NYC since mid February and shoveled more in the last 2 weeks than I have in 2 years! But what really reminded me that I picked the wrong time of year to visit my hometown is the header I took yesterday navigating over an ice hill. I smacked down on my side and banged up my palm and knee. Gratefully it was nothing serious and I walked away with a bruised ego more than anything else. Hopefully passers-by gave me high points for style.

Ice and all of its sneaky relatives (black ice, freezing rain, icicles, etc.), while they may be daunting, there are steps we can take to help safeguard ourselves. Here’s a list of my top ice guarding tips and favorite icebreaker products.

Pay Attention and Slow Down

My oh I got this attitude is ultimately what sent me flying yesterday. Exercise caution when walking in these conditions – step gingerly and use grabbing points where you can. Also, keep your hands free so in the event you do fall, you won’t take a face plant (that happened to my friend when she fell carrying packages with both hands).


No-Salt Ice Melters

Given the corrosive nature of salt and harm that it can cause to property, plants, and pets, there are salt-free, organic deicers out there to choose from that are eco and pet friendly. They may be pricier than traditional rock salt, but in my opinion, well worth it:


Call to Action with Traction

Creating traction on ice will help keep steady footing and get you out of that car-stuck-in-the-snow/ice tire-spin. Try these natural products:


  • EcoTraction – This is an innovative traction-creating product manufactured from a hydrothermal volcanic mineral. The company claims that one cup of EcoTraction will cover one average parking space (144 square feet area). That’s pretty impressive.
  • Bio-degradable kitty litter, such as, Yesterday’s News® and Swheat Scoop®. It’s not just for litter boxes anymore! The granules create good traction and it’s readily available at any supermarket.
  • Alfalfa Meal – 100% natural and commonly used in fertilizer, the chemical make-up and texture of alfalfa meal melts ice and creates traction. It can be found in most gardening supply stores.

Heat Things Up

There are driveway, pathway, and step mats available that will melt a clear path or patch through snow and ice. HeatTrak® makes a variety of heated mats for residential and commercial use. They do get plugged in, but it’s pretty much as easy as plugging in exterior holiday lights. Their motto is, “Try a HeatTrak® and save your back.”  Love this product!


Get a Grip

Solid footing while you’re trekking to work, doing errands, or any outdoor activity is crucial to avoiding a fall. I came across a couple of cool products that go one step further than a winter boot.


  • Yaktrax® Walker Snow & Ice is designed to fit right over different shoes, and features a special SkidLock coil system that the company states, “becomes embedded in ice/snow with each step for superior traction.”
  • ICESPIKE™ is a semi-permanent traction system that can be mounted on any running or walking shoe, hiking or work boot. You basically screw in little spikes to the rubbery soul of your shoe.

On a personal note, my senior Aunt Rose-Marie, given her history of ice related falls and breaks and these frigid temps, she hasn’t even been allowed out of the house! Blocked from doing her routine errands by foot around the neighborhood, pushing her wagon, she’s going stir-crazy. After doing this “icy” research, I’m buying her a pair of these shoe grippers. Like it or not, I know she’s going to sneak out when no ones looking and I’d rather she be sporting shoes that grab.

Keep safe, everyone!

Norma sig

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Fix-It Friday is an exclusive Women You Should Know® editorial series authored by seasoned veteran of home improvement, Norma Vally, the former host of Discovery Home Channel’s series “Toolbelt Diva” and a show on Sirius Satellite Radio by the same name. The weekly column is designed to inspire women – weekend warriors, aspiring handywomen, and even seasoned DIYers – to take on home repairs and maintenance projects with confidence and gusto.