Winter Weather Preparedness Tips for Wheelchair Users


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What You Can Do:winter-1367153_960_720

  • Make it a habit to get prescriptions filled beforethey run out and have an emergency stash of any other necessary medical supplies on hand at all times.
  • Get a generator for your home. It won’t be cheap, but the benefits will outweigh the costs when it comes to your rescue during a power outage.
  • If you use an electric wheelchair, store a backup battery at your home and check its charge level regularly.
  • Stock up on canned goods and other food items that can be consumed without cooking.
  • If you live alone, make a pact with a buddy in your area to check up on each other through text messages or phone calls in the case of inclement weather.

Think Ahead Before Going Out and About

Mann im Rollstuhl beim Schnee schieben

If you absolutely must head out of the house, you should take certain precautions to keep yourself out of danger.

Remember that your driveway and sidewalks may be slippery or difficult to roll over if a lot of snow has built up. Make sure to think through all possible situations and how to get yourself out of them.

What To Do Before Venturing Out:

young man in wheelchair at the park on a cold winterday
  • Give your wheelchair a thorough tune-up. Check your frame for potential weaknesses due to wear-and-tear, tighten all the nuts and bolts, and make sure your battery (if electric) and tires are in good shape. Consult your chair’s manual for detailed maintenance instructions and any warnings on how your battery may react in extreme temperatures.
  • Consider getting snow tires, Wheelblades, or anti-tippers for your chair. They can add an extra layer of security while wheeling through snow and ice.
  • Charge your cell phone fully before going out and bring along a power bank in case your battery dies.
  • Get a storage tote for your wheelchair and pack a blanket, hat, gloves, scarf, and maybe even a spare pair of cozy socks in it. You never know when you might need some extra layers if you get stuck somewhere.
  • Get a ramp installed at your home. Yes, ramps are a big investment, but there is no better way to maintain your independence and safety during the winter season — and all year round!
Source: Winter Weather Preparedness Tips for Wheelchair UsersWheel:Life

About NCATP

The North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP) leads North Carolina's efforts to carry out the federal Assistive Technology Act of 2004. We promote independence for people with disabilities through access to technology. Visit our website at http://ncatp.org
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