BOWIE, Md. (WUSA9) -- A 62-year-old woman in Bowie Maryland died today after shoveling snow, likely due to complications from a heart attack.
Tragedies like this one are an unfortunate and a reminder that shoveling snow can be dangerous, especially for those with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly or those with a disability.
If you do have to shovel snow yourself, firefighters and paramedics offer some advice.
"Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, take lots of breaks, and stay hydrated," says captain Jason Wisman with prince George's County Fire Department.
Shoveling heavy snow like today's can weigh up to 45 pounds at times. "You are using more muscles than you usually would, it's going to be tough," says Wisman.
You have to take frequent breaks.
Some people are lucky enough to have neighbors who are willing and able to help those in need, but not everyone.
If you do not have neighbors or family that can help, services like Snow Crew can help.
Snow Crew is a completely free service for people who cannot shovel snow themselves. It was started by a man named Joseph Porcelli, and it services the metropolitan area. Those who need help can log on to snowcrew.org and request assistance. Volunteers can sign up for specific neighborhoods or homes to Shovel, and they do it all for free.
Porcelli says they need more volunteers and ask that anyone who is interested in helping their neighbors sign up.