BRRRR—utal Weather!

As hardy Minnesotans, we like to think we have what it takes to beat the cold. But it really isn’t anything to mess with. Just like there are warnings about leaving pets and small children in hot cars in the summer, these cold temps can be dangerous. Make sure skin is covered, transportation is reliable with working heat and plenty of fuel – preferably with an emergency kit. The National Safety Council has these recommendations for car safety kit items:

  • Blankets, mittens, socks and hats
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Flashlight, plus extra batteries (or a hand-crank flashlight)
  • Jumper cables
  • First-aid kit (band-aides, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, antiseptic cream, medical wrap).
  • Bottled water
  • Multi-tool (such as a Leatherman multi-tool or a Swiss Army knife)
  • Road flares or reflective warning triangles
  • Windshield cleaner

Extra Supplies for Frigid Weather

For those in wintry snowy areas, add the below items to your emergency kit. (If it’s balmy all winter where you live, be thankful that you don’t need all of this stuff!)

  • A bag of sand to help with traction (or bag of non-clumping cat litter)
  • Collapsible or folding snow shovel
  • Blanket
  • Tire chains and tow strap
  • Hand warmers
  • Winter boots for longer trips
  • Sleeping bag for longer trips

Note: Use salt for de-icing driveways and roads. (Excess salinity can damage vegetation and contaminate groundwater, however. So, with this in mind, salt your driveway only when you must, and try not to use more than necessary.)

Other Essentials:

  • Small fire extinguisher (5-lb., Class B and Class C type) in case of a car fire
  • Tire gauge to check inflation pressure in all four tires and the spare tire
  • Jack and lug wrench to change a tire
  • Rags and hand cleaner (such as baby wipes)
  • Duct tape
  • Foam tire sealant for minor tire punctures
  • Rain poncho
  • Nonperishable high-energy foods such as unsalted and canned nuts, granola bars, raisins and dried fruit, peanut butter, hard candy.
  • Battery– or hand-crank–powered radio
  • Lighter and box of matches (in a waterproof container)
  • Scissors and string or cord
  • Spare change and cash
  • Compass
  • Paper maps

The good news is, we should be back above zero at least by Wednesday! Woo-hoo! Thanks for listening, and bundle up!

Amy Foxx

 

Here is the official warning from the National Weather Service:

...WIND CHILL WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT 
* WHAT...Dangerously cold wind chills as low as 40
  below zero.

* WHERE...Portions of northwest and west central Wisconsin and
  central, east central, south central, southeast, southwest and
  west central Minnesota.

* IMPACTS...The dangerously cold wind chills could cause
  frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

Avoid outside activities if possible. When outside, make sure you
wear appropriate clothing, a hat, and gloves.