7 Ways to Survive Winter in Minnesota
It's time to toss a snow brush back into the car. Maybe a blanket and a bag of fruit snacks too. Winter weather awareness week is back from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. As the shock of colder weather and - egad - snow hits, it's time to do these 7 things to be ready for the inevitable.
DRESS IN LAYERS
A hoodie and long pants are plenty for the near-freezing temps here in mid-November, but when it gets COLD, experts say dress in layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing. Wear a hat as almost 50 percent of your body heat is lost through your noggin. Mittens are better than gloves apparently.
KNOW THE RIGHT WAY TO SHOVEL
The Minnesota Safety Council says, "While shoveling snow can be good exercise, it can also be deadly for optimistic shovelers who take on more than they can handle." The council advises you to "Take it easy...shovel only fresh snow that is still relatively powdery...Push the snow forward rather than lifting it out of the way...As with any lifting activity, use your legs, not your back."
BE SMART WITH YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE
Minnesota's State Fire Marshall warns, "One of every three Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems...If a home experiences a Christmas tree fire, it is more likely to be fatal than other types of fires."
- Don't block an exit with your tree.
- Keep your tree away from heat vents and other heat sources.
- Take the tree outside when needles begin to fall off or become brittle.
GUARD AGAINST THE DANGER OF CARBON MONOXIDE
The public safety department instructs you to "Install CO alarms on every level of the home and in each sleeping area." Caron Monoxide is odorless, tasteless and invisible. "CO poisoning can happen any time of the year, but the danger is greater during the winter when doors and windows stay closed and fireplaces, gas heaters, or other fuel burning appliances are in use."
PREPARE YOUR WINTER SURVIVAL KIT
The Department of Public Safety recommends these items for your winter survival kit:
- blankets and jackets
- boots and gloves (mittens)
- bottled water and snacks
- cell phone charger
- some tools
- booster cables
- sand or cat litter
- brightly colored bandana
UNDERSTAND THE WEATHER SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS
Look here to know the difference between an advisory, watch and a warning.
BRUSH UP OF YOUR WINTER DRIVING SKILLS
Slow down. Don't pass another vehicle while visibility is diminished by blowing snow. Brake gently on ice. Keep your gas tank full. Find many more pointers here.
BONUS - GET OUT OF TOWN
It seems like airlines are offering deals. But don't fret. The days start getting longer in about a month.
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