Faribault Emergency Management Director Dusty Dienst may be joined by a representative of the Rice County Emergency Management Department this morning in giving us some winter safety tips.  This is Winter Hazard Awareness Week in Minnesota.

It sure looks like winter and feels like winter.  Most of the Faribault area got it's first measurable snow over the weekend into Monday.  Snow in the metropolitan area last Friday night into Saturday morning led to the usual first snowfall chaos on roads because people have to relearn how to navigate in it.

The number one tip there is to slow down.  I'm sure Dienst and the others will talk about having a winter survival kit in your vehicles.  We'll talk about changing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Staying hydrated is as important in winter as it is in summer.  Here are some other winter weather tips:

  • Dress for the weather.  Thin layers of loose-fitting clothes will trap body head and aid air circulation.  Outer clothing should be hooded, tightly woven, and water-repellant.  Mittens are warmer than gloves.  Wear a hat because most body heat is lost through the head.
  • Check weather forecasts before traveling.  Pay close attention to the wind chill which can be dangerously cold.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite. especially in the very young and elderly.  Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, confusion, and loss of muscular control.  Frostbite causes loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, tip of nose, and ear lobes.  If you see these symptoms seek medical attention immediately.
  • Pace outdoor activity.  Avoid strenuous activity in extremely cold temperatures.  your heart must work harder to pump blood through constricted vessels in arms and legs.
  • Winterize your home and vehicle.  This should have been done before now but if you haven't get it done soon.  Have an emergency kit for your home also.
  • More winter safety tips are available here from a state website.

AM Minnesota on KDHL is 9:30 a.m.  We hope you can listen to the program.  If not the audio will be placed on this page so you can listen at your convenience.