With temps expected to hit lows not seen in a decade and Gov. Dayton declaring all K-12 schools in the state closed on Monday, this seems like a good time to do a round up of winter safety tips.

When outside:

  • Try to limit exposed skin. This means wearing hat, mittens, and a scarf in addition to a proper coat and boots. If you're going to be outside for an extended time period, consider adding long johns or snowpants.
  • Don't drink alcohol before or while being outside. Alcohol can inhibit your ability to recognize warning signals from your body that you could be suffering from hypothermia or frostbite.
  • Don't touch any metal surfaces with your bare hand.

When in the car:

  • Minimize travel when possible
  • Make sure you vehicle's fuel tank is at least half full before leaving.
  • Travel main roads, avoid backroads and less traveled routes
  • Make sure you have informed someone of your destination, and when you plan to return
  • Carry a cellphone with you if possible
  • Have an up to date survival kit in your vehicle. It should include: blankets/ sleeping bags, kitty litter or sand for traction, flashlights, a battery powered radio, extra batteries, booster cables, distress flags, flares, a shovel or snowscraper, high energy food, water, and any vital medications.

For Pets:

  • Bring pets indoors. Even animals that are normally "outside" animals should have some form of shelter in subzero temps
  • Make sure animals recieve plenty of food and water
  • Although animals may need to be let out, keep the time as short as possible
  • When you bring animals in from outside, take a warm, damp cloth and white down their paws to remove any salt and ice

Additionally, please take a few moments and check in on any eldery or shut in neighbors you might have. If you think you might be suffering from hypothermia or frostbite, seek medial assistance as soon as possible. For more information, go to ready.gov

Let's stay safe and warm!

Photo: K Krage