Sections

Weather Forecast

Close
Advertisement
Local law enforcement officers urge drivers to have winter survival supplies in their vehicle before attempting to drive in adverse weather conditions. Sleeping bags, boots and additional clothing will help a person survive the cold, and jumper cables and a tow rope will come in handy for other mishaps during the cold weather. (Tribune photo by Ron Adams)

It's time to plan, pack for winter survival

Email News Alerts
news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- Even though Old Man Winter hasn't arrived yet, now is the time to prepare for winter driving and the possibility of getting stranded out in the cold, snowy weather.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Local law enforcement officers urge drivers to make sure their vehicles are in good working order and that they have winter survival supplies in the vehicle before attempting to drive in adverse weather conditions.

"We want people to plan ahead and know the weather conditions," Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog said.

Drivers need to heed the severe winter weather warnings. They may just need to stay off the roadways, according to Willmar Police Officer Marilee Dorn.

"If the roads are closed, don't go," Dorn said. Road closures mean the weather is severe, and people shouldn't be driving in such conditions.

Citizens can't stay home all winter, and being prepared to drive safely in adverse weather conditions and having adequate supplies of food, supplies and warm clothing in the vehicle can be life-saving. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety offers these timely reminders about winter driving:

n Make sure everyone is properly buckled up. Recommendations are to use bulky winter clothing and/or blankets on top of children's car seat belts so that they fit properly.

n Make sure your cell phone is fully charged or bring along the car charger. Inform family or friends about your travel plans and schedule.

n Make sure to clear all the frost, ice and snow from the windows, headlights, brake lights and directional signals. Turn on the headlights, as required, when it is snowing or sleeting.

n Provide plenty of time for travel, driving at safe speeds and increasing following distance between vehicles are all recommended.

n When you encounter a snowplow, leave at least five car-lengths of space between your vehicle and the plow if you are following a plow.

n Don't use cruise control on wet, icy or snowy roads. If you do enter a skid, ease your foot off the accelerator and turn the wheel in the direction you want the car to go.

In case you do get stranded along the road or in the ditch, stay with your vehicle. Hartog stresses that staying with the vehicle is safer that walking in the storm for help, as you will likely get disorientated and lost in the storm instead of reaching a safe place.

Simple things like having a full tank of gas before leaving may become critical if you get stuck or slide off the roadway.

"If you are traveling, have a full tank of gas," Hartog urged. "Don't run with a quarter tank. Murphy's law says that's when you will end up in the ditch."

The Department of Public Safety offers this list of basic items needed to survive: a small shovel, jumper cables, a tow chain or rope and a bag of sand or cat litter for tire traction. Make sure you have enough blankets, mittens, scarves, boots and winter clothing for everyone.

The department suggests putting these items in an empty three-pound coffee can: small candles, matches, a small knife, plastic spoons, a red bandana or cloth, pencil and paper, large garbage bag, safety pins, whistle, snacks like candy bars, raisins, hard candy or food bars and a plastic flashlight and batteries or a hand-crank flashlight.

For those needing more technologically advanced help, the North Dakota State University Extension Service, with the help of a USDA grant, has developed a winter survival smartphone app for Android or iPhones. Get more information or download it at www.ag.ndsu.edu/extension/apps/winter-survival-kit.

The "Winter Survival Kit" app helps to find your current location, call 911, notify friends and family, calculate how long you can run your engine and stay safe from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to an NDSU news release.

The app also provides NDSU Extension Service information on how to put together a physical winter survival kit and prepare your vehicle for winter driving, and how to stay safe when stranded in a winter storm.

WILLMAR -- Even though Old Man Winter hasn't arrived yet, now is the time to prepare for winter driving and the possibility of getting stranded out in the cold, snowy weather.

Local law enforcement officers urge drivers to make sure their vehicles are in good working order and that they have winter survival supplies in the vehicle before attempting to drive in adverse weather conditions.

"We want people to plan ahead and know the weather conditions," Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog said.

Drivers need to heed the severe winter weather warnings. They may just need to stay off the roadways, according to Willmar Police Officer Marilee Dorn.

"If the roads are closed, don't go," Dorn said. Road closures mean the weather is severe, and people shouldn't be driving in such conditions.

Citizens can't stay home all winter, and being prepared to drive safely in adverse weather conditions and having adequate supplies of food, supplies and warm clothing in the vehicle can be life-saving. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety offers these timely reminders about winter driving:

- Make sure everyone is properly buckled up. Recommendations are to use bulky winter clothing and/or blankets on top of children's car seat belts so that they fit properly.

- Make sure your cell phone is fully charged or bring along the car charger. Inform family or friends about your travel plans and schedule.

- Make sure to clear all the frost, ice and snow from the windows, headlights, brake lights and directional signals. Turn on the headlights, as required, when it is snowing or sleeting.

- Provide plenty of time for travel, driving at safe speeds and increasing following distance between vehicles are all recommended.

- When you encounter a snowplow, leave at least five car-lengths of space between your vehicle and the plow if you are following a plow.

- Don't use cruise control on wet, icy or snowy roads. If you do enter a skid, ease your foot off the accelerator and turn the wheel in the direction you want the car to go.

In case you do get stranded along the road or in the ditch, stay with your vehicle. Hartog stresses that staying with the vehicle is safer that walking in the storm for help, as you will likely get disorientated and lost in the storm instead of reaching a safe place.

Simple things like having a full tank of gas before leaving may become critical if you get stuck or slide off the roadway.

"If you are traveling, have a full tank of gas," Hartog urged. "Don't run with a quarter tank. Murphy's law says that's when you will end up in the ditch."

The Department of Public Safety offers this list of basic items needed to survive: a small shovel, jumper cables, a tow chain or rope and a bag of sand or cat litter for tire traction. Make sure you have enough blankets, mittens, scarves, boots and winter clothing for everyone.

The department suggests putting these items in an empty three-pound coffee can: small candles, matches, a small knife, plastic spoons, a red bandana or cloth, pencil and paper, large garbage bag, safety pins, whistle, snacks like candy bars, raisins, hard candy or food bars and a plastic flashlight and batteries or a hand-crank flashlight.

For those needing more technologically advanced help, the North Dakota State University Extension Service, with the help of a USDA grant, has developed a winter survival smartphone app for Android or iPhones. Get more information or download it at www.ag.ndsu.edu/extension/apps/winter-survival-kit.

The "Winter Survival Kit" app helps to find your current location, call 911, notify friends and family, calculate how long you can run your engine and stay safe from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to an NDSU news release.

The app also provides NDSU Extension Service information on how to put together a physical winter survival kit and prepare your vehicle for winter driving, and how to stay safe when stranded in a winter storm.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
randomness