Get out your winter safety kit
Cold weather is creeping back into the state, and a recent presidential emergency declaration for southwest North Dakota is a stark reminder that winter is coming.
Mercer County Emergency Manager Carmen Reed is aiming to remind residents of the importance of being prepared for severe winter weather, and just how to go about it. According to Reed, now was the time to get those winter safety kits checked and placed into vehicles.
The kits should include: coffee can, 60-inch length string, safety pins, candle, pocket knife or scissors, bright cloth to attach to an antenna or door handle, packets of soup or hot chocolate, spoons, packets of high energy food like peanuts or fruit, extra socks and glove liners, a blanket or sleeping bag, book matches, a sun shield blanket, flash light and batteries, first aid kit, toilet paper and sealable container, fire extinguisher, tool kit, ice scraper, shovel, sand, tow rope, jumper cables, road flares, antifreeze, garbage bags, pencil and paper, plastic whistle and a cell phone with charger.
Some of the items may not seem useful on their own, but when combined can come in extremely handy. For instance, the string can be attached to the safety pins and used to suspend the can from the car roof. By placing snow in the can and melting it over a candle or Sterno, the water can be used for drinking or mixing with soup.
“When you get stuck in a winter storm you may be there for a while,” Reed said. “Due to low visibility and dangerous conditions emergency responders will not be able to reach you due to the fact that it isn’t possible. The safest for all is for you to stay in your vehicle until the storm passes.”