Winter Survival Kits – Things True Minnesotans Know To Pack
THE IMPORTANCE OF A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT IN YOUR VEHICLE
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety states that every year, hundreds of unprepared Minnesotans are killed because of exposure to the elements of winter in Minnesota. If your kids insist on leaving the house without a winter jacket because it's not cool for school, you may want to sit down with them and explain the dangers of exposure to some of our winter weather conditions and make sure that you have a winter survival kit somewhere accessible in their vehicle.
ASSEMBLING WINTER SURVIVAL KITS FOR ALL OF YOUR VEHICLES
Not sure what you should put inside your winter survival kits? Here is an easy-to-follow list to get you started. This is the recommended list from The Minnesota Department of Public Safety:
- A 3-pound coffee can, candle stubs, and matches for melting snow and creating additional drinking water if necessary.
- A red bandana and a plastic whistle to alert rescuers to your location
- A metal or plastic cup
- Pencil and paper
- First aid kit, including any necessary medications your family members may need on a daily basis
- A plastic flashlight and spare batteries. Make sure to reverse the batteries in the flashlight to avoid accidentally switching the flashlight on and burning it out. Make sure to replace the batteries in this flashlight and the extra batteries in your emergency kit every year.
- At least two large plastic garbage bags for insulating your feet, and safety pins to keep the bags together.
- Pack some snack foods for energy, such as candy bars, or other foods that won't expire over the winter.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
There are many other things that the Minnesota Department of Public Safety recommends that you keep in your vehicle, but some of these you should just be wearing during Minnesota winters. Gloves or mittens and boots as well as a winter jacket are obvious necessities (but that doesn't mean your kids are doing it).
If you have the room, you should also put in your vehicle a blanket or sleeping bag and these items within reach:
- Jumper cables
- Tow cable or chain
- Road flares and reflectors
- Extra set of clothing or a snowmobile suit
CALL YOUR DESTINATION AHEAD OF TIME
Some other things that seem like a simple task, would be to call someone ahead of time to let them know you are on your way, especially if you are driving in hazardous weather conditions. That way, if you don't arrive when people are expecting you, they will know to go looking for you should you not show up within a reasonable time.
DON'T LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE
If you are stranded in blizzards or hazardous winter weather conditions, it's best to stay with and inside your vehicle, as your chances of survival are better in most cases if you stay out of the bad weather.
CARRY A CELLULAR DEVICE FOR EMERGENCY CALLS
Most of us are connected and carry cellphones most of the time, but especially in cold temps or hazardous driving conditions, you should make sure you have your cellular device with you, and having a charger or fully charged phone could save your life should you leave the road and no one can see your vehicle.
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