Time To Prepare For Old Man Winter

Thu 11-10-2016 []

(Spirit Lake)-- It's been a very mild fall so far. But we all know it's just a matter of time before Old Man Winter heads our way. On that note, a reminder that today (Thurs.) is Winter Weather Awareness Day in Iowa. Dickinson County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Ehret tells KUOO news the primary message they want to get out is for people to be constantly aware of the forecast, as things can quickly change this time of the year...Winter Weather Awareness01 

"Checking the forecast regularly and then even more often when there's talk of any kind of snow and of precipitation coming our way. And I mean more than even just the big storms, they get  a lot of advertising. Because even the small snowfalls can cause problems and sometimes catch people off guard because they're maybe not as well advertised as the big storms are, so. Just keep up to date with the weather and the forecast and everything. If the roads may be a little iffy be sure to check the road conditions before you drive. Of course if it's a real bad storm, real bad weather, we encourage everybody to just stay put. Just being informed is, I think, the best thing."

Ehret says being prepared is also very important. And when it comes to that, he says there are things we could be doing now while the weather is still good...Winter Weather Awareness02 

"You know just winterizing the home. Making sure things are sealed up so you're not losing heat or anything through the Winter. Get your vehicle ready. Make sure it's winterized. You can do that yourself or take it to the shop and have them look it over real good. Last thing you want is to have a break down when it's 20 below outside and you're stranded with a car that's not running. It's going to get cold in a hurry. But if that does happen hopefully you remember to put your winter survival kit in your vehicle, things like blankets, extra clothing, make sure your cell phone is charged, jumper cables, all that good stuff to get you by until help gets to you."

Ehret also urges everyone to sign up for the Dickinson Alert app...Winter Weather Awareness03 

"It's free of charge. You go online and sign up. You can get weather alerts delivered to your phone by text message and by email. It's a great way to get that information right directly to you if you're away from the radio or the t.v. at the time that stuff is issued. Of course if you do get an alert like that we encourage you to tune into the local radio stations, local t.v. stations, to find out more. The message we send out is pretty short. It just tells you if there's a watch or warning. You'll want to tune in to get more details, like how much snow we're expecting, if we're going to get a lot of wind, and so on."

You can find a link to download the app, along with more information about it, at the Dickinson County Emergency Management website at You can also find the link at our website, Explore Go to the news portion and click on the appropriate story.