Winter Weather Awareness Day In Iowa Is Thursday (Nov. 7th)
(Spirit Lake)-- It seems only appropriate tomorrow (Thurs.) marks the observance of Winter Weather Awareness Day in Iowa, after experiencing our first bout of snow and ice of the season today (Wed.).
Dickinson County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Ehret says now is definitely a good time to make sure that vehicle is ready for the winter conditions and that you have the proper items with you...
"First of all start off with a full tank of gas. Make sure that cell phone is charged up. Have a charger in the car so you can keep it charged up as you're traveling. As far as the kit goes, things like you know an ice scraper and snow brush, flashlight, get some good batteries for that flashlight too, that aren't affected by the cold weather. Cold weather can kind of zap those batteries sometimes. Things like boots and gloves and blankets, you know, just warm clothes in case you do get stranded and have to stay with your vehicle. Jumper cables and things like that, water and snacks, things to bring with you on the trip. You know obviously water's going to freeze if you leave it in the car but there's food items you could put in your kit that will be just fine in the cold weather, so."
Ehret says in the worse case scenario and you do get stranded, you should stay in your vehicle...
"Especially in a whiteout condition, you know, blizzard condition because every winter you hear stories of people that got stranded and left their car because they thought they could walk some place and then you know, it's very easy to get disoriented in those whiteouts and especially if it's at night. So it's best just to stay with your car, have the flashers on, call 911 and hopefully they'll be able to get someone out to you if the conditions aren't too terrible. The biggest thing is if you get stranded just stay with that car. That's where you're safest."
Ehret says this (Wed.) morning's snow and ice-covered roads did take some people by surprise. He says there were several reports of accidents and vehicles in ditches but in Dickinson county there were no reports of any serious injuries.