Winter Safety Tips

img12.gif (5625 bytes) Winter Driving Tips

Winter driving in North Dakota can be unpredictable. The following four precautions may help you avoid an unpleasant or dangerous situation when traveling.

ONE: Winterize your vehicle to keep it in top operating condition. This will also improve safety and fuel economy.

TWO: Keep your gasoline tank full. This will minimize water in the tank and will provide the maximum advantage in case of trouble.

THREE: A cell phone, CB radio, or amateur radio can be a very useful item in emergencies.

FOUR: A winter survival kit is a must!

Call 511 for ND state road reports or visit their web page to see road conditions.

Winter Survival Kit Checklist
  • Extra clothes and blankets
  • Coffee can with candles for heat
  • Coffee can with lid for sanitary needs
  • First Aid kit
  • Paper towels
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Shovel
  • High energy food like candy bars, peanuts, and raisins
  • NOAA Weather Radio and/or radio with fresh batteries
  • Small sack of sand or set of chains for tires
  • Cell phone and cell phone car charger
  • Picture you and/or your family trapped in a car during a winter storm. If you can think of anything else you would need with you (playing cards, diapers, etc), add them to your kit

Hypothermia Can Kill

When the body begins to lose heat faster than it can produce it, a condition called hypothermia begins to develop. The symptoms are similar to those of a person under the influence of alcohol.

  Hypothermia Symptoms
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  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Vague, slow, slurred speech
  • Memory lapses; incoherence
  • Immobile
  • Exhaustion
  • The "umbles" -  mumbles, stumbles, grumbles, fumbles
When going outside, remember the following
  • Dress warm in loose-fitting, layered, light weight clothing
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid overexertion
  • Keep yourself and your clothes dry
  • Check infants and the elderly for signs of frostbite
NOTE:  If a person shows any signs of overexposure to cold or wet and windy conditions, take the following measures--even if the person claims to be fine. Often the person will not realize the seriousness of the situation until it is too late!
Treatment for cold weather exposure
  • Call 911 as necessary.
  • Get the person into dry clothing and into a warm bed
  • If possible get the person into a warm (not hot) bath
  • Give the person warm (not hot) alcohol

Trapped in a  Car

    img15.gif (1704 bytes) The shelter and warmth of a vehicle can lead to a false sense of security during winter travel. By using the following safety rules, you can help protect your family from the harshness of winter.
    Protect Yourself and Your Family
  • Check the latest forecast and road report before you set out. Call 511 for travel information in North Dakota.
  • Dress for the outdoor conditions, not for the warmth of the vehicle.
  • Have your vehicle winterized...give it a checkup.
  • Include a winter survival kit. Try not to travel alone, and stick to major roads. Let someone know the route you are taking and when you plan to arrive.
  • Keep your gas tank full.
  • If you become stranded, stay with the vehicle. Do not try to walk away from the vehicle unless you can see a place of safety at a reasonable distance.
  • If stranded, run the motor for about 10 minutes each hour for heat. Open a window slightly for fresh air. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked.
  • If stranded, tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna and turn on the dome light at night when the motor is running. This will make your vehicle more visible to rescuers.
  • If stranded, don't let all occupants sleep at the same time. Be sure someone stays awake! If you are alone, stay awake! Move around, clap your hands, rub your legs, and stretch.

Wind Chill

How can I calculate the Wind Chill?

Below is the mathematical formula for computing wind chill using wind speed (MPH) and temperature (Fahrenheit):

Wind Chill = 35.74 + 0.6215T - 35.75(V^0.16) + 0.4275(V^0.16)

Online Wind Chill Calculator here (and other Meteorological Conversions and Calculations) is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.