5 Tips To Surviving Minneapolis Winters

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5 Tips To Surviving Minneapolis Winters

Winter has arrived in Minneapolis again!  For some, the thoughts of the snow and cold bring anxiety while other having been waiting all year just for that first snow fall.  Whether you love or hate winters in Minneapolis, here are 5 tips that can help you survive the cold winter that is upon us!

Sign Up For Winter Alerts

If you haven’t done so already, you should add an app on your phone that alerts you when heavy snowfall or extreme cold is on its way.  The Weather Channels app is great at keeping you in the know so you can prepare for whatever the weather throws at you.

Additionally, the city of Minneapolis is awesome in providing alerts to your smart phone or email.  You can even follow the city of Minneapolis on Twitter if you prefer.  The city alerts provide you with parking instruction for snow emergencies.  These alerts can keep your car out of the impound lot saving you hundreds.

Proper Supplies

If you are new to the area and not use to the snow and cold, you will want to make sure you have the proper supplies in your vehicle just in case you get stuck or end up in the ditch.

The first item we suggest is an ice scraper with a brush on it.  Due to the heavy snowfalls we receive, the brush is a great way to brush the snow off your car windows while the scraper will scrape off the ice.

You will also want to keep a snow shovel in your car.  You never know when you may need to dig out from a snow plow burying you in your parking spot or simply getting stuck in the middle of the road due to heavy snowfall.  A shovel is also great in case that other person forgot to put one in their car and needs help digging out.

Finally, we also suggest extra coats and blankets in your car.  You never know when your car may break down and having extra coats and blankets can be the items that keep you from freezing.

Learn How To Drive In Snow & Ice

This is definitely an acquired skill. When your car is slipping on ice even the slowest, safest driver can lose control, but practice in these conditions helps a lot.

One imperative is to drive on snow tires, or at least tires that are not nearing bald. Check them at the beginning of the season. I’ve been driving up a SMALL (but icy) hill and slowed to a stop… before sliding backwards down because my tires couldn’t get any traction on the road. The same goes for snow, you want to spend as little time as possible digging yourself out– to this end it helps a lot of your tires can do some of the work.

The second most obvious (but admittedly hard to follow) tip is to make sure you can actually see before you drive. Yes, it sucks to sit in a below zero car waiting for the windows to defrost, but make sure you can clearly see everything before getting on the road. My favorite tip to make this easier is to heat a corn bag in the microwave while I’m getting ready and hold it in my car while I’m waiting for it to warm up/defrost in the morning. For this, I recommend the Origins Ginger Hug:

Finally, if you do start to fishtail or slip on an icy road, don’t freak out. Don’t keep trying to correct your cars steering–it won’t work. You should be keeping extra distance between you and other cars during this season. Whenever your tires do get a grip, they will move your vehicle in whichever direction they are faced, so overcorrecting the steering can run you off the road–or into traffic.

Ice Melting Washer Fluid

Now this washer fluid isn’t just the stuff that clears your windshield from dirt and smudge.  You want to make sure you get the stuff that will melt that ice that is an inch thick right of your windshield.  You will thank us for this one!

Dress For The Cold

Dressing for the cold in Minnesota requires long johns and wool socks!  It doesn’t matter if you plan to sit in    the office all day, get yourself a week’s worth of long johns and wool socks to ensure you stay warm even if the heater breaks down.