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Blog Archive: July 2017

Photo of a storm-damaged road.Bouncing back: The dollars and cents of storm recovery

July 31

What does a typical day look like for you? Get a shower, drive to work, maybe pick the kids up after school and take them to the library? Or maybe you take some time to yourself for a quiet walk or run in the park, or a round of golf, then home to make some dinner. So what happens when severe weather comes along and damages some or all of those things? Even if you’re lucky enough that your home comes through the storm unscathed, it can still affect your life profoundly. Trees fall and damage parks, golf courses, and public buildings. Water supply and other utilities may get interrupted...

Photo of the State Emergency Operations Center.Emergency communications: Practice makes perfect

July 27

Do you sometimes feel fatigue from the communications constantly coming at you? Even if you turn off the TV, radio, computer and cell phone, there are always newspapers and other modes of messaging. And although this can make life a bit hectic, it’s a pretty great problem to have in an emergency. Take, for example, a radiological emergency. If something dangerous were to happen at one of Minnesota’s two nuclear generating plants, the good news is that we’ll use all of those modes of communication and more to get essential information to you...

Bears that Care makes a visit to Shriners Hospital in Minneapolis.Troopers with teddy bears

July 24

If you’ve ever been in a car crash, you know how scary they are. If there were kids in the car, you know it’s doubly so for them. If you haven’t, imagine getting beyond your own shock, pain and fear to worry whether your young children have been injured and to try to calm them down. The Minnesota State Patrol understands this concept very well, which is why they carry teddy bears and other stuffed animals in the trunks of their squad cars. It may sound a little frivolous, but many a trooper has learned that a new fuzzy, squishy object can be as comforting as it is distracting for a child...

Photo of a motorcyclist.Avoid becoming #30 with these motorcycle safety reminders

July 20

Summer is the perfect time for riding your motorcycle: You can enjoy the sunshine and leave the humidity behind. But the more you ride, the higher your chance of crashing and even dying — as 29 people have done so far this year. Fortunately, there are things to learn from the stats that can reduce your chances of crashing or protect you if you do. Of the 29 riders who have died in 2017, a staggering 21 of them were not wearing a helmet. In a crash, protective gear is all that separates you from the ground – and the ground is harsh and unyielding...


Photo of a man speaking with a Driver and Vehicle Services representative.Why you’ll like the new DVS computer system

July 17

 Renewing your vehicle tabs is about to get a whole lot more efficient. That’s because DVS is replacing the computer system for vehicle and driver’s license transactions and records. The new system, called the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS), will replace a 30-year-old mainframe computer system. The new system will reduce the turnaround time for title transactions, and your record will get updated in the system immediately, without delay. MNLARS is also designed to reduce common errors. It prevents moving forward with a transaction unless certain information...


Newspaper photo of a 1986 pipeline explosion in Mounds View, Minn.Three decades of pipeline safety in Minnesota

July 13

If you lived in Minnesota in 1986, you very likely remember the Mounds View pipeline explosion. Who could forget the news stories about two-story walls of flame that spewed from the sewer line (into which petroleum had leaked) early that July morning, destroying everything in its path and killing a 35-year-old mother and her 7-year-old daughter? The explosion melted power lines, charred trees, and belched thick black smoke into the air as hundreds were evacuated from their homes...


Photo of a 55 mph speed limit sign with cars driving by.Before your pedal hits the metal, consider this.

July 10

It’s been one of those mornings: You must’ve pressed the snooze button a thousand times. You spilled coffee on your white shirt and had to change. You forgot it was your turn to take the kids to day camp on your way to work—and you absolutely cannot be late to work again, or there will be dire consequences from your boss. So the temptation to press down on that gas pedal just a little harder is understandable. What could 5 or even 10 miles per hour above the speed limit hurt? The roads are dry as a bone, visibility is perfect, and besides, everyone does it – it’s not like you’ll get a ticket...


Photo of a man taking a Breathalyzer test.Best way to celebrate freedom every day? Be free of drunk driving.

July 6

The days following the Fourth of July are often reserved for sweeping up the remains of spent fireworks, making plans for leftover picnic food, and generally recovering from a day of celebrating our nation’s freedom. But because of drunk driving, some Minnesotans are spending this week getting bailed out of jail or trying to figure out how to pay steep traffic tickets or get around after losing their license. Worse yet, some are mourning the loss of loved ones killed by drunk drivers...