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Blog Archive: November 2018

Two hands with car keys being handed over

Make the right choice this holiday season

Nov. 29

Eggnog. Mulled wine. Seasonal beers and festive cocktails. The holidays can pose tough choices. But there’s one choice that’s not only easy to make; it will save lives. That’s the choice not to drive if you’ve been drinking. For people who make the wrong choice, though, there is extra DWI enforcement on Minnesota roads. The campaign started Nov. 21 and runs every weekend through December 29. More than 300 law enforcement agencies throughout the state are working together to get drunk drivers off the road. Last year, from the day before Thanksgiving through December 30...

NEMAC conference attendees

When disaster strikes, it’s good to know who we can count on

Nov. 26

As you recall, the April 2018 Husky Refinery fire in Superior, Wisconsin was sudden, unexpected and dangerous. Had the fire not been extinguished so quickly, Wisconsin would have needed help long before an emergency declaration could have been made that would have got them help from other states through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). But if they had needed it, there was another way they could get help. Enter the Northern Emergency Management Assistance Compact (NEMAC). NEMAC was established in 2012 as a way for neighbors to help neighbors...

graphic that says even one empty seat at the table is too many

Turn Blackout Wednesday into Sober Ride Wednesday

Nov. 19

Maybe she cooked the best pumpkin pie this side of the Mississippi. Maybe he told jokes so terrible, everyone laughed anyway. But for too many families this holiday season, memories like that will be all they have left of a loved one because of a drunk driver. The night before Thanksgiving has come to be known as “Blackout Wednesday.” People come home from college and go on a bender with friends they haven’t seen for months. Or, knowing they don’t have to work for four days, indulge a little too much because they know they’ll have time to recover from the hangover...

A stovetop fire

Let’s talk turkey (and fire safety).

Nov. 15

It seems like turkeys take forever to cook. Who wants to stand in front of the oven and stare at it? It’s not like you have to do anything except baste it once in a while – it can pretty much take care of itself. Much more fun to go to the neighbors’ and watch the game, or have a snowball fight outside with the kids. But leaving the house while a turkey – or anything – is cooking is a great way to start a fire. That’s why this time of year is the busiest for fires in Minnesota. During the holidays, people are doing more cooking than usual, keeping the cold out by heating their homes more, and lighting...

Two motorcyclists listen to an instructor at a training course

Going back to 'school' on your motorcycle

Nov. 8

As a motorcyclist, you’re likely fiercely independent. The freedom of the open road with the wind whipping past you can feel like a metaphor for life. So the idea of taking a rider course from the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC) may seem distasteful. But learning is a lifelong endeavor, and that goes for motorcycles as well as books. As the weather prediction graphics start showing snowflakes instead of suns, another motorcycle training season has drawn to an official close here in Minnesota. Overall, 5,112 riders took training courses this year...

A state trooper and another man look at the front of a crashed vehicle

After a crash, do this

Nov. 5

If you’ve never experienced it, count yourself lucky: The sickening thud that accompanies a car crash. The days—and sometimes weeks or months—of dealing with doctors and mechanics and insurance adjusters. The sinking feeling that if only you had left a little earlier or put your phone down or turned your headlights on, this might not have happened. But crashes happen every day in Minnesota — the State Patrol alone has handled over 31,000 so far this year. So it’s important to know what to do immediately after one happens...

Toward Zero Deaths leadership and award winners pose at this year’s conference on Oct. 24 in Mankato

When optimism pays off

Nov. 1

When you work in public safety, it’s important to be realistic. There are some things no one can control that can cause people to get hurt or killed. Which is why “Toward Zero Deaths” may seem like an unrealistic name for a traffic safety program. But the truth is, so much of the tragedy on our roads is preventable and in the control of every person behind the wheel. Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) is a collaborative program that was started in 2003, and during its 15 years of existence, road fatalities have dropped by 45 percent. There were 655 traffic deaths in Minnesota in 2003; in 2017, there were 358...