Blog Archive: September 2020

Drive Smart!

Lessons learned from fatal crashes

Sept. 28

Now that summer’s gone and the leaves are turning, we can look back on the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day and learn from them. Those 100 days are the most traveled of the year on Minnesota roads, and this year they once again proved tragic. Preliminary numbers show that 152 people died in traffic crashes during this year’s 100 most-traveled days. They accounted for 60 percent of all traffic deaths through early September this year. Looking back on these crashes and their causes allows us to learn some essential – and tragic – lessons...

Snap photos of important belongings and documents for filing insurance claims

Time for a (literal) rainy day fund

Sept. 24

You’ve heard that expression, “Expect the unexpected,” haven’t you? But it’s much more easily said than done. Unless you have a crystal ball, how can you possibly predict what misfortunes or disasters are coming down the pike? The short answer is, you can’t. But many emergencies have similar characteristics in terms of what you need to survive them. Money is an excellent example of this. You and your family would have different needs during, say, a tornado versus a flood, but after the dust settles (or the water dries), money is one thing you’ll need to get back to normal in both situations...

Drive Smart

You can’t predict the future. But you can drive smart and buckle up.

Sept. 21

Most drivers think of themselves as being good at driving. But no driver can see the future, and that’s why everyone should wear a seat belt. A seat belt helps protect you when you hit that patch of ice, or a distracted driver drifts into your lane, or a deer jumps out in front of you. The fact is that there are hundreds of scenarios that you can’t possibly predict that would make you very glad you wore your seat belt. Currently, more than 300 law enforcement agencies throughout the state are conducting extra...

Sota the BCA's new K9 agent

Can you find a computer chip by smell? Sota can.

Sept. 17

Everyone knows dogs are good sniffers, and that their sense of smell is far better than any human’s. They’ve been used in law enforcement for over a century for search and rescue and other tracking, and more recently, sniffing for drugs and explosives. And now, some dogs are being trained to sniff for digital evidence. It turns out that memory storage devices like USB drives and micro SD cards are coated with triphenylphosphine oxide, or TPPO, which has a distinctive smell that dogs can be trained to detect. Sota, a 2-year-old black British Labrador...

A man and two children using a crosswalk to cross a street

School’s in, and so is pedestrian safety

Sept. 14

School is back in session, and whether it’s virtual or in-person, routines have changed. You may see kids and parents in your neighborhood walking to school, catching the school bus, or just exercising after their at-home school day is over. No matter their motivation, it’s important for pedestrians big and small to be careful, and for drivers to watch out for them. Each year in Minnesota, approximately 48 pedestrians are killed as a result of collisions with motor vehicles (2015-2019). Fortunately, whether you’re a pedestrian or a driver, there are steps you can take to guard against crashes...

Build a Kit. Have enough food, water and other supplies to support your needs for several days.

National Preparedness Month and the COVID-19 pandemic

Sept. 10

If this summer has shown us anything, it’s that the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stop other disasters from happening. From the east coast’s Hurricane Laura to Iowa’s devastating derecho to the wildfires consuming the western states, it may seem like emergencies are piling up one by one. What the virus has changed, however, is how...

A woman looking at a smartphone

How your phone can be your lifeline in an emergency

Sept. 3

Most buzzes and squawks from your cell phone are everyday things: a message from a friend. A reminder from your spouse. An email from work. But sometimes, your phone breaks into a very distinctive tone and vibration that’s hard to ignore: a wireless emergency alert (WEA). You’ve probably received at least one emergency alert this summer, whether it was about curfews during the civil unrest following George Floyd’s death or the recent rioting and looting in Minneapolis, about staying safe from severe weather such as tornados or flash floods, or about the governor’s stay-at-home order...