Weekend Showcase: Winter Survival Tips Offered by Three Rivers Park District
Winter can be a challenging time. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re isolated, without a cell phone, and having to survive until help arrives, challenging can become deadly. Fortunately there are local resources for you and your family.
“I would recommend to everyone in the state of Minnesota, anyone in any sort of winter conditions, to always travel with extra gear. Those being gloves, boots, hats, extra layers, something to break the wind and provide some sort of shelter,” said Brent Hennen. He’s the Three Rivers Parks District Recreation specialist in charge of survival programs offered across the district.
Three Rivers Parks programs are a great resource
Three Rivers Parks has programs throughout the winter called Winter Survival for Families. There is one coming up in the coming week at French Regional Park in Plymouth.
“The idea is that you’re identifying what you as a person, or you and your family need to survive in cold weather,” said Hennen.
Three Rivers staff will guide you and your family through items and conditions you will need to survive. Then you will learn to prioritize those items.
Most Important Decisions and Tools
“So the most important decisions you make in a survival setting are whether you go or don’t go. And that’s based on being aware of the conditions. And just simply listening to forecasts,” said Eric Waage. He is the Hennepin County Emergency Management Director.
Waage keeps Hennepin County residents and public employees aware of how changing weather conditions can potentially trigger a survival situation.
“The survival tool that everyone likes to have is this. The cell phone. Make sure you have those little chargers,” said Waage.
But cell phones batteries die especially in cold weather. And if your car isn’t running you can’t charge the battery. While cell phones are great tools, they can’t keep you warm or dry and provide little nutritional value.
“Your most important tool throughout the entire survival spectrum is your mind and your brain,” said Waage.
When faced with a survival situation, Waage says making the decision that you will survive is crucial.
The Hennepin County Emergency Management web page provides tips and ideas on how to prepare for different emergency situations. There is also information on outdoor warning sirens and links to weather information and the Federal Emergency Management site.
For practical, hands-on learning that you can take the whole family to check out the Three Rivers Parks programs on winter survival. You have to register ahead to participate but you can do that. Check online or call the main office at 763.559.9000.