Even people that have lived in Minnesota for years still learn how to adjust to winter. That's because winters are not always the same. Some are mild. Some have such long streaks of frigid cold that you don't think summer will ever come back again.

Here are a few things that can help you prepare for a Minnesota winter and hopefully make it a little easier.

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Layers, Layers, Layers

Make sure you have layers. And we're talking about clothes here, not cake. If you find yourself too hot you can always take off a layer if you find yourself too cold you’re pretty much screwed. If it's bad, I recommend 3-4 layers on top and 2-3 layers below.

Warm Cars Are Awesome

If you can, get a remote start. Even if you park your car in the garage normally, they’ll be many times when it’s not parked in a garage. You'll be thankful when it is a cold night, and you’re just starting that long Minnesota goodbye. Just hit the button and not only will your car be nice and warm when you get out to it, but it gives you an excuse to shorten that goodbye. Just say “I really have to get going, my car is running.”

Car Maintenance

If there’s ever a time of year to make sure your car has everything it needs, it’s going into winter. Car issues in warm weather are bad enough, but during winter, it's even worse.  Make sure your fluids are topped off, your tires are good, etc. And, in fact, it’s a good idea to take your car to your mechanic and have them check everything. They might spot something you missed or didn’t think of.

Keep It Powered

You’ll hear Minnesotans say never leave home without your cell phone charged. Get into the habit of charging your phone at home whenever you're not using it (or even when you are). With technology these days, not only should you never leave home without a fully charged battery, but have charging capabilities and a portable charger just in case.

Time Slows Down

The passage of time is different when it comes to winter in Minnesota. What might have taken you 30 minutes to get somewhere during the summer, can take you an hour or longer depending on the weather and road conditions. Give yourself time.

Shoveling Shhh

This is not to say "Guess what? You need a shovel." That's obvious. It’s more of when you should shovel. If you’re getting snow in the evening, and it’s forecasted to continue overnight, it’s best to get to a little shoveling that night. At least the main areas. You’ll save yourself time and pain the next day.

Be Prepared for an Emergency

Make sure your emergency kit in your car is good to go. Fresh batteries, anything you used last winter and now should be replaced. If you need more on emergency kits check it out here.

Use Your Brain

You got one -- use it. Minnesota winters can have some crazy and unexpected moments. If your instinct tells you that something is not safe or not to drive when the conditions are bad, don’t. You could save your life or someone else's.

 

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