Frigid weather calls for everyone to be on guard

The recent days of sub-zero temperatures, persistant snowfall and poor driving conditions have been challenging, at best, for all of us.

But as is the case in all sorts of inclement weather, the elements are tougher on some segments of our population than they are on others.

The frigid weather, with windchills in excess of -30, make it a prime time to check on the welfare of friends and family members who may be especially affected by the cold.

The elderly, those with chronic illnesses, those with old or sub-standard living conditions and others who may have a more difficult time than most in these conditions, deserve to be looked in on.

With weather conditions like what we’ve had for the past few days, a five minute phone call or visit, can literally save a life.

Let us not forget the animals in our lives as well. Pets or livestock require special attention and accommodations when it’s this cold.

But perhaps the best advice in coping with weather related problems is to avoid them in the first place. Monday morning’s power outage in the city of Houghton and today’s outages as mentioned in a page 1A story, plainly illustrate the need for alternative sources of heat, light and communication.

Likewise, preventative measures should be taken when traveling. A simple winter emergency kit with a shovel, sand, candles, water and a little food in vehicles could go a long way to avoiding a winter tragedy.

And finally, despite the extremely cold temperatures, ice conditions are never a sure thing.

Early Saturday morning a snowmobiler went through the ice on the Portage Canal, the first incident of its kind this season. While history tells us it won’t be the last this year, ice related accidents are perhaps the easiest to prevent.

We live in a very special part of the world. An area in which our unique climate and natural beauty are the biggest attraction. But as we’ve seen around the world with growing frequency, natural disasters can and do occur everywhere. We ask that everyone please do their part to make this a safe winter in the Keweenaw.