Monthly Archives: December 2020

Don’t underestimate the power of a blizzard.

Watching the snow fall from the sky can be calming and therapeutic, but don’t underestimate the power of a blizzard.

Blizzards can cause power shortages, treacherous roadways, and sub-zero temperatures, and if you’re not properly prepared, you may be caught in a dangerous predicament. After a snowfall, the roads are especially slick, and it’s easy for your car to slip off the road. Power outages are also common during extreme weather, and without electricity a house can quickly become unbearably cold. 

But there’s no reason to be a victim of these blizzard hazards. By employing some simple remedies and precautions, you can enjoy the coziness of the snow storm rather than worry about your safety.

Here are 10 ways to stay safe during a blizzard.

Avoid Alcohol (Seriously)
A “whiskey jacket” is a popular way to stay warm, but drinking too much alcohol is not a good idea in extremely cold temperatures. Alcohol is dehydrating, which is less noticeable during the winter. Alcohol also interferes with the body’s internal thermometer, which can prevent shivering (not a good thing), and result in an accelerated loss of body heat.

Charge Your Cellphone
The importance of a cellphone can’t be overstated. These are the ultimate emergency devices, so make sure yours is charged and ready to go.

Don’t Forget About Your Pets
Blizzards can be especially hazardous for pets. During heavy snowfall, keep your dog on a leash during walks and add some colorful identifying tags to the collar. Also, be wary of melting ice; it can be very painful for dogs to walk over and is potentially toxic if ingested.

Exercise Caution When Shoveling
Shoveling is a necessity, but it’s also an easy way to throw out your back and even induce a heart attack. Remember to take constant breaks and stay hydrated; it’s a workout after all.

Layer Up
Wearing three to four layers of clothing is the most effective way to insulate your body. Packing on some light-weight jackets or vests underneath a winter coat and wind breaker will allow you to tolerate the winter chill. Runner’s tights and earmuffs are also useful for making sure no part of you is exposed.

Never Use a Generator Indoors
If you have an alternative power source such as a generator, make sure not to use it inside, even if it’s located in a basement, garage, or crawlspace. The fumes it creates contain carbon monoxide, which can be especially dangerous to children, the elderly, and pets.

Prepare a Blizzard Survival Kit
Stock a bag with all the essentials that can help you outlast a long power outage. Batteries, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, bottled water, canned goods, any medications you take, and lots of toilet paper are some of the essentials, but cater your survival kit to your own personal needs.

Stay Inside
Staying off the roads and remaining indoors is the best way to avoid winter hazards, and the perfect chance to whip up some soup, but once the wind and the snow taper off, don’t be afraid to step outside and enjoy the snow.

Use Flashlights Not Candles
During a power outage, avoid using candles if possible. Flash lights are a much safer alternative, especially in a household with children and/or pets.

Watch for Frostbite and Hypothermia
Symptoms for hypothermia include dizziness, exhaustion, and severe shivering. Symptoms for frostbite include numbness; flushed gray, white, blue, or yellow skin discoloration; or waxy-feeling skin. If you think you’re afflicted with either, call 911.

This story was originally published February 9, 2017 on  10 Tips to Stay Safe During a Blizzard (

New COVID-19 antibody test developed in Rochester

Updated: December 09, 2020 07:24 AM

(ABC 6 News) — While many wait for news of a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, a Rochester company says it has created something that can help figure out if you can fight the virus off on your own. 

Imanis Life Sciences in Rochester has developed a new COVID-19 antibody test called IMMUNO-COV. 

“This is a test that specifically looks for antibodies that are able to neutralize the SARS coronavirus 2 which is the virus that causes COVID,” Imanis Principal Scientist, Rianna Vandergaast said.

Imanis Life Sciences has been working on this test for months after releasing the first version at the beginning of the pandemic. 

“It really gives you a better idea of what kind of level of protection you’re going to have against future infection,” Vandergaast said.

It is done through a blood test and Vandergaast says they look at something called the “Titer.” 

“The titer is going to be how much of these neutralizing or protective antibodies do you have in a certain amount or volume,” Vandergaast said. 

The science may seem complicated, but what it does is tells you if you have antibodies in your blood to protect you from COVID-19, If you do have the antibodies, this test will also tell you how many you have, which can determine how protected you may be.

“The higher your titer the more of these neutralizing antibodies you have and the better you are going to be protected from future infection,” said Vandergaaast. She sais these antibody levels can drop quickly, and with news of a vaccine arriving at any moment in the U.S., Vandergaast says these tests can benefit us. 

“Having a test like this where you can monitor and see is this something where I am still potentially susceptible to infection or not is going to be very important even as we start to get vaccines and have more of that herd immunity,” Vandergaast said. 

She says tests like this will work hand-in-hand with the vaccine as scientists and researchers work to learn more about COVID-19 and stop it from spreading.

“I do think developing these kinds of neutralizing antibody tests and running them is just a critical part in understanding how efficient these vaccines are going to work, especially in the long term,” Vandergaast said.

Imanis says it has created enough material for 5 million tests. The tests became available to the public on December 3rd. They can only be ordered by a physician, and the cost is $300. To learn more about the IMMUNO-COV test click here.

Published by Samantha Boring

Rochester Minnesota Drive-In Theater to Show Holiday Classic’s All Month

Things are different this year, but different doesn’t have to be bad. There are still fun, festive events planned this month to get you in the Christmas spirit including holiday movies at the drive-in!

Rochester My Home, Pro Image, and Townsquare Media have teamed up to present classics like Elf, Home Alone, and The Polar Express all month at the Olmsted Co. Fairgrounds.  (Check out the schedule, link below)  All profits will go to area schools for after-school social programming and to the Channel One Food Shelf.

Drive-In Theaters provide a safe fun experience for your family and have become extremely popular this year. Space is limited so don’t wait to get your tickets. Click here to order tickets. If you have our app you can enter to win free tickets.

Read More: Rochester Drive-In Theater to Show Holiday Classics All Month |

Showtimes are 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM – You could make a night out of it by taking your family on a drive to see Christmas lights around town before or after the movie!

Wonder of The Nativity

Dates: December 4th- December 25th, 2020 (Recurring Daily)

Time: 9:00AM to 9:00PM

Price: Free

A free drive-by journey through the Nativity. Search for 7 outdoor Nativity displays scattered throughout the community that tell the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Collect a picture card at each site that includes an inspirational message, a community service opportunity, and link to a website with uplifting music, images, and activity ideas.

Official Website: Friends of Rochester, MN Stake