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Boonville Daily News - Boonville, MO
  • Local resident’s story reminds of importance of winter safety

  • Local resident’s story reminds of importance of winter safety
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  • What would you do? Your car is stuck in snow surrounded by ice with below freezing temperatures. The more you press on your gas pedal, the more your car slides. This happened to Sandra Butler, a resident of Boonville, who was heading home from work on Monday evening in the dark.
    "My first reaction was to check my surroundings and to not get caught up in the current situation,  and to think things out before I react,"  Butler said.
    Butler got out of her car to assess the situation. While returning to her car because of the bone chilling temperatures, she turned on her flashers. Across the street from where Butler's car was stuck, a truck sat idling. Butler became nervous as the truck just sat there for fifteen minutes.
    "It just made me nervous. Was the person going to help me, and what were they doing just sitting there in their vehicle?" said Butler.
    Many questions ran through Butler's mind. Who should I call, and should I get out to get my car unstuck? Although Butler didn't have a survival kit in her car, she had a shovel in her backseat, a half a tank of gas and a charged phone.
    According to the national weather service at 6:15 pm on January 6, 2014 the temperature was -3 degrees with a windchill of negative 17 degrees in Boonville, Mo.  In these temperatures you can receive frost bite in 15 minutes.
    After 20 minutes, which seemed like an eternity for Butler, two people stopped to help her.
    "I'm pretty good at reading people, and I felt that these people were really here to help me," Butler said.
    The truck across the street moved up a couple feet but left once people arrived to help. Butler made it home safe, but with frost bite on her hands.
    With the winter season just starting, it is important for people to be aware of their surroundings.
    According to the Missouri Statistical Analysis Center,  one violent crime occurs every 17.8 minutes as opposed to one property crime which occurs every 2.6 minutes.
    People can become trapped in their car or at home without utilities or other assistance so it is imperative that you have a back up plan in case of emergency. The National Weather Service advises people to stay informed on local weather conditions, and to keep things in your car such as: A charged phone, flashlight with extra batteries, blanket, extra clothing, shovel and first aid kit. This information can be found on www.nws.noaa.gov.

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