Why not Minot? Freezin’ is the reason!
If you’ve ever been stationed at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, you are probably familiar with this saying, and you know just how much truth it holds. However, the Polar Vortex 2019 has given a whole new meaning to the word freezing. While most of the country is currently facing harsh temperatures, Minot residents are among those few lucky people who can proudly say they have survived temperatures as low as -54˚F today.
For the first time this winter, schools are closed, shops in town have postponed selling their merchandise until tomorrow, and even the postman has skipped delivering mail today. However, military members stationed at Minot Air Force Base were still expected to go to work and support the mission.
Planning is key
Staff Sgt. Benjamin Smith, who works for the Public Affairs Office at Minot AFB, explained, “We are operational, including the flightline. Airmen reported to work at normal operating hours and the base is running as usual. The Air Force has regulations on what clothing and gear can be worn while in uniform, but the safety of personnel is obviously top priority. Planning ahead is key in extreme environments, including weather. To operate in conditions like this, we have to be prepared with plans and equipment that allow business to continue as usual.”
Indeed, planning ahead is key. But how do Minot residents prepare to face wind chills that could make the temperature drop to -73˚F, as it happened at Lake Metigoshe this afternoon–about an hour and half away from Minot AFB? Needless to say, the supermarket is the first stop. Stocking on milk, bread, and a few dinners to last a couple of days is what most people do. However, it is also vital to keep an emergency kit in the car, made of blankets, bottles of water, high-energy snacks, lighters, and a small tea candle.
While for many families who accompany their service members to Minot AFB, these freezing temperatures can be rather scary and overwhelming, locals are seemingly nonchalant about Old Man Winter.
“We have not done a single thing different,” says Karla Terrio, a lifetime resident of North Dakota. “We both go to work every day and I still enjoy going out on the balcony every morning for a few minutes to sip my coffee. I find these temperatures to be exhilarating. When you walk outside, and lose your breath for those first few seconds, it gives you a little pep in your step and a glimpse of human strength! I truly believe how you respond to your environment affects how you will physically feel. I have felt these temperatures my entire life and because I really do enjoy them, I am never really cold.”
Haley Kotlyar, another Minot local, asserts that, “We make sure we have plenty of groceries, full tank of gas, and I finally go from my light North Face jacket to my winter coat. This morning we raised our heat from 68 to 71, and I am roasting!”
Polar Vortex 2019? Nah, here at Minot Air Force Base, we call it Wednesday!Read comments