Stay safe out there, Alpena

As if we needed a reminder so soon after our New Year’s Eve snow-dump, Mother Nature is reminding us once again of her beauty and her power as she pummels Northeast Michigan with snow and rain.

The National Weather Service says the chance of a wintry mix will stay with us at least until Thursday night, with a chance of rain and snow and blustery wind every day until then. Thursday’s high is only expected to be 19 degrees.

While we wait for the rough weather to pass us by, here’s hoping that each of you stays safe.

Give yourself extra time to get where you’re going. The cycle of freeze-thaw-freeze and snow-rain-snow we’ve seen recenlty means you never know when a patch of ice might pop on the roadway. No appointment is worth jeopardizing yourself or others — and you won’t make the appointment, anyway, if you end up in a ditch.

Keep the following items in your car, because you never know when you might get stuck in a snowbank and have to wait some time for help:

∫ A blanket and — if you don’t wear them everyday, anyway — a hat, gloves and a sweater or sweatshirt.

∫ At least a small snowshovel and an ice scraper.

∫ Rock salt, sand, and/or kitty litter to help you get traction.

∫ Extra windshield washer fluid.

And, most importantly, let’s take care of each other. If you see a neighbor in need, help them out.

If we take some precautions and look out for one another, we can make it through without harm.