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  Brainerd Lakes Minnesota & the Brainerd Lakes Area
 Tips to make your life better in the Lakes Country
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Helpful tips and hints

Safety Tips for Women (and men)!

Because of recent abductions in daylight hours, refresh yourself of these things to do in an emergency situation. It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do:
The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you....chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON'T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR , LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF,
repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it . As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat
B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Woman have been attached by being pulled into vans while attempting to get into their cars.
C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side.. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.
IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs.
Stairwells are horrible places to be aloneand the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, Preferably in a zig -zag pattern!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP. It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked 'for help' into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

9. In any situation where you fill at risk, whether it is an unknown stranger, unfamiliar person at your front door, unknown person calling you - call the police.

Ice Safety Tips
When is ice safe? There is no for sure answer. You can’t judge the strength of ice just by its appearance, age, thickness, temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered with snow. Strength of ice is based on all of the previous factors -- plus the depth of water under the ice, size of the water body, water chemistry and currents, the distribution of the load on the ice, and local climatic conditions.

Remember, there is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice.
General Guidelines:

  • 2" or less - STAY OFF
  • 4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot
  • 5" - Snowmobile or ATV
  • 8" - 12" - Car or small pickup
  • 12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

General Tips:

  • Never go onto the ice alone. A friend may be able to rescue you or go for help if you fall through the ice.
  • Always keep your pets on a leash. If a pet falls through the ice do not attempt to rescue your pet, go for help.
  • New ice is usually stronger than old ice. As the ice ages, the bond between the crystals decays, making it weaker, even if melting has not occurred.
  • Beware of ice covered with snow. Snow can insulate ice and keep it strong, but can also insulate it to keep it from freezing. Snow can also hide cracks, weaken and open ice.
  • Slush is a danger sign, indicating that ice is no longer freezing from the bottom and can be weak or deteriorating.
  • Ice formed over flowing water (rivers or lakes containing a large number of springs) is generally 15% weaker.
  • Ice seldom freezes or thaws at a uniform rate. It can be one foot thick in one spot and be only one inch thick 10 feet away.
Simple Tips to Help Avoid Deer Collisions

With all of the woods around the Brainerd Lakes area, deer seem to come out of nowhere, leaving you only seconds to react. A collision can result in significant property damage and even worse - possibly a life-threatening situation.

To stay safe, consider the following:

  • Avoid driving after dark - if possible. Deer are most active from sunset to midnight, and during the hours just before and after sunrise, which are feeding times.
  • Pay attention to the speed you are driving. It's not just the speed of the animal that plays a factor - it's the speed of the vehicle. Think about it: if you are driving your vehicle at a speed of over 60 miles per hour, you'll cover the length of a football field in the same time it takes to change a CD.
  • Always keep your eyes open. Deer don't run alone. If you see one, there are likely others nearby.
  • Don't swerve. If a deer is suddenly in front of you, sound your horn to frighten it away. Break firmly, but stay in your lane. Serious crashes happen when drivers swerve to avoid a deer, only to hit other vehicles or lose control of their cars.
  • Wear your seatbelt. Most people injured in deer/car crashes were unbuckled at the time.
  • Pay extra caution when an area is marked with deer crossing signs. Deer are creatures of habits and tend to follow the same routes.
Got E-Mail

Most of us couldn't live without our e-mail. It's how we communicate with friends, family, and with business associates on a daily basis. Once you have an e-mail address for any length of time the spammers (and worse!) find you.

So pay attention to your e-mail and never click on links! Not the ones that say they are from your bank, your credit card company, PayPal or any financial website. Or the ones that say they are offering a patch for some type of computer software problem or glitch.

So what if you do need to go to your bank's website? Go there directly and not by clicking on a link in an e-mail. Or pick up your phone and call them. And, if you have a computer program and need something from Microsoft - go to Microsoft's website and find what you need that way.

If a friend e-mails you a link to a singing frog video and you are absolutely sure it's safe, well, okay, you can click on that. However, you can also go to the site (youtube, cnn, etc.) and find the link yourself. If more people would avoid clicking on those links spammers will have to give up!

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft:
Your Personal Data is Like Gold. Don't Let Someone Turn it Into Lead.

Is there any way to protect yourself from identity theft? Yes and no. There are precautions you can take - just like you can take precautions to keep people from breaking into your home. But there is no 100% guarantee that your identify can't ever be stolen.

By following a few simple tips, you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft.

  1. Do not carry your extra credit cards, your Social Security card, birth certificate, or passport in your wallet or purse except when necessary. This practice minimizes the amount of information a thief can steal. Photocopy everything in your wallet so if it is stolen you know exactly who to call.
  2. Never click on links in any emails you receive from financial institutions - even if you're 100% sure they're legitimate. Instead, go to your browser and type in the domain name of the financial institution (e.g. or and then login to your account. Some emails you receive that state they are from financial accounts are actually fake and are called "phishing" emails.
  3. Have virus and spyware detection software installed on your computer and keep them updated.
  4. If you can, install a lockable mailbox at your residence to reduce mail theft.
  5. Take credit card receipts with you. Never toss them in a public trash container.
  6. Never leave your purse or wallet unattended at work or in any public place including churches, restaurants, health fitness clubs, parties, or shopping carts. And, never leave your purse or wallet in open view in your car, even when your car is locked.
  7. Destroy all checks immediately after you close a checking account.
  8. If you can, do notify have you bank mail your checks to you. Tell your bank that you prefer to pick them up.
  9. Always, reconcile your check and credit card statements in a timely fashion, and contact your credit card company about any purchases you did not make.
  10. Do not print your Social Security number or your driver's license number on your personal checks.
  11. Keep a list of all your credit accounts and bank accounts in a secure place so you can quickly call the issuers to inform them about missing or stolen cards.
  12. Always shred pre-approved credit card offers before throwing them in the trash.
  13. If you don't receive a billing statement from credit cards or utility companies, notify the company immediately.

The above tips are no guarantee that your identity can't be stolen. However, by following these tips and by paying attention to your statements and accounts you are making it more difficult for someone to steal your identity.

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When is an internet e-mail a hoax?

E-mail is easy! With the click of a button you can send information to your friend that lives across town or to your friend that lives on the other side of the world. Maybe because sending information is so easy people get carried away. If you are most everyone else, you most likely get numerous e-mails every week warning you of internet scams or giving advice on what to do to protect yourself. One recent e-mail that went around claimed that a serial killer was was luring women out of their home by playing a tape of a crying baby. Of course, the e-mail said not to open your door for a crying baby, but instead to call the police. This story has several versions, and after doing some research, none of the stories can be substantiated

So how do you know if an e-mail you receive (most likely one that has been forwarded on from someone else) contains factual information?

Do some research on your own. If someone is claiming a "crying baby" story contact your local police or sheriff's office and see if they have had any complaints. A good internet source to check is This site has information on numerous "urban legends" and also if there is factual information to back up a story - will indicate it is a "true" story.

Another good resource is the Better Business Bureau website. It has a list of recent scams and security alerts.

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Car Theft Prevention Tips

* Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when you're away from it, even for "just a minute".
* Always roll up the windows and lock the car, even if it's in front of your home.
* Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk or at least out of sight. Buy radios, tape and CD players that can be removed and locked in the trunk.
* Park in busy, well-lighted areas.
* Carry the registration and insurance card with you. Don't leave personal identification documents or credit cards in your vehicle.
* When you pay to park in a lot or garage, leave just the ignition key with the attendant. Make sure no personal information is attached. Do the same when you take your car for repairs.

7 Tips to Ease Your Pets’ Fireworks Fears

Summertime includes many celebrations that often include fireworks. This can be a nightmare for many pets and their owners it can be a nightmare. The loud noises, flashing lights, and smell of sulfur can cause excessive fear in pets. Nervous behaviors such as trembling, whimpering, and panting may be distressful to the pet, but the animal’s natural response to flee from what he interprets as a threatening situation may result in serious injury. Some dogs are so frightened by fireworks that they may run through glass windows, or escape from the yard and run the risk of being hit by a car.

Here are a few tips from HomeoPet to keep your pet calm and safe this Fourth of July:

  1. Leave your pets at home and indoors. Most pets are afraid of fireworks and may try to run away.
  2. Close all doors and windows and put on background music to muffle the sound.
  3. Close curtains and blinds to block the flashing lights.
  4. Be sure that your pets are wearing identification tags or have microchips in case they do run away or get lost.
  5. Try to distract your pet with chew toys and games, or play with another pet that does not share his fear.
  6. If you have time, desensitization techniques with appropriate sound CDs, such as thunder, fireworks, trains, sirens, etc. may help pets get used to the sounds at a lower volume, then as they become more comfortable, gradually increase the volume.
  7. If your pet has noise phobias, speak to your veterinarian about a natural homeopathic, non-sedating remedy such as HomeoPet Storm Stress to keep your pet calm during storm and fireworks seasons.
    For more information, please visit

Legal Stuff: The information contained on this page is for general informational purposes only. Please consult the appropriate professional if you have questions or concerns on areas covered in the above topics. The information provided on this site is provided "As Is". Although Gizmo Creation LLC d/b/a Brainerd Lakes Country makes every effort to make sure the information given on this site is accurate, Gizmo Creations LLC d/b/a/ Brainerd Lakes Country assumes no responsibility or liability from any damages resulting from the use of the information on this website.


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