We plan for tornadoes and fires but emergencies like car accidents and heart attacks happen every day and we don't always have a plan in place for those. A conspicuous new billboard campaign raises awareness for that cause.
If you were driving down Minnesota Avenue near 33rd Street, the billboard with a young woman calmly seated in front of an accident scene may have caught your attention. Smoke billowed from the top of the billboard, appearing as though it was coming from the car behind the woman. What should be more attention getting than the spectacle is the story behind it.
Amanda Johnson is the woman in the billboard. She survived a car accident in 2008 that took the life of her friend, Andy Wiersma.
"I want to keep his memory alive because he did a lot for the community and he did a lot for me in my life," says Johnson.
The billboard was a bit of a mystery initially though, starting with some cryptic emails that arrived to media outlet inboxes yesterday with a subject line that simply read: "Have you seen these billboards? Amanda should have died, but she didn't."
Other survivors' billboards are up around the area, and in cities such as Yankton. The survivors' stories can be found on a new Avera website "Why I'm Alive.com" along with information that can help you and your family plan for an emergency.
"If you've already talked to your family about what you would do in an emergency and talked about things like what hospital you would go to and who would get the kids home from school for instance, it makes it easier when faced with split second decisions," suggests Dr. Don Kosiak, Avera McKennan ER Director.
"Have your life in order, don't get stressed about the little things because you never know when it's going to end," says Johnson.
Being a billboard model may make Amanda a little uncomfortable, but telling her story doesn't.
As for the smoke coming from the 33rd and Minnesota Avenue billboard, it was shut down by Sioux Falls Fire Rescue this morning after numerous calls from the public to 9-1-1.
Tuesday, December 3 2013 10:48 PM EST2013-12-04 03:48:06 GMT
Canton residents have voted down a proposal to build a new aquatic center. The city required 60% of voters to approve the bond to pass; only 50.9 voted yes. Canton financial officer Kyle Cwach said 412 votedMore >>
Canton residents have voted down a proposal to build a new aquatic center.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:29 PM EST2013-12-07 04:29:51 GMT
With the Salvation Army Warming Center's doors not open yet, the Sioux Falls Police Officers have seen an increase of homeless people out on the streets in the below zero temperatures. KSFY's Tess HedrickMore >>
With the Salvation Army Warming Center's doors not open yet, the Sioux Falls Police Officers have seen an increase of homeless people out on the streets in the below zero temperatures. KSFY's Tess Hedrick took rode along with a Sioux Falls Police Officer Friday evening.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:19 PM EST2013-12-07 04:19:35 GMT
HURON, S.D. (AP) - Governor Dennis Daugaard has announced the formation of a task force to find a balance between modern agricultural practices and wildlife-oriented land conservation. Daugaard madeMore >>
He's concerned about the declining pheasant population and its statewide impact.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:08 PM EST2013-12-07 04:08:17 GMT
The Sioux Falls Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a missing person that is memory impaired. The missing person is Leroy Harold ‘Bud' Anderson. He is a white male, 75More >>
The missing person is Leroy Harold ‘Bud' Anderson. He is a white male, 75 years old, 5' 10" tall 180 pounds, white hair, balding on top.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:00 PM EST2013-12-07 04:00:52 GMT
LUCAN, Minn. (AP) - The names of the two children killed in a farmhouse fire in southwestern Minnesota this week have been released. The family identifies the victims as 7-year-old Hazel and 4-year-oldMore >>
The two were unaccounted for after the fire Wednesday. One of the children's bodies was found Wednesday, the other a day later.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 7:27 PM EST2013-12-07 00:27:18 GMT
Every year the streets of downtown Dell Rapids fill up to welcome the holidays with open arms. But the recent blast of arctic air has forced organizers of Christmas at the Dells to make some changes. "IMore >>
Cold weather cancels outdoor portion of Christmas at the Dells annual holiday event.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:47 PM EST2013-12-06 23:47:21 GMT
WCCO -- A family is western Minnesota is dealing with a tragic loss. Two of their children were unaccounted for after a fire started in their home Wednesday. The bodies of those children were found WednesdayMore >>
A family is western Minnesota is dealing with a tragic loss. Two of their children were lost in a devastating house fire Wednesday. More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:10 PM EST2013-12-06 23:10:35 GMT
The fate of South Dakota's minimum wage rests in the hands of voters, Secretary of State Jason Gant announced Friday. After passing the petition certification process, the issue is now known as InitiatedMore >>
The fate of South Dakota's minimum wage rests in the hands of voters, Secretary of State Jason Gant announced Friday.More >>